The popularity of an annual International Helmet Awareness Day among equestrians and manufacturers has seen the sign-up deadline for retailers extended to July 4.
Created by Riders4Helmets, the fifth annual awareness day takes place this year on July 12. Participating retailers from around the world will be offering discounts on helmets on this day.
An increasing number of international level riders are making the move to using a safety helmet, including dressage riders and eventers. Among the most visible of these is reigning Olympic dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin, of Britain.
Lyndsey White of Riders4Helmets said the continued support from equestrians, retailers and helmet manufacturers was heartening.
“To be in our fifth year of hosting and organizing International Helmet Awareness Day is truly a testament to the need for continued education of equestrians with regards to all aspects of helmet safety,” she said.
“Over 200 retailers have already registered to participate in this year’s event.”
Riders4Helmets was founded in early 2010 after Olympic dressage rider Courtney King-Dye was seriously injured in a riding accident. King-Dye, who remained in a coma for a month following her accident, was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and continues to undergo rehabilitation.
New Zealand equestrian safety advocate Elizabeth Charleston echoed those sentiments. “It is wonderful that riders4helmets and International Helmet Awareness Day has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2010.
“When I first started campaigning for awareness of brain injuries (including concussion) in the equestrian sector I got a fair bit of grief. But living with my own health problems from multiple concussions I knew I was doing the right thing by my fellow equestrians to try to prevent it from happening to them,” Charleston said.
“A safety riding helmet is your first line of defence of protecting your brain so why not strap one on, if only to save your family and loved ones the grief of dealing with the life-changing effects it can have on the individual.”
Charleston says one of the most common comments she hears from people who have had a concussion or more permanent brain damage is: “I didn’t know it would be this bad”.
“It is that bad, but it’s not something you could ever imagine. So I ask people to have some faith in what I’m trying to do with my brain injury and concussion awareness work. I wouldn’t want for another person to experience what I have been through, with my own personal experience of brain damage.”
Helmet brands that have committed involvement to International Helmet Awareness Day this year include Antares-Sellier, Champion, Charles Owen, Devon Aire (Aegis), Gatehouse, GPA, International Riding Helmets (IRH), KEP Italia, LAS helmets (Leslie Sutcliffe), One K, Ovation, Samshield, Tipperary, Troxel and Uvex.
As well as overseeing the discounts by retailers, Riders4Helmets will also be live streaming “Get Educated” webinars on Saturday July 12.
The webinars will feature experts in fields such as: Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion; Psychology; Neuro Physiotherapy; Helmet Manufacturers; Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors; Leading Equestrians; and, Helmet Testing Agencies.
Participants will be able to ask questions in real time during the webinars.
Visit www.riders4helmets.com/ihad/ for participating retailers and to learn more about the Awareness Day.
Retailers: visit www.riders4helmets.com/ihad/retailer-information/