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Riders4Helmets Helmet Safety Symposium takes Place January 8

The Symposium comes just days before the USEF votes on historic new helmet rules.

By Edited Press Release | 6-Jan-11

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Equestrian Riding HelmetThe timing of the riders4helmets Helmet Safety Symposium presented by SUCCEED® Digestive Conditioning Program® to be held Jan. 8th in Wellington, FL could not be better. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is due to vote on proposed helmet rule changes at the USEF Annual Convention Jan. 13-17th in Lexington, Kentucky.

The proposed USEF rules would require everyone under the age of 18 and everyone showing fourth level or lower in dressage to wear a helmet whenever mounted at a showgrounds. This will be the first time that a proposed rule for helmet use in dressage will have gone to vote and there has been a mixed responses to its proposal. Some riders do not feel the ruling goes far enough and they say that it ignores the upper level riders who many consider should be the ultimate role models to the youth in the sport, while others feel that it should be a rider's choice to wear a helmet or not.

David O’Connor, USEF President and John Long, USEF Chief Executive Officer will both be attending the helmet safety symposium. O’Connor aired his views regarding helmets at the December USDF Annual Convention in Jacksonville, FL. “I applaud all you guys for taking a step,” he said. “Eventers don’t think about it anymore, it’s just the way it is. This is going to happen, by the way, whether you do it now or later. It’s going to happen in the FEI world, too. To take this step is very important and a huge direction of change.”

Chair of the symposium, Craig Ferrell M.D notes, “Head injuries in sports are getting increasing attention. As FEI medical chairman and US team physician, my goal is to make equestrian sports safer. I believe this can be accomplished without changing the character of competition” he said. “This symposium is being held to Increase awareness of the risks and promote rules that increase helmet use in equestrian sport. There will be several presentations designed to review current helmet designs and testing standards. With this gathering of influential leaders in equestrian sports, I am hopeful we can guide improvements in helmet rules, helmet design, and helmet testing standards.”

Other individuals due to attend the symposium include: Jamshid Ghajar MD PhD, President of the Brain Trauma Foundation and Clinical Professor of Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College; Allen Sills MD, Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center, Courtney King-Dye; Steffen Peters; Jane Savoie; PJ Cooksey; Kathy Connelly and Anne Kursinski among others.

The symposium is being sponsored by SUCCEED® Digestive Conditioning Program®, Troxel Helmets, Charles Owen, GPA, Tipperary Helmets and Samshield Helmets. For more information on the Riders4Helmets campaign or the Helmet Safety Symposium, visit or contact Lyndsey White at

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 is currently undergoing rehabilitation. Jeri Bryant donated her helmet campaign t-shirts (featuring the slogan “Strap One On –Everyone’s Doing it”) to SUCCEED’s eBay store to raise funds for King Dye, and a partnership was formed, resulting in the Riders4Helmets campaign.

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Reader Comments


1/7/2011 2:40:07 PM

im totally for helemts and i wear one and they are very important and every body nows that its safer to use one but all horse magazines and websites talk about them way TO MUCH!!!!!

Cathy    St. Augustine, FL

1/7/2011 3:16:50 AM

I never ride without mine. Unfortunately most of my riding friends don't wear them.

Pat    Great Falls, MT

1/6/2011 10:12:21 PM

Helmets are not the most flattering but it beats a concussion!

Deborah    Reno, NV

1/6/2011 9:06:08 PM

I am a SRONG BELIEVER in helmets!

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