Riders4Helmets Campaign to be Promoted at IOC International Federations’ Medical Commission Chairpersons Meeting

Lexington, KY U.S. Equestrian Team Physician and Chair of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) Medical Council, Craig Ferrell M.D, will be attending the International Olympic Committee International Federations’ Medical Commission Chairpersons Meeting in Monaco April 6, 2011. The meeting is for international sport federation national chairmen, and is sponsored by the IOC.

Dr. Ferrell intends to provide updates during the meeting on the recent United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) helmet rule changes and progress of the riders4helmets campaign in educating equestrians on the benefits of wearing helmets. Dr Ferrell was the co-host of the Riders4Helmets Helmet Safety Symposium held January 8th, 2011 in Wellington, FL. “I think that one of the responsibilities of International Federation medical committees is to advocate for changes that make sports safer. I appreciate the website campaign of riders4helmets in the efforts to promote safety awareness. Wearing a helmet just makes good horse sense” said Ferrell.

The IOC International Federations’ Medical Commission Chairpersons Meeting is being held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Conference On Prevention Of Injury & Illness In Sport (April 7-9th) which will bring together scientists and practitioners to investigate and develop new concepts to enhance safety in sport through a beneficial cooperation.

IOC World Conference On Prevention of Injury & Illness In Sport Objectives:

1) The conference will provide the world’s leading sports medicine experts with an opportunity to present their work to an international audience of physicians, therapists, scientists and coaches.
2) The conference will present evidence-based information on how to prevent injuries and other health problems in sport. This includes a multidisciplinary perspective on epidemiology, risk factors, pathophysiology and injury mechanisms.
3) Panel discussions will conclude symposia in key areas providing recommendations on how to prevent specific injuries and health problems in each sport.

Topics of interest to the equestrian world that will be presented at the conference include:

* Sports helmets now and in the future
* Andrew McIntosh (Australia): Introduction
* Paul McCrory (Australia): Evidence base for sports helmets
* Svein Kleiven (Sweden): Biomechanics of sports head injury and helmet design
* Andrew McIntosh (Australia): Performance standards for sports helmets
* Massimo Varese (Italy): A manufacturer’s perspective on sports helmet development
* Rick Greenwald (USA): Enhancing helmet function and new technologies
* Michael Turner (UK): Equestrian helmets
Prevention of sport-related concussion and long-term effects of recurrent mild traumatic brain injury: Is research driving clinical practice?
* Michael McCrea (USA): Concussion assessment tools: Eliminating the guesswork in concussion management
* Anthony L. Petraglia (USA): Neuroprotective interventions for preventing concussions and neurodegeneration
* Steven Broglio (USA): Equipment and biomechanical considerations for concussion prevention
* Kevin Guskiewicz (USA): Athlete education and behavior modification in preventing concussion

Riders4helmets greatly appreciates Dr. Ferrell’s support of the campaign and we look forward to his review of the meeting and conference. For more information on the Riders4Helmets campaign, visit www.riders4helmets.com or contact Lyndsey White at lyndscw@hotmail.com.

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 is currently undergoing rehabilitation. Jeri Bryant donated her helmet campaign t-shirts (featuring the slogan “Strap One On–Everyone’s Doing it”) to an eBay store set up to raise funds for King Dye, and a partnership was formed, resulting in the Riders4Helmets campaign.

Photo Credit: USEF CEO John Long with Craig Ferrell, M.D.