A group of equine veterinary academics led by the University of Liverpool’s Derek Knottenbelt are aiming to raise £125,000 for welfare charity SPANA.
Prof Knottenbelt is to travel through Europe and Africa by motorbike between August 22 and September 9, alongside fellow Liverpool academic Joanne Suthers.
Other members of the team – called ‘Vets with Horsepower‘ – include:
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- Josh Slater of the RVC;
- John Burford of the University of Nottingham;
- the University of Edinburgh‘s Caroline Hahn;
- the University of Helsinki‘s Michael Hewetson; and
- Edmund Hainisch from the University of Vienna.
Along the way, the team will travel through Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Morocco and Spain, and deliver lectures to eight different veterinary schools.
This is the third Vets with Horsepower challenge. Last year’s team (pictured) travelled the length and breadth of the UK, but this time, they decided to go for a much harder challenge that will see the vets cover 3,000 miles abroad.
According to the challenge’s Facebook page, the vets have already raised more than £58,000, 46 per cent of their planned grand total.
Speaking to Vetsonline, Prof Knottenbelt said: “This is without doubt the Horsepower team’s biggest and most exciting challenge yet. The vets are all raring to go and we’re hoping practices across the UK and Europe will be supporting us through donations.
“However, the challenges we face over these three weeks are totally insignificant when compared to the 24/7 challenges that face families and children and their working animals every single day of their lives in the poorest countries in the world.”
All the money raised will provide SPANA with diagnostic and surgical equipment for the charity’s veterinary clinics for working animals in Mali and Mauritania. Money will also go towards further developing the Bamako Disabled Riding Centre in Mali.
The challenge is being sponsored by Elanco Companion Animal Health, which is “delighted” to be supporting this “worthwhile initiative“.