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ublisher’sWelcome Just Five Seconds


here’s some debate as to which hobby is more dangerous: riding motorcycles or riding horses. Tis past Memorial Day, I witnessed firsthand a motorcycle collision. It was an older couple, husband and


wife, helmetless, traveling about 60 mph on a country highway enjoying the holiday on their motorcycle. A very large truck pulled out on the highway in their lane, a considerable distance ahead of them, but this truck needed time to ramp up speed. It was evident that the motorcycle would catch up and need to slow down, but for whatever reason, the motorcycle driver wasn’t looking ahead (looking down perhaps?) and speeding. He was gaining ground with the truck, and at the very last second, he glanced up, saw the back of the truck, slammed on his brakes, skidded and then crashed the bike into the truck. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Since both vehicles were moving forward, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I was shocked when the motorcycle driver


jumped up and walked away with barely a scratch! But the poor passenger wasn’t as lucky. She was catapulted off the back seat of the bike and wacked her head on the truck suffering a head trauma injury. She lay bleeding on the pavement, conscious and crying. Aſter frantic 911 calls from me and others, within five minutes police, paramedics and fire trucks arrived at the scene. Eventually a helicopter swooped in and airliſted the woman to a head trauma unit 80 miles away. As we stood around the accident scene, there was one message echoing from the EMTs and police: had the woman been wearing a helmet, she would have walked away from the incident with only minor cuts and bruises. And according to the husband, his wife always wore a helmet. Tat day was the first time she decided not to wear one. Te message from this incident rang loud and clear. Whether you ride a horse or a motorcycle, chances are that you own a


helmet or two and hopefully it meets the proper safety requirements. But typically, owning a helmet is not the issue. Te decision to retrieve your helmet and put it on each time you ride— that’s the real issue. I figure it takes less than thirty seconds to grab your helmet and strap it on before mounting your horse. I actually timed it and


did it in less than five seconds. Tose critical seconds may be what saves you from a serious head injury or even worse, death. Tat’s the mistake that Olympian Courtney King-Dye fully admits she made. Normally she wore a helmet, but that day, for whatever reason, she didn’t take the time to retrieve it. Te horse she hopped on was a horse she knew well; there was no misbehavior, but who knew he would trip over his own feet? It’s taken Courtney’s bad fall, coma and ongoing rehab to wake up our industry. Since then there’s been a surge of helmet


awareness. Kudos to the USEF for enacting a more stringent helmet rule for dressage riders. A terrific website has also emerged, riders4helmets.com, which is promoting riding safety and head trauma awareness. Tey’ve conducted two symposiums for headgear amongst other accomplishments. I still need to purchase one of the tee shirts they sell online which shouts “STRAP ONE ON.” Early this year, I took a bad fall from a horse and cracked my helmet; thankfully my head wasn’t injured at all, but my helmet


sure was. (I can hear my siblings now, making head cracking jokes when they read this.) But seriously, those five seconds before I mounted that day really did pay off. In this fall edition, we have a nice variety of features: an early glimpse of the next World Equestrian Games venue, ways to I.D.


your horse, as well as why to inspect your foal. Te EPM survival stories and the article on exporting horses are not what you might expect. As usual, I hope you really enjoy our magazine and will continue to give us feedback. And of course, I can’t close without encouraging you to please, “strap one on” every time you ride.


Our Mission: Warmbloods Today is the only magazine in North America focused on the entire spectrum of Warmblood breeds. It’s a place where people from all aspects of the sport horse community can come together: amateurs, owners, trainers and breeders. Each issue contains interesting, informative and often heart-warming stories of peoples’ experiences with their horses, along with thought-provoking opinions from various professionals and amateurs. We cover all horses from European descent bred for the sports of jumping, dressage, eventing and driving including the Iberian breeds and American Warmbloods.


8 September/October 2011


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