IRH Helmets Joins Fundraising Efforts for Kevin Babington

Photo © The Book LLC

On August 30th during a qualifying class at the Hampton Classic Horse Show, 51 year old Irish Olympian, Kevin Babington suffered a catastrophic fall from his mount, Shorapur, severely injuring his spinal cord. On Tuesday September 3rd, Babington underwent a five-hour surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center to stabilize the bones in his neck. According to his wife, Dianna, he is out of the cervical collar and hopes to soon come off the ventilator but is yet unable to walk or speak. 

The type of injury sustained by Kevin can ultimately destroy a family financially. It’s too soon to know if he suffered permanent paralysis, but Babington is optimistic, holding out hope that the swelling in his spinal cord and soft tissue will decrease. Kevin did not sever his spinal cord but damaged it in a way that can still cause total paralysis. According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, an average estimate for the cost of complete quadriplegia for the first year alone is $1,064,716. During each subsequent year of the patient’s life, quadriplegia results in about $184,891 in costs. Someone who suffered quadriplegia at the age of 50 will require $2,596,329 in costs. 

With this in mind, Jill Rappaport, an award winning animal advocate and best selling author, best known as a correspondent on NBC, reached out to her close personal friend, IRH Helmets CEO, Frank Plastino to collaborate on fund-raising efforts and to work together with safety research specialists to develop new products that will hopefully one day aide in preventing these types of injuries from occurring. 

Frank and Jill have created a fundraising initiative that sees a portion of proceeds from the direct sale of each IRH helmet going to the Kevin Babington Foundation. “I am so proud to partner with IRH on this heartfelt initiative to help Kevin and his family during this devastating time, says Rappaport. It is our hope that together we can take rider safety to the next level.” 

“It is our honor at IRH not only to have this joint venture with one of the country’s leading animal advocates as Jill is, but to also be in a position to invest the time needed to research new possibilities to protect riders in the future, while helping Kevin Babington right now.” Plastino adds. “We’re asking our IRH community to band together in this effort, with a purchase of a new IRH helmet we at IRH can make direct monetary donations to one of the funds created to help Kevin and his family in this time of great need. 

For more information please contact Frank Plastino at IRH Helmets or visit us on the web at