Insurer takes to two-wheels in support of four-legged friends


NFU Mutual, the UK’s leading rural insurer, chose World Donkey Day (8 May) to announce that it will be sponsoring the ‘vets with horsepower’ initiative for a second year.

The initiative is the brainchild of Professor Derek Knottenbelt and will be the fifth ‘Vets with Horsepower’ event in which a group of equine vets take to motorbikes and deliver Continous Professional Development (CPD) courses to raise much needed funds for deserving charities.

To date, the initiative has raised almost £400,000 for charity and made a significant difference to working horses and people in some of the poorest countries in the world. This year, the initiative will be raising funds for the Gambia Horse & Donkey Trust (GH&DT).

NFU Mutual will be principal sponsor of the 2015 event in which the team of vets will be delivering a series of lectures to both veterinary surgeons and horse owners at locations in UK and Ireland. From July 2015, the rural insurer will also be opening its office doors to anyone who is able to donate unwanted tack and equipment to the GH&DT.


 The initiative this year is raising funds for the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust (GH&DT)

Talking about this year’s fundraising trip, Professor Knottenbelt said:Our objective is to raise money to equip the new Equine Clinical and Training Centre in Banjul, Gambia for the GH&DT. This centre, which is nearing completion, has been largely constructed from the proceeds of the Vets with Horsepower event in July 2014 and we would really like to be able to complete and equip the centre with the money we raise this year.

“Many working horses and donkeys in The Gambia suffer as a result of improper care, poor nutrition and poor management due to a combination of poverty, neglect and lack of knowledge. NFU Mutual has been hugely supportive of our efforts and we are delighted to have them as title sponsor this year.”

 ‘A healthy working animal in The Gambia can increase a farming family’s income by up to 500%”

Last year, more than 40 NFU Mutual offices opened their doors to the public and collected much needed equipment for the Gambia Horse & Donkey Trust as part of its ‘Gathering Goods for Gambia’ campaign. Over 1,000 items were donated including bits, bandages and head-collars and this year will see even more offices taking part in the appeal.

Nicki Whittaker, an Equine Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “As a rural insurer with its roots firmly embedded in farming, NFU Mutual fully understands the importance of working animals to farming communities around the world.

“A healthy working animal in The Gambia can increase a farming family’s income by up to 500% and so we are delighted to sponsor this initiative and open our offices for donations of items to equip the new centre.”

Dates and venues

Monday 22 June – Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Tuesday 23 June – School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin

Wednesday 24 June – Malone Suite, Beechlawn Hotel, Dunmurry

Thursday 25 June – BCF Technology Ltd, Imaging House, Strathclyde Business Park, Bellshill

Friday 26 June – Newton Rigg College, Penrith

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