HRH The Princess Royal congratulates Grass Sickness fundraisers
Back in the summer one intrepid EGS survivor, the indomitable Candyfloss & her owner Leanne MacDonald set off on a 300 mile adventure across Scotland to raise awareness & funds for Grass Sickness research. Last week they were recognised for their achievements by EGSF Patron HRH Princess Anne who was intrigued to know more about their epic journey. Team Candyfloss’s wingman Gina Duff was also presented to The Princess Royal. Gina not only rallied ‘Candy’s Army’ during the walk but also organised her own very successful Black Isle Pleasure ride, raising several thousand pounds in memory of her 2 year old home bred Aero who was lost to grass sickness in 2011.
Perthshire cousins Jean and Carol Oudney are also no strangers to EGS since losing 4 year old Clydesdale Sykes to EGS in 2009. Wanting to do something to help find the cause of the disease the duo decided to organise a show and the Scottish Grass Sickness Show was born. Since the inaugural event in 2010 the show, held in Blairgowrie on the first Sunday of June, has raised over £13,000 and has grown to become one of the best loved shows in the showing calendar. We were delighted that Jean and Carol made the journey down to Edinburgh to meet The Princess Royal.
The Royal (Dick) Vet has a special interest in grass sickness, not only working at the cutting edge of research but also nursing the many chronic cases that pass through their doors. The EGSF part-funded Grass Sickness Nurse, Douglas Callaghan, co-ordinates the nursing programme and acts a source of advice for owners across the UK. Grooms Jennifer McLelland and Aileen Anderson, who provide much of the day to day nursing, were honoured to come and meet Princess Anne as representatives of the Dick Vet.
These wonderful fundraisers and grooms are just a few of a huge army of people who work so hard to help us advance research into grass sickness. Unfortunately it was not possible to invite you all to meet The Princess Royal, but in our hearts you were all present and we are truly thankful. Without your help there would not have been a fraction of the advances that have been made in recent years, and we are inching slowly and surely towards the answers that will one day consign the disease to history.