by Henrietta Coole
An impressive line-up of US organizations have come on board to help sponsor EquiMania! at the upcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. Equine Guelph’s travelling youth education display has been invited by the Games to be the anchor tenant in the Kids Zone at the 16-day international event this fall, marking the first time the 5,500 lb. exhibit will cross international borders.
EquiMania! will debut a helmet fitting demonstration, “Use Your Head – Wear a Helmet”, featured in the safety area of the exhibit. Not only will kids go on a scavenger hunt to find dangers on a mock horse farm, but they will learn about the importance of wearing a helmet when riding and how to properly fit one.
“Nearly a third of horse riding and handling injuries admitted to UK HealthCare’s Trauma Center involve an injury to the head. Wearing an approved, well-fitting helmet is the best preventive action equestrians can take to reduce the likelihood of a serious brain injury,” says Bill Gombeski, SaddleUP SAFELY program coordinator. “We’re thrilled to be part of this international partnership that leverages an opportunity at the Games to teach kids how to ‘use their heads’!”
“We just can’t believe the reception EquiMania! is receiving from organizations in the States,” says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. “It just shows that when it comes to educating youth in our industry, it doesn’t matter where we’re from. We just care about kids and horses.”
EquiMania! will be located in the Carriage House, centrally located at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The Games, to be held from September 25 – October 10, 2010, are the world championships of the eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). Held outside of Europe for the first time, the 16-day competition involving 600 riding competitors and 700 horses from more than 60 countries is expected to be attended by as many as 600,000 spectators and viewed on television by an international audience exceeding 460 million.