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Courtney King Dye Opens 3rd Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium

Symposium Live Stream Attracts Global Audience


Lexington, KY (January 31st, 2012)—The 2008 US Olympian Courtney King Dye opened the 3rd Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium held Saturday January 14th, 2012 at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport Hotel, West Palm Beach, Fla. The Olympian who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in March 2010 provided an update on her current medical condition and daily issues of living with a TBI.


“Many people emphasize with the daily struggle, but it’s hard to real that the struggle is all day every day. Speaking is hard. Walking is hard. I had to learn to eat with my left hand, and that’s not pretty,” said King-Dye.


Fellow Olympian and TBI sufferer Darren Chiacchia who recently pledged his support to the campaign, joined King-Dye on stage to stress how hard it is for people to understand the effects of a TBI as every one is different. "I am pleased to lend my support to the Riders4Helmets campaign in educating equestrians on the benefits of helmets," said Chiacchia. "I am certain that I would not be here today had I not been wearing a certified and properly fitting helmet when I had my accident."


The symposium was hosted by Dr. Craig Ferrell, USET Team Physician and FEI Medical Committee Chair and, Lyndsey White and Chad Mendell of Riders4Helmets, who were joined by a host of experts from various corners of the equestrian world. While disciplines ranging from show jumping to barrel racing and even mounted shooting were represented, every attendee had one common goal: to keep equestrians as safe as possible while participating in equestrian related activities. In addition to the symposium attendees, over 200 people around the globe tuned in to watch the speakers presentations via live streaming video.


Symposium topics included:

  • Open to Change: Facilitating Conversations about Wearing a Helmet with Western Riders

  • New Insights Into Traumatic Brain Injuries in Equestrian Sport

  • Helmets in the Western World

  • What It Is Like Living with TBI

  • The Latest In Eventing Safety

  • The Safety Implications Of Having An Incorrectly Fitting Helmet

  • Gaining Acceptance In The Equestrian Community For Helmet Use

  • We Are All Role Models

  • Riders4Helmets Safety Incentive – Thinking Outside The Box To Get Western Riders To Strap One On!

  • The Christen O’Donnell Equestrian Safety Helmet Act


"We are delighted that the symposiums continue to bring together so many experts under one roof, and we will continue to hold them so long as they are deemed to have value and educate equestrians on why wearing a helmet is a smart thing to do," said Lyndsey White, Riders4Helmets. "We have some exciting things planned for the campaign in 2012 including the 3rd annual International Helmet Awareness Day, a 4th Safety Symposium and a continuance of the "Equestrian Helmet Hero Awards."


Videos on demand will shortly be available for each of the speaker presentations from the symposium, including King-Dye's video. Please sign up for the Riders4Helmets campaign newsletter at to be notified when the videos are released. To view summaries of the symposium, please see 3rd Riders4Helmets Safety Symposium Makes an Impact "Part 1" and "Part 2" by Erin Gilmore. Additional feature articles from the symposium will be added to the riders4helmets website in the coming two months.


The symposium was generously sponsored by Samshield, Tipperary, Charles Owen, Ovation, One K Helmets, GPA, Equine Risk Management Group LLC, Equestrian Collections and Point Two.


For more information on the Riders4Helmets campaign, visit You can also follow the campaign at and 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. The goal of the Riders4Helmets Campaign is to educate equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitted and secured, certified helmet.



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