Lauren Sammis and Charles Owen Team Up at the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions to Raise Funds and Helmet Awareness

Crystal Gaskell (left) was awarded her Charles Owen Helmet by (from left to right) Lauren Sammis, Danielle Santos, and Al Guden. (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Gladstone, NJ (August 19, 2010) – Dressage rider Lauren Sammis, who earned a Gold Medal at the Pan American Games, awarded fellow dressage rider Crystal Gaskell with a brand new Charles Owen helmet during the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions. Gaskell, of Cazenovia, New York, won the helmet through a Charles Owen Helmet raffle, in support of the Riders4Helmets campaign started by SUCCEED, with all the proceeds from the raffle going to the USET Foundation.

“I always ride in a helmet and I was looking for a new helmet so this works out great,” said Gaskell, adding that she was extremely excited about winning the raffle. “I have a 23-year-old Dutch horse that I ride named Figaro. He did his first grand prix with my daughter when he was 21.”

Sammis, who competed at the Dressage Festival of Champions on Sagacious HF, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Al Guden of Hyperion Farm, was pleased to award Gaskell with her new helmet. A strong supporter of all riders wearing helmets, Sammis wore a helmet during the Dressage Festival of Champions, as did competitor Sue Blinks.

“Charles Owen donated the helmet in support of the Riders4Helmets campaign and to help raise awareness about helmets and safety,” said Danielle Santos, Marketing and Public Relations Manager with Charles Owen. “All of the money raised through the raffle went to support the USET Foundation. We are thankful that more riders are wearing helmets during competitions and grateful to Lauren for helping us promote helmet awareness and safety.”

Tickets for the Charles Owen Helmet raffle were sold at Sho Clothes Dressage boutiques mobile store at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions, as well as from volunteers throughout the show grounds. “We really believe riders should wear helmets and you never know when the simple act of strapping on a helmet could save your life,” said Michele Hundt, who co-owns Sho Clothes. “It was wonderful selling the raffle tickets for the Charles Owen helmet as we had the opportunity to talk to lots of people buying the tickets. There is definitely an overwhelming desire among the show community for riders to wear helmets.”

Raising awareness for helmet safety began in earnest when Olympic dressage rider Courtney King-Dye suffered a riding accident that left her in a coma for several weeks. King-Dye was not wearing a helmet at the time of her accident. “I am hoping that all riding disciplines evolve and make helmets a socially acceptable part of their show attire,” Sammis said, adding that she also schools daily in her Charles Owen helmet. “I am a huge fan of Courtney and her accident proves that accidents can happen to the best of riders, at any level, in any situation.”

For more information on Sammis, visit her website at For more information on Al Guden’s dressage horse, Sagacious HF, visit To follow Sagacious on Facebook, go to!/pages/Sagacious-HF/184288265274.

For More Information Contact:

Al Guden

Hyperion Farm, Inc


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