Friday, April 23, 2010
A gravitational shift at Rolex, courtesy of one courageous iconoclast named Allison Springer
Pro: might save your life, or better--prevent a devastating, permanent NONfatal head injury.
Con: umm, you will have helmet hair
Yes, I'm aware that things can happen, especially with horses, that helmets won't protect you from. Yes, I'm aware that just walking down the street has its hazards. But please reference the list of "cons" above. So??? No-brainer, pardon the pun.
Eventers are probably farther along than most groups of riders in terms of wearing helmets, but something that's puzzled and completely irritated the hell out of me for years is the "fashion" of putting on fake helmets for dressage, awards ceremonies, and other times when helmets are not strictly mandated.
Yes, I'm aware that most riders don't, in fact, wear helmets. And on that topic I can only muse on the veracity of the old axiom that "there's no cure for stupid" and on Darwin.
So today at Rolex, the premier competition in our sport, and its pinnacle on American soil, a singular and unprecedented shift in the gravitational field of the "world" of horse sports occurred, in the unassuming person of one Allison Springer, a lovely rider who is knocking on the door of greatness. What she did was throw tradition and "fashion" to the spring breeze and trot down the center line wearing an approved helmet, defying the (literally) centuries-old tradition of wearing a bowler or top hat. An anachronistic relic that has long since needed retiring if there ever was one!
Doesn't she look great? And to emphasize how much dressage judges do NOT care about what's on top of your head, she is solidly in second place in a large field. I'm rooting for her to win, although she has already achieved a gigantic victory in my book and a singular place in the eventing pantheon. Brava!