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GLADYS, Va. – Oct. 18, 2021 –The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) leadership announced that Helite Equestrian Airbag Systems joined their roster of premier sponsors as the Official Safety Vest of the IHSA. Helite offers a wide range of airbag systems to protect equestrians of all disciplines and is the world leader with over 150,000 sold in 43 countries.

“We are so pleased to add this wonderful brand to our family of sponsors,” said IHSA Executive Director Peter Cashman. “The safety of our membership is a top priority. We are proud to partner with the leader in individual protection equipment and airbag technology.”

Helite airbags offer optimal protection in case of an unwanted dismount. In case of a fall, the airbag vest inflates before impact. Helite products are easy to use and are reusable after a fall.

Helite has two models of Airbags; The Airjacket and the Zip'In2.

The Airjacket is for any discipline but is recommended for cross-country. It can be worn over any garment. It is fully adjustable.

The Zip’In2 Airbag may be worn alone or integrated into Helite compatible garments. Helite also has partners like Equiline, Lotus Romeo, Dada Sport and Oscar and Gabrielle by Freejump that offer compatible clothes. Not only are the products safe, but they are also light, comfortable and attractive. New compatible products are being developed and will be available soon.

Helite offers a variety of compatible garments that can be worn over the airbag. The AirJump is the compatible show jacket that can be zipped over the Zip’in2 airbag, making it almost invisible. This elegant show jacket is waterproof, machine washable and wrinkle-free. Simply hang it to dry. The breathable technical fabric is light and stretchy. It comes in an array of sizes to fit women and children from child large to XXL.

The Airshell Gilet and the Prestige are two sleeveless options that help protect the airbag in style. Also waterproof and stretchy, the vests are made out of high-quality materials and offer color options.

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How the Helite Airbag System works.
When the saddle strap is securely installed, simply connect the lanyard when mounted. In the event of a fall, the system activates when the lanyard detaches from the vest and triggers the mechanism. The piston releases to puncture the CO2 cartridge and deploys in less than 100 milliseconds (faster than the blink of an eye). The airbag is designed to absorb the impact and stabilize the upper body from head to tailbone, protecting the cervical vertebrae and vital organs. The Helite airbag contains a high volume of air and can support up to one ton (1000Kg). To reuse, simply reset the lanyard, install a new canister and jump right back in the saddle.

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What it protects.
Helite airbags offer a comprehensive protection area from head to tailbone:

- Support for the cervical vertebrae and head. The deployment of the neck brace blocks     the movement of the head and prevents whiplash.
- Rigidification of the trunk to stabilize the vital organs: thorax, lungs, pancreas, abdomen, stomach and liver.
- Complete protection of the spinal column.
- Kidney and hip protection. The trunk is maintained to resist hyper-flexing.

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Helite was founded in 2002 by Gérard Thevenot, a French engineer who specializes in fluid mechanics and is passionate about light aeronautics (ULM, hang gliders, paramotors). The high accident rate in these sports led him to look for pilot protection solutions, so a first patent was filed for individual protection airbags.

As airbag technology applies to all high-risk activities, Helite has become an expert in this field, dedicating itself exclusively to developing individual protection systems.

"My priority is the quality of innovation for better protection," Thevenot said.
Growing numbers of top riders from all equestrian disciplines are discreetly protecting themselves from injury with Helite Airbag Systems. As part of the IHSA member benefits program, Helite will offer special pricing to IHSA members and member teams.