Jockey head injuries, especially concussions, are common in horse racing. Current helmets do help to reduce the severity and incidences of head injury, but the high concussion incidence rates suggest that there may be scope to improve the performance of equestrian helmets. Finite element simulations in ABAQUS/Explicit were used to model a realistic helmet model during standard helmeted rigid headform impacts and helmeted head model University College Dublin Brain Trauma Model (UCDBTM) impacts. Current helmet standards for impact determine helmet performance based solely on linear acceleration. Brain injury-related values (stress and strain) from the UCDBTM showed that a performance improvement based on linear acceleration does not imply the same improvement in head injury-related brain tissue loads. It is recommended that angular kinematics be considered in future equestrian helmet standards, as angular acceleration was seen to correlate with stress and strain in the brain.
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