My head was the first part of me to make contact with the tarmac…

We recently received a letter from Sue Burrows who had a nasty fall a few weeks ago which left her in hospital. This is what happened…

“I have no recollection of the accident as such, apart from what witnesses have told me, as I lost consciousness and have no memory up to waking in the back of the ambulance.

It seems my 17hh normally placid horse spooked, went into bronching mode and ditched me in the main road. My head was the first part of me to make contact with the tarmac.

I had a CT scan which luckily showed no fracture but I sustained head swelling, a haematoma and concussion injuries, resulting in ongoing dizziness and nausea. I also have 8 stitches at the back of my head.”

Sue kindly sent her hat back to our technical team for inspection. What we found is yet another reminder to always, ALWAYS replace your hat after a fall.

 

Sue’s hat was produced to meet PAS 015 1998 in our Cardiff factory as part of Batch 42 in April 2009 has been inspected for damage and report is as follows.

(The latest PAS 015 standard is now PAS 015 2011 which has enhanced impact protection and crush resistance).

From the outside there are no signs apart from a mud stain on the left side that this hat had been involved in a fall.  There is a blood stain present in the head lining and lace.

Upon closer inspection it was noticed that there is a gap between the shock absorbing polystyrene liner and shell at the rear right side.

When the liner was removed along with the head lining it is plain to see that this hat has been involved in a high energy accident.  The polystyrene liner has been reduced in thickness at the lower rear right area from its original thickness of 19mm to 8mm.  The 8mm of polystyrene remaining is also very well crushed and is damaged to the extent of its protective capabilities.  (See Photographs).

From the damage found on this hat in my opinion you are probably quite lucky not to have suffered more extensive injury, or worse.

 

We’re grateful to Sue for returning her hat for inspection and we hope she completes a full and speedy recovery. Best of luck for the future Sue!

 

Sue’s hat, clearly showing the impact damage at the rear

Sue-Burrows-hat3 Sue-Burrows-hat Sue-Burrows-hat2

 

Sue and her lovely horse, thankfully showing his beautifully placid nature!

Sue-Burrows2 Sue-Burrows

 

Pippa Funnell’s Champion Ventair inspected by our safety experts

We’re delighted to see that Pippa Funnell was back in action at Rockingham International last weekend, after her bad fall at Withington Manor Horse Trials at the start of May which resulted in her withdrawing from Badminton Horse Trials. Pippa’s Champion Ventair helmet was sent back to our safety experts at our factory in Cardiff for inspection and this is what we found…

 

Ventair Deluxe Navy jockey  helmet  size 6 7/8 involved in fall returned for inspection.

Dear Pippa

We all at Champion hope you are on the mend after your fall?

Thank you for allowing us to inspect your hat. As you know we carry out extensive testing both in house and at the British Standards (BSI) but we can learn a lot more from hats such as yours that have been involved in real life accident situations.

The above hat produced in our Cardiff factory as part of Batch 10 in June 2015 was inspected for damage and report is as follows.

From the outside there are few signs hat had been involved in a fall apart from the small area on the Right side above the eye where the paint has come away from the shell.

Upon removal of head lining from the shock absorbing polystyrene liner it is plain to see that this hat has been involved in a high impact accident.  The polystyrene liner has been slightly reduced in thickness at the front right temple area, but more significant damage to the liner has occurred 50mm above this where it has been crushed between your head and the shell having made contact with a firm surface, there is a crack in the polystyrene approximately 70mm long.  (See Photographs).

Once again thank you for returning your hat for inspection we hope you are making a fast recovery and will be back in the saddle shortly.

Best regards

Tony Palkowski

Technical Eng.

Champion Manufacturing (SH) Ltd

 

What this inspection once again goes to show is that even if there is little outward sign of damage, your helmet should always be replaced if it has been involved in a fall. Pippa’s Champion Ventair did its job well, absorbed a considerable impact and helped protect her from more extensive injuries.

Always be safe rather than sorry – if in doubt, replace your helmet!