Model unveils stunning hat at Royal Ascot in bid to highlight horse rider deaths.
The British Horse Society is today (14 June) launching #hathairdontcare, a social media campaign highlighting the importance of wearing a safe horse riding hat.
The hat will be revealed at Royal Ascot to mark the campaign launch, ahead of Ladies Day on Thursday 16 June.
By law, horse riders do not have to wear a riding hat. The BHS are asking all riders to put their safety first by donning a hat that meets EU safety standards while horse riding – no matter how much it messes up their hair.
Jockeys and famous faces will be asked to support the campaign at Royal Ascot by posting their own #hathairdontcare selfie.
A spokesperson for The British Horse Society said: “Whilst it isn’t law to wear a hat when riding, we are urging all riders to make sure they always wear a safe hat. People might think it isn’t cool or that it will mess up their hair; but wearing a hat can make the difference between life and death.
Top event rider Polly Williamson, who was placed in an induced coma when she suffered a near-fatal fall in December 2011, is supporting the campaign. The former European riding champion said: “I know all too well the importance of ensuring your riding hat is safe, and I know the jockeys riding at Royal Ascot will do too. Without my hat, I don’t know if I would be here today – it’s as simple as that.
“My advice to horse riders is to always check that your hat is included in current safety rules; it could save your life.”
Following the campaign launch, the BHS will be asking horse riders to post their own #hathairdontcare selfie on social media and nominate their friends to do the same to drive greater awareness of riding hat safety.
Generously donated to the charity by Patey Hats, the unusual design has been created by staff at the BHS and is sure to turn heads at the race meeting. The model, Lucy Conn, is a BHS member of staff and is wearing a Forever Unique dress.
James Bebbington, CEO of Patey Hats, said: “We are committed to safety and delighted to support The British Horse Society’s riding hat safety campaign. The Patey Protector hat we donated looks fantastic today and we hope it will raise greater awareness of such an important issue.”