My life changed dramatically in 2004. After my horse took an accidental fall during competition, which knocked both he and I out, I was left in a coma for 10 days, had paralysis on my right side for 3 weeks and suffered from short term memory loss.
While in Methopdist Rehabilitation, my husband and I were watching NACAR on TV and there were big, burly men giving interviews on TV. I had jockeyed horses on the unofficial tracks when I was smaller and knew the death/injury rate had dropped to under half when required for ALL mounted horsepersons to wear a helmet. So, I knew the statistics. In 2005, I contacted Troxel, in order to heighten awareness for horsepersons.
I am back training and competing, along with promoting helmet usage. I compete in Mississippi National Barrel Horse Association District 5. I am proud to see many people taking the sport to the next level. I think the growth in helmet usage is a statement on the respect the riders are giving to their animals ability.
For 2009 year end placings and awards, ALL of the youth high point winners (which won saddles) were helmet wearers. The winners were Jaci Montgomery, 1D. Lauren Powell, 2D. Mackenzie Richardson, 3D. Blake Barnard, 4D. Winners for the Open 1D were also helmet wearers, they were: Jaci Montgomery and Erin Miller.