Roy Burek, the Managing Director of leading International Headwear Manufacturer Charles Owen was recently invited to the USEA (United States Eventing Association) Annual Convention in Portland, Oregon. 6th - 9th December 2001. Mr Burek was invited to help and advise the Safety Commitee on safety concerns and issues that the Riders currently have. The meeting was attended by many of the leading International Event Riders, including David and Karen O'Connor who later invited Mr Burek to dine with them. As Mr Burek commented "We were treated like royalty throughout the entire trip, and the opportunities that arose were unbelievable"
The proposed new ruling which was to be voted upon stated "All Eventing Competitors are required to wear an ASTM/SEI certified helmet, with chin strap secured during any jumping phases". They were asked to submit products to the Convention to prove the diversity and fit of items available. Copies of scientific studies and statistics were made available by Charles Owen, in support of the testimonials from Event Riders whose lives had been saved by certified helmets.The ruling was voted for unanimously on the Sunday evening with the full support of David and Karen O'Connor who asked that the ruling be extended to all Training Clinics and Pony Club activities. Many recently certified products have helped to improve the fit of for the diverse range of headshapes.
Charles Owen's approach to the safety of riders was warmly welcomed by the highly respected Rusty Lowe and Dr Julie Ballard of the Safety Committee: "Charles Owen is wholly committed to the equestrian athlete and we work with numerous top international Eventers to perfect our products for their sport. Currently our search for the best product is unending and we work closely worldwide with equestrian organisations to investigate accidents, so that we can measure the effectiveness of safety standards in the field and not just the laboratory"
The revised ruling is effective in 2002. As Rusty Lowe EMT - Paramedic, USEA Safety Commitee, NAEMT Member, Ass. Member AMEA, Associate Member NAEMSP quoted "It is very obvious that Charles Owen is dedicated to making our sport safer".