© 2004-2012 Horse Tack Review
English Tack - The Hampton Hat from Charles Owen
English Riding Apparel Product Spotlight
This low profile helmet from Britain is covered with the best Italian velvet. The peak is gently rounded to flatter the face and shade the eyes. The adjustable deerskin harness is made from Pittards stay-soft leather and reinforced with nylon for additional strength, security and durability.
The Hampton is lined with luxurious gold satin and has a rich black velour headband for the utmost comfort and softness against the skin.
Certified by SEI to ASTM F1163
Available in 6 3/8 - 7 1/2
Available in Black, Navy, Brown, Green, Dove Grey and Elephant Grey.
About Charles Owen
Established in 1911 by the eponymous Charles Owen himself, the company's first product was pith helmets for the army. It wasn't long before the company diversified into helmets for motorcycle racing. It was not until 1957 when a family member started riding that Charles Owen made its first riding helmet. The resulting prototype so impressed the riding schools that the future direction of the company became clear.
Originally based in East London, it became clear that to meet demand the company would have to move outside of the London area. By 1992, Charles Owen had closed its London operations and the headquarters were now based in Wrexham in North Wales. On the company's 90th anniversary, the company expanded into a £1.5m purpose built factory at Croesfoel, Wrexham, and the workforce has now grown to over 80.
With the introduction of a new range of high performance equestrian helmets, came the opportunity of supplying North America. With the wave of interest from top trainers and riders, it was necessary in 2002 to open a new sales office and warehouse to service North America and Canada. With its partner distributors in Ireland, Scandinavia, Germany Italy and Australia, Charles Owen helmets are available all around the world.
The business is still family owned and run by Roy Burek, the Grandson of the founder, however this was not always his intention. He had originally joined Proctor and Gamble on a management training scheme after leaving Oxford university with a Chemistry degree. Roy changed his mind when his father who was approaching retirement age put the business up for sale.
“Running your own business was never going to be an easy option. Knowing that what you do can save lives makes up for all the hard work.”
Today the business is focused on supplying the best quality products for the equestrian athlete. Safety is always a top priority in the design and manufacture of our hats. The secret has been to combine the highest level of safety with style and aesthetic good looks. Too often brands out source the control of the production to third party offshore manufacture. Charles Owen has invested in state of the art manufacturing facilities in North Wales which are rigourously inspected by both SEI and BSI. Combining the rigours of in process quality control with frequent independant testing guarantees every rider a first quality product everytime.
It was a natural progression to start manufacturing Body Protectors, once national standards were in place. In the beginning many body protector brands were manufactured by small companies. With Charles Owen, riders can now expect products that are now being made to the same exacting standards of quality as their helmet.
Charles Owen is very proud to work with other top quality International brands. In recent years we have teamed up with the specialist glove manufacturer from Germany, Roeckl Handschuhe GmbH and Company, and the specialist riding footwear manufacturer from Italy, Sergio Grasso.
“By specialising in making High Quality items, we have found the key to success”, said managing director, Mr Roy Burek. “We are an integral part of the growing sport and pastime of horse riding. We design our own products and we help to set the international safety standards. We are continually researching riding accidents, and most importantly we speak to the actual riders themselves, juniors and seniors both riding at local and international level”.