Heads Up On Hat Research

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Heads up on hat research
17th May 2017

By Karen Pickwick



Riding hat manufacturers and distributors joined representatives from the British Equestrian Trade Association, British Eventing, the British Horseracing Authority, the Point-to-Point Authority and University College Dublin for the first BETA Helmet Bounty Scheme research meeting.

PhD student Michio Clark, of University College Dublin, and Professor Michael Gilchrist, the university’s head of mechanical and materials engineering, reported on research being conducted into hats collected under the scheme.

Michio is one of 13 students working on a Madame Curie project specialising in accident reconstruction modelling – looking into the mechanics of falls and the types of injury sustained. He highlighted his university’s research into energy absorption materials and the mechanical properties found in areas of the head, which will aid the construction of computer models to act as surrogate human heads for more realistic safety standards testing.

The BETA Helmet Bounty Scheme is effectively a hat amnesty designed to highlight the importance of replacing a hat when it has been involved in an incident. Under the scheme, a rider concussed during the cross-country phase of a British Eventing competition receives a £100 voucher, while an £80 voucher is given to jockeys concussed during a race.

Hats involved in the incidents must be returned to BETA and the vouchers endorsed and claimed through BETA retailers.