Charity biker vets return home from Russia

  • A group of equine vets have completed a 3,500-mile roundtrip from London to Russia on motorbikes.

    They are raising funds for the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust and the Smile Train.


    The group sets off from Royal Holloway

    The team met their leader professor Derek Knottenbelt at Royal Holloway University on 2 July, where he had give a speech at World Horse Welfare’s colloquium on working equids.

    They set off afterwards, arriving home “sore” but all in one piece on 20 July.

    The trip is the fourth organised by Professor Knottenbelt.

    He became enthused about biking after winning a Harley Davidson in a raffle, when he was 65.

    Instead of selling it he decided to learn to ride it and encouraged other vets to join him on fundraising trips.

    horsepower7Vet Jessica Kidd was one of his first converts and joined a dozen others in the 2014 trip.

    The teams travelled to St Petersberg up the Baltic states and came back via Scandinavia.

    The fundraising on the trip is bolstered by the lectures the vets give to veterinary colleges in the many countries they visited.

    Mrs Kidd’s talk was on back and neck problems in horses, there were also lectures on international diseases, colic, tendon injuries and infectious diseases.

    The team aim to raise over £100,000 for The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust and The Smile Train.

    The money raised will help build an equine treatment and educations centre in Banjul, Gambia.


    The group stopped Nyborg before crossing the border into Finland

    “We had 18 days of hardship, but the horses and people who we raise the money for have a lifetime,” said Mrs Kidd.

    The vets have raised over £380,000 since 2010 with the last trip raising funds for SPANA — H&H’s charity of the year.

    They are already planning the 2015 trip, but this time are likely to stay in the UK.

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