Pippa Funnell’s Champion Ventair inspected by our safety experts

We’re delighted to see that Pippa Funnell was back in action at Rockingham International last weekend, after her bad fall at Withington Manor Horse Trials at the start of May which resulted in her withdrawing from Badminton Horse Trials. Pippa’s Champion Ventair helmet was sent back to our safety experts at our factory in Cardiff for inspection and this is what we found…


Ventair Deluxe Navy jockey  helmet  size 6 7/8 involved in fall returned for inspection.

Dear Pippa

We all at Champion hope you are on the mend after your fall?

Thank you for allowing us to inspect your hat. As you know we carry out extensive testing both in house and at the British Standards (BSI) but we can learn a lot more from hats such as yours that have been involved in real life accident situations.

The above hat produced in our Cardiff factory as part of Batch 10 in June 2015 was inspected for damage and report is as follows.

From the outside there are few signs hat had been involved in a fall apart from the small area on the Right side above the eye where the paint has come away from the shell.

Upon removal of head lining from the shock absorbing polystyrene liner it is plain to see that this hat has been involved in a high impact accident.  The polystyrene liner has been slightly reduced in thickness at the front right temple area, but more significant damage to the liner has occurred 50mm above this where it has been crushed between your head and the shell having made contact with a firm surface, there is a crack in the polystyrene approximately 70mm long.  (See Photographs).

Once again thank you for returning your hat for inspection we hope you are making a fast recovery and will be back in the saddle shortly.

Best regards

Tony Palkowski

Technical Eng.

Champion Manufacturing (SH) Ltd


What this inspection once again goes to show is that even if there is little outward sign of damage, your helmet should always be replaced if it has been involved in a fall. Pippa’s Champion Ventair did its job well, absorbed a considerable impact and helped protect her from more extensive injuries.

Always be safe rather than sorry – if in doubt, replace your helmet!