Staff and students from the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science took part in the unique event in memory of a fellow vet who passed away.

Ready for the off: More than 100 people took part in the ‘Tough Farmer’ event.

The VetSoc Sutton Bonington Tough Farmer event was hosted in memory of Devonshire vet Hugh Salmon, who was a friend to a number of University of Nottingham staff members and students.

Mr Salmon was the senior vet for Endurance GB (EGB), the competitive long riding organisation, for more than eight years, in addition to working at Wolfgar Veterinary Group. Mr Salmon suffered from several cardiac conditions and despite receiving a heart transplant at Papworth Hospital in July 2014, he passed away in February 2015.

A fund-raiser spokesman said: “The support and care provided by Papworth Hospital was invaluable to Hugh, as it is to so many other families. The VetSoc Sutton Bonington Tough Farmer event was a great opportunity to fund-raise for such a worthy cause.”

More than 100 participants took part in the 5km obstacle course on May 13 to raise funds for Papworth Hospital, which is the UK’s leading hospital for heart and lung transplants. The route, which passed through local farms and the University of Nottingham Sutton Bonington Campus, included various farm-inspired obstacles. Competitors had to jump over hay bales, leap over horse jumps and wade through water to reach the finish line.

The event was a huge success and brought out the competitive spirit in many of the runners, who wanted to claim the “Toughest Farmer” title. Prizes were not only awarded for speed, but also for the best dressed, leading to many competitors being clad in cow onesies.

Team EGB sponsored the event, as Mr Salmon was such an integral part of the group. It was this contribution, along with donations from the campus hall, which enabled the event to take place. More than £200 has been collected so far, with more donations on the way.

The quirky fund-raiser also raised awareness of the importance of organ donation, with several competitors signing up to the organ donation register on the day.

“In the UK, the average wait time for a heart transplant is 441 days and, on average, 21 people die each day waiting for transplants,” a spokesman said.

“Remarkably, nine out of 10 people say they will support organ donation; however, only three out of 10 will actually sign up. For this reason, we urge you to do something amazing and sign up to the register.”

For more information about organ donation click the link:

For more information on Papworth Hospital, visit

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