US Equestrian (USEF) is pleased to announce that an anonymous donor generously stepped up with a $25,000 commitment to the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, ensuring this mission-critical safety initiative hit the $450,000 goal set to complete the STAR Helmet rating project for equestrian sport.
“Tom O’ Mara, US Equestrian President-Elect, called to let me know the good news! He actually was contacted by a donor following our announcement of reaching the $425,000 milestone in early December thanks to the collaborative efforts of USEF, USEA, USHJA, and Jacqueline Mars,” said Dr. Barry Miller, Director of Outreach and Business Development for the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab. “The donor was impressed with the goals of the initiative and wanted to ensure all equestrians could benefit from a more sophisticated rating system for equestrian helmets. We are off and running and are guaranteed the funds to complete the project on the 18-24 month timeline.”
Since 2011, Virginia Tech researchers have been providing unbiased helmet ratings that allow consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing helmets. The helmet ratings are the culmination of over 10 years of research on head impacts in sports and identify which helmets best reduce concussion risk. So far, the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab has developed STAR helmet ratings for sports including football, youth football, soccer, flag football, cycling, and hockey (www.vt.edu/helmet). An important study published by the Journal of Neurosurgery in 2016 brought to light how the number of equestrian-related traumatic brain injury compares to other sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI), reinforcing the importance of equestrian helmet safety.
Work has already begun on the rating system, but the fund will remain open for donations. Any additional money raised will go towards accelerating the development timeline. A tax-deductible donation can be made directly to the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, with 100 percent of all funds going directly to this research. This work is done as part of Virginia Tech’s service mission and is 100 percent independent of any funding or influence from helmet manufacturers.
US Equestrian is pleased to announce two additional competitions approved by the USEF Board of Directors to host CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced level events during the 2023-2027 competition cycle under the new Eventing Calendar Process. The Florida Horse Park has been allocated the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced levels on Week 16 and the Advanced level on Week 40.
If you take one look at Jim Moyer’s Facebook page, you will see it is filled with sweet sentiments from the lives he has touched through his work in the equine industry. Moyer’s involvement with horses began when he met his future wife Jean 50 years ago. As Jean went on to become a prominent instructor in eventing, Moyer found that their friend circle was full of horse people, so it was only natural that he should find his place in the community.
Horses and riders in 12 divisions, from Starter to CCI4*-S, tackled the show jumping phase of competition Sunday at The Event at TerraNova, over a track designed by Nick Granat in the world-class setting of the main arena. Prize money was awarded in all divisions.
USEA Official Podcast Host Nicole Brown looks back on a brilliant Maryland 5 Star with Jennie Brannigan, reflecting on her fourth-place finish and highlights of the inaugural running of the event. USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran then join Nicole to look forward to the 2021 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention which takes place in December.