SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials links up with Headway Oxfordshire

Headway Oxfordshire has been named as the nominated charity for this year’s SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials. 

Headway Oxfordshire is an independent local charity that supports anyone in the county affected by an acquired brain injury (ABI). It runs an Activity and Rehabilitation Centre in Oxford and provides a wide range of support services within the community.

The partnership between Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, which takes place 13th-17th September, and Headway Oxfordshire will provide an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of equestrian safety and of ABI.

Headway Oxfordshire’s CEO Jamie Miller said: “We firmly believe that life should be experienced to the full. Activities involving risk are a fundamental part of what makes life exciting and worthwhile. We also believe that such activities should be practised safely and responsibly. Riding carries a number of health risks and it is crucial that riders are aware of how to stay safe.  

“We have supported a number of people whose brain injuries were due to riding horses and we currently have one such service user attending our centre. However, we have never done any wider work relating to equestrianism. We will be working with a number of highly inspirational riders who have themselves suffered an ABI who have later returned to the sport.”

Headway Oxfordshire’s plans for the event include:

  • exhibitions on equestrian safety and on the work of Headway Oxfordshire
  • panel discussions and talks around safety, equestrianism and ABI
  • offering a range of activities for children, such as competitions to design safety posters and to design and decorate a riding hat
  • organising drop-in hat fitting and safety sessions in association with event sponsors Charles Owen and Townfields Saddlers
  • organising a number of behind-the-scenes guided course walks
  • running a charity lunch, auction and raffle.

Hat manufacturers Charles Owen will be working with Headway during the event.

“Charles Owen is proud to support SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials as it chooses Headway Oxfordshire as the official event charity for 2017,” commented Roy Burek, Managing Director of Charles Owen. “We look forward to greater awareness of head injury in sport so that riders can more effectively protect themselves in case of a fall and therefore enjoy their rides more.”

Photo; credit Adam Fanthorpe/Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.

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