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Dressage Daily publicized the fact that top US riders like Steffen Peters and Guenther Seidel wore GPA helmets during the warm up for at the Dressage Affaire competition in Del Mar, CA, last weekend, along with green ribbons in honor of Courtney King-Dye. Her riding accident nearly two weeks ago sent shock waves through the dressage world. She is still in a coma, although her husband Jason Dye posted an update on her website that notes some small improvements, like being taken off the ventilator.
I celebrate the wearing of the helmets. I was squeamish about using Courtney King's accident or even the tragic death of Candace Morrison, a Battleground trail rider as well as a high school music teacher as an excuse to write helmet propaganda, but I am stepping on the awareness bandwagon because those of us who take pictures and write about equestrian events have a role to play here, as well as those of us who ride.
As a rider
You don't have to fall off to benefit from a helmet. I have heard my helmet clunk against a tree branch overhead. I have had a horse lose his footing and fall with me. It has nothing to do with your discipline, either. I know a Western rider who was thrown against an arena wall at a show - and walked away because she was wearing a helmet as an example to her students.
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