Equipment Win

WIN – Have you checked your hat for damage recently? – now closed

It is always drilled into us by manufacturers, riding clubs and instructors that we should check our hats regularly and also replace them after a fall that involved a head impact, BUT in reality when was the last time you actually checked your hat for damage? I bet you’re struggling to remember.


At first glance the hat looks fine

A few weeks ago I was sat in our tea room with a fellow livery at the yard who happened to have her hat without the silk on sitting on the table. At first glance the hat looked absolutely fine but then we looked a bit closer and were shocked to see just how damaged it was. This was a hat which had never been involved in a fall but yet it was covered in hair line cracks most likely from being dropped.

Needless to say the hat has now been binned but not before I took some photos.

On closer inspection the cracks are clearly visible

On closer inspection the cracks are clearly visible

Although the hair line cracks look minor they mean the structural integrity of the shell has been compromised and in the event of a heavy fall the impact will not be properly absorbed which could lead to head injuries which could otherwise have been prevented.

So to encourage you to check your hat and hopefully protect your heads we have partnered up with one of our great supporters Champion to run an exciting competition! They have also written a great article on just this subject showing the damage sustained to the hat worn by Oliver Townend during his nasty fall at Rolex in 2010. Although his hat looked fine on initial inspection (it wasn’t even cracked) it was actually seriously damaged but thankfully Oliver’s head was not. To read the article and see photos illustrating the damage please click this link.

To enter you now only need complete the below form, we had originally wanted to see your damaged hats but apparently you are all far too well behaved and have been throwing away your hats at any sign of damage! One lucky reader drawn at random from the entries will win a Champion Ventair hat which will be professionally fitted by Champion at Badminton Horse Trials 2013.

A circular 'impact' mark is faintly visible.

A circular ‘impact’ mark is faintly visible.

Please note you must be able to attend Badminton Horse Trials 2013 on one of the main competition days (Thursday-Monday) at your own expense in order for the hat to be presented and correctly fitted. You must also be willing to partake in publicity photographs. In the unlikely event of Badminton being cancelled alternative fitting arrangements will be arranged to ensure you are provided with a correctly fitting hat. In the event that you win and are unable to attend Badminton you have the option to donate the prize to a friend or family member or otherwise it will be redrawn.


You could win a brand new Champion Ventair just like this one.

You could win a brand new Champion Ventair just like this one.

A bit more information on the Champion Ventair helmet that you can win!

Worn and trusted by many of the world leading event riders, the Champion Ventair Helmet is certified to PAS 015 and BSEN 1384. Featuring a design registered ventilated airflow system that is styled to increase airflow and to help keep your head cool, the Ventair system features a uniquely tailored harness for complete stability and security. Like all Champion hats and helmets, the Ventair offers further safety reassurance by carrying the BSI Kitemark, guaranteeing you that it will comfortably outperform the four main areas of testing: penetration, shock absorption, harness strength and stability.

Colours:           black, pink, navy or silver

Sizes:               6¼ – 7¾

To enter please fill out the below form. We would also love to see photos of your hat if it turns out to be damaged, please email any photos to .

This competition has now closed. Our winner has been drawn and has been emailed. Please check your email to see if you are the lucky winner.


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  • It’s something I don’t think of doing with my hat I hardly ever take the silk off. When I get to the stables tomorrow I will look and see what mine is like . Good to read the story about the woman with the hat it just brings it home how easily they can be damaged even though it was not in a fall just a small drop could damage it.

  • Again its not a thing i check , The amount of times i have fallen off it wouldn’t surprised me to see home damage,Working with youngsters i really think i should check it 🙂 Thanks for the advice

  • so glad you opened this comp up to us all, i went like a little sheep to examine and take a pic of the old retired hat to discover i’d retired it to the bin last year!

  • Bumped mine the other day cross country training, it still looks like new but ideally should replace it, would love to win one!