‘It did its job’: rider credits hat for saving her life

  • A rider knocked unconscious in a fall has credited her helmet for saving her life.

    Stafforshire-based show rider Victoria Leavesley was schooling a pony at home on 6 January when he fell and landed on her.

    She was knocked unconscious and had a seizure before being taken to hospital by ambulance.

    “My hat is now broken and no use at all, but thankfully the MRI scan of my skull, brain and neck was clear,” Victoria said. “It has done its job and saved my life.”

    Thankfully Victoria escaped the fall without breaking any bones.

    She was wearing a Gatehouse HS1 helmet.

    “My injuries could have been much worse without a hat on,” she said.

    “I’ve nevet got on a horse without a hat. Safety is the utmost importance for me.

    “Young riders want to fit in with everybody else, so it’s worrying when you see videos of people riding in caps.

    “It’s very silly when people try to belittle [wearing hats] and think it’s not cool.”

    Victoria shared news of her fall on social media to promote hat safety.

    “The response I’ve had has been amazing,” she said.

    “I’ve had strangers completely supporting me and sharing their own stories — I feel really honoured.”

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    Victoria is now recovering at home.

    “I’m getting better every day,” she added.

    “The neurosurgeon thinks it will take me six months to fully recover. I’m taking each day as it comes.”

    A spokesman for Gatehouse said the company wished Victoria a full and speedy recovery.

    “Rider safety is obviously our key focus and we applaud Victoria for sharing her story and drawing attention to the far-reaching effects of a serious head trauma.

    “We sincerely hope that it might convince others to follow her lead and always wear appropriate safety wear when riding a horse.

    With such a wide choice of lightweight and comfortable riding helmets on the market, it is hard to think of an argument against protecting this vital part of our anatomy.”

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