A group of leather-clad equine vets have set off on a motorcycle tour of epic proportions to raise money for veterinary clinics around the world.

A group of leather-clad equine vets have set off on a motorcycle tour of epic proportions to raise money for veterinary clinics around the world.

Vets with HorsepowerFollowing adventures around the UK and Ireland in 2010 and 2011, the Vets with Horsepower team are taking on Europe and North Africa on their bikes.

They hope to raise £125,000 towards veterinary care at the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad’s (SPANA) clinics for working horses, donkeys and mules in Mali and Mauritania, and support the charity’s Riding School for Disabled Children in Bamako, Mali.

On August 22, the five-strong team set off from Buckingham Palace, waved off by eminent explorer Ranulph Fiennes.  

“I’m incredibly impressed by the vets’ challenge, which is going to require both physical and mental stamina,” Sir Ranulph said.

“I wish the team the very best of luck for their fantastic cause. Millions of people in the developing world depend on working animals to make a living; therefore, when charities like SPANA provide free veterinary treatment they also help support the livelihoods of whole families too.”

Vets with Horsepower founder, and University of Liverpool lecturer, Derek Knottenbelt said: “We are incredibly grateful to Her Majesty for allowing us to start our journey from the Royal Mews, home to horses that enjoy the very best standards of equine welfare.

“We want all working animals to be as well cared for and we hope that people in the UK and at our veterinary talks abroad will donate generously to help working animals in Mali and Mauritania have a better future.”

Less than a week after they started their journey, Vets with Horsepower had raised more than £76,000.

Visit the Vets with Horsepower justgiving page to find out more about the team and to sponsor them.

Horse Vets United team
Meanwhile, enthusiastic – albeit saddlesore – colleagues in the UK have raised £11,000 towards the Vets with Horsepower cause in a single day.

In August 2012, staff from Pool House Equine Clinic, Scarsdale Veterinary Group, St George’s Vet Group, Connaught House Veterinary Group and others took part in a sponsored horse ride.

The Horse Vets United riders covered 20 miles, equating to an average daily workload for an donkey in Africa.

Pool House partner Gil Riley, who came up with the idea for the event, said: “I was delighted by the level of support, and to raise £11,000 in one day is unbelievable. It was wonderful to see vets from all the local practices pulling together to support this worthy cause.”

Colleague Richard Stephenson added: “I only intended to ride 10 miles, but was carried along by the general enthusiasm for the day and did the whole thing – I’m a bit sore now! There has been a real spirit of getting together and it was great to meet so many colleagues from across the country.”

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