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Article

An Evidence Basis for Future Equestrian Helmet Lateral Crush Certification Tests

1
School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering, University College Dublin, Belfield, 4 Dublin, Ireland
2
COMFG Ltd. (Charles Owen), Royal Works, Croesfoel Ind. Park, Wrexham LL14 4BJ, UK
3
R&D Consulting Engineers Ltd., Leeds LS17 6AF, UK
4
Vector Scientific Inc., Golden, CO 80403, USA
5
School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, 4 Dublin, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 2623; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10072623
Received: 20 March 2020 / Revised: 2 April 2020 / Accepted: 3 April 2020 / Published: 10 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Biomechanics in Sport, Rehabilitation and Ergonomy)
The aim of this study is to determine what loads are likely to be applied to the head in the event of a horse falling onto it and to determine by how much a typical equestrian helmet reduces these loads. An instrumented headform was designed and built to measure applied dynamic loads from a falling horse. Two differently weighted equine cadavers were then dropped repeatedly from a height of 1 m (theoretical impact velocity of 4.43 m/s) onto both the un-helmeted and helmeted instrumented headforms to collect primary force–time history data. The highest mean peak loads applied to the headform by the lighter horse were measured at the bony sacral impact location (15.57 kN ± 1.11 SD). The lowest mean peak loads were measured at the relatively fleshier right hind quarter (7.91 kN ± 1.84 SD). For the heavier horse, highest mean peak loads applied to the headform were measured at the same bony sacral impact location (16.02 kN ± 0.83 SD), whilst lowest mean peak loads were measured at the more compliant left hind quarter (10.47 kN ± 1.08 SD). When compared with the un-helmeted mean values, a reduction of 29.7% was recorded for the sacral impact location and a reduction of 43.3% for the lumbosacral junction location for helmeted tests. Notably, all measured loads were within or exceeded the range of published data for the fracture of the adult lateral skull bone. Current helmet certification tests are not biofidelic and inadequately represent the loading conditions of real-world “lateral crush” accidents sustained in equestrian sports. This work presents the first ever evidence basis upon which any future changes to a certification standards test method might be established, thereby ensuring that such a test would be both useful, biofidelic, and could ensure the desired safety outcome. View Full-Text
Keywords: skull fracture; dynamic crush; lateral crush; roll over; head protection skull fracture; dynamic crush; lateral crush; roll over; head protection
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MDPI and ACS Style

Connor, T.A.; Clark, J.M.; Brama, P.; Stewart, M.; Ní Annaidh, A.; Gilchrist, M.D. An Evidence Basis for Future Equestrian Helmet Lateral Crush Certification Tests. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 2623. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10072623

AMA Style

Connor TA, Clark JM, Brama P, Stewart M, Ní Annaidh A, Gilchrist MD. An Evidence Basis for Future Equestrian Helmet Lateral Crush Certification Tests. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(7):2623. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10072623

Chicago/Turabian Style

Connor, Thomas A., J. M. Clark, Pieter Brama, Matt Stewart, Aisling Ní Annaidh, and Michael D. Gilchrist 2020. "An Evidence Basis for Future Equestrian Helmet Lateral Crush Certification Tests" Applied Sciences 10, no. 7: 2623. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10072623

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