Monday, June 08, 2009

Helmets mandatory for young horse riders

Reported by: Katie Brace
Email: kbrace@wptv.com
Contributor: WPTV staff
Last Update: 5:41 pm

LOXAHATCHEE, FL – For the Hornstein family watching a group of horseback riders with helmets brings some comfort. A new law, named in their daughter’s memory, will soon require helmets for kids riding horses.

Their daughter, Nicole, did not have one on when she was thrown from a horse and killed.

Gary Hornstein, Nicole’s father, says,”There's no margin for error. Nicole did not have a second chance. It happened once and it was horrific."

Motivated by their pain, the Hornsteins made it their mission to mandate helmets for kids.

"It had to be done no questions asked,” says Gary Hornstein.

When Nicole died three years ago, she was riding a friend’s horse down the road. The horse stumbled and Nicole hit the pavement. She was just twelve year old.

For the past two years, her family has been relentless in their pursuit of preventing a similar tragedy.

Gary Hornstein says, "She went through things no man woman or child should go for and all for a helmet."

Monday their efforts were realized. Governor Charlie Crist came to Loxahatchee to sign a new law in Nicole’s name.

Governor Charlie Crist says, "I give all the credit to the family."

“Nicole’s Law” requires children under the age of sixteen to wear a helmet while horseback riding on a public road. The law goes into effect October first. If a child is not wearing a helmet, the person responsible faces a 500 dollar fine.

Monique Hornstein, Nicole’s mother, says, "We're just grateful, grateful. We love her every day."