Farmers and riders bare all, with horses’ help, to support brain tumour research

  • Farmers and riders, accompanied by horses, dogs and a vintage Land Rover, stripped down to the altogether to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.

    With nothing but riding boots and farming equipment to spare their blushes, 84 men and women from Devon bared all for the charity calendar after a member of their community was diagnosed with the condition.

    Photographer Cat Down, who took the pictures and also starred in one herself, said: “A friend, Rory Biggins, came up with the idea of the naked calendar during the August bank holiday and a week later he was finding sponsors and recruiting models while I was organising groups of nude farmers in different countryside locations from Sidmouth to Tavistock. It was quite the experience!

    “I decided I would take my own kit off so I knew how it felt to pose naked in front of the camera; naturally, I posed with a camera. It’s an experience I don’t wish to repeat, but when photographing for the calendar I had extra empathy and connection with the people involved.”

    Picture by Cat Down

    Cat added that one picture was taken near a main road, so there were “a few people tooting their horns as they drove past”.

    She added: “I also remember a few of the farmers couldn’t take their riding boots off. They would normally be wearing jodhpurs, which gives the boot some friction to slide them off, but because of the bare skin, it created a vacuum, so that made us laugh for a while on the day. I have to say it was also the biggest range of tan-lines I’ve ever seen.

    “It was a great giggle and all of us really wanted to do it for such an important cause.”

    Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer but historically, 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to the condition.

    Brain Tumour Research community development manager Melanie Tiley said: “When we heard that farmers across Devon were posing naked for a calendar, we never imagined there’d be so many people willing to help and the props have been used in a very creative way. It’s inspiring to see them join together as a community to find a cure for the disease.”

    The calendar is available online and all proceeds go to Brain Tumour Research.

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