There were many highlights of the Tokyo Olympics dressage trot-up on Friday (23 July), but many eagle-eyed individuals spotted that Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin was among just a handful of riders to wear a helmet for it.
Charlotte’s Olympic horse Gio is not known for being difficult on the ground – and behaved impeccably throughout the trot-up – but Charlotte was, nonetheless, taking no chances when it came to safety, pairing her riding hat with gloves and the rest of the sporty Team GB ensemble.
“I think it should be a rule [to wear helmets in trot-ups],” said Charlotte. “I see all these crazy horses and it’s so dangerous. I was in Rio when Cosmo reared up and hit the groom on the head, and I will never forget that sound until the day I die.
“You have one chance in life – why not just put a hat on your head? It might ruin the way you look and your hair and whatever, but for me, it’s more about my safety and that’s why I did it.”
Other riders beside from Charlotte Dujardin to don a helmet during the Tokyo Olympics dressage trot-up included Canada’s Moreira Laliberte (Statesman), Finland’s Henri Ruoste (Kontestro DB) and Switzerland’s Estelle Wettstein (West Side Story OLD). There were plenty of eye-catching outfits on display, but the majority of riders did not wear a helmet.
“It’s everyone’s choice if they want to [wear a helmet],” added Charlotte. “You might think you have a really safe horse, but it just takes that one chance. Or it just takes another horse to spin round, and buck or kick and get you.”
- Do you think riders and grooms should be required to wear a helmet when trotting up horses at international shows, or should it be left down to personal choice? Let us know your thoughts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, including your name, nearest town and county, and you might be in with the chance of winning a bottle of Champagne Taittinger
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