A global campaign to promote the use of protective headgear while riding has been launched by the governing body of horsesport, the FEI.

The campaign, which was set up in December 2012, is mainly be conducted online and will include “strong visuals reminding athletes of the importance of safety, and particularly of helmet use”. The emails will be sent on a regular basis throughout 2013.

The campaign supports the new rule — which came in to effect on 1 January 2013 — making the use of properly fastened protective headgear mandatory while riding on showgrounds at FEI events.

A spokesman from the FEI said: “The helmet rule, which was unanimously adopted by the FEI General Assembly in 2011, is a significant step forward towards the better protection of our athletes.”

US dressage rider, Courtney King-Dye, who suffered a traumatic brain injury when a horse she was riding tripped, added: “While you can’t control what people do at home, the new rules can control what people do at shows and this will go a long way to create good habits.”

For more information about the campaign visit: www.fei.org.