A freelance groom is raising funds for mental health charity MIND by aiming to clip 100 horses in 12 hours.
Katy Barr from Buckinghamshire, accompanied by nine friends, is holding “The Big MIND Clipathon” at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre on 3 November 2018.
Katy told H&H: “I first came up with the idea 18 months ago. I lost a friend to pancreatic cancer and another friend was battling aggressive breast cancer and I decided to raise funds for the cancer charity Macmillan.
“I wanted to do something original. I don’t like running and and I couldn’t swim so I thought what can I do? I know I can clip. During my first attempt last year I clipped 11 horses in 11 hours on my own. I got kicked by the ninth horse and that cut me short, but I raised £2,000 for Macmillan.”
Katy has enlisted the help of friends and is hoping to set a Guinness world record.
“I put up a post on Facebook and I was inundated with friends wanting to clip with me. We are really excited and are in the application process with Guinness.
“We will have as many sets of clippers for each person as possible plus blades. In the effort to keep going as much as we can, we want to keep clippers cool so they clip well and keep the horses comfortable,” said Katy.
“All the horses will be cross tied as we feel this is safer for them and for us clipping. With the set up we will have at Addington, the horse can be moved to a stable if they are more comfortable there.
“Each person clipping will have at least one person holding and helping them, alongside the owner. I always feel this is necessary for everyone’s safety, with eyes on the horse the whole time and keeping the horse calm and quiet.”
Katy is hoping to raise £2,000 for MIND and is holding the clipathon in memory of Bradley John, 14, who died on the 14 September, having been bullied at school.
“I thought if I was going to do this for anything, that would be the perfect cause to push towards because it’s very real and is happening right now. Everyone can be affected by loneliness and isolation,” said Katy. “In my job and in the farming and equestrian community you can spend so much time on your own. Farmers and grooms are stoic, we just keep our heads down and do our thing but it’s hard and some people cope, and some don’t.
“People think talking about it can be seen as weak so it’s making sure people realise that if you’re feeling like that it’s not a bad thing. If we save just one person and make them feel that they are not on their own and that there is someone out there who will help them that would be great,” she said.
“We want people to know someone will listen to you,” said Katy. “We want to do well and raise money for the charity, but we also really want to raise awareness and have people talking about the charity and talking to each other about how bad your day was. That’s what’s really important.
“I couldn’t be doing it without the help of friends and we are incredibly honoured and lucky to be holding the event at Addington Manor. They have given us the use of facilities free of charge – they have been so supportive of the cause and happy to help.”
Katy is actively looking for horses to be clipped on the day at Addington and owners wishing for their horses to be involved can contact The Big MIND Clipathon Facebook page. Donations to the fundraiser can be made to the JustGiving page.
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