Horse Rangers launch appeal for grass sickness horse

  • A fundraising campaign has been set up to pay the vet fees of one of the most popular horses at The Horse Rangers Association (Hampton Court).

    Retired policehorse Aries (pictured) is in intensive care at Liphook Equine Hospital in Hampshire where he’s being treated for chronic grass sickness.

    Grass sickness is a debilitating disease that was first seen in horses in Angus, Scotland around 1907 and remains one of equine science’s great unsolved mysteries.

    It causes damage to parts of the nervous system which control involuntary functions, producing its main sign – gut paralysis.

    Despite decades of research, the cause is still unknown. Although the way it attacks the nervous system, and the fact that it is not contagious, suggests some kind of toxin is involved.

    Aries, a 19-year-old grey gelding has been with the Horse Rangers since September 2004 when he retired from The Metropolitan Police Authority.

    Stable manager, Theresa Barratt, said: “Aries is one of our stars – as well as giving lessons, as part of our horse management, he leads our musical ride display team”.

    The members and volunteers at the charity are raising funds to pay for his hospital fees.

    To donate, click here.

    The Horse Rangers Association (Hampton Court) is a charity that teaches young children to ride and look after horses.

    More than 400 members attend each week, including those with special needs.

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