I was very touched from Jill’s kind works of encouragement as well as enlightened about the hazards in equestrian veterinary. Please see the copied email below that bring to our attention on how being a vet is the most dangerous civilian occupation.

Dear Robin, 

I read about your work designing a fashionable polo helmet that meets modern standards, and would like to encourage you in this endeavour. 

I am leading a campaign to raise awareness and encourage equine vets and others who handle horses to wear a safety helmet, after a friend’s daughter, Bun was almost killed by a kick to the head when turning out a horse.  

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) study in 2014  showed that being a vet is the most dangerous civilian occupation, and it seems logical that vets and handlers should wear a hard hat to examine equine patients. Horse and Hound reported last year that handling accidents are known to be just as likely to be fatal as riding accidents, and so I am encouraging people to change their mindset and reach for their hat. Horses, even quiet ones, can sometimes be unpredictable. Wearing an appropriate safety hat gives an 80% chance of survival in the event of a head injury.

Attitudes can be changed, hardly anyone rides a horse, bike or even skis without a helmet nowadays, it’s just a habit, which you can quickly become accustomed to.

At the very least, we should not make others feel foolish if they chose to wear a hard hat, and fashionable hat design would help reduce the inevitable resistance that exists. 

Jill Butterworth SEBC Registered Equine Behaviour Consultant BHSAI BVetMed MRCVS

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