‘No nipples or suspenders!’: brave ladies and men bare all for hospice

  • A group of riders from a Scottish livery yard have become “Calendar Girls” to raise money for a local hospice.

    The mostly middle-aged equestrians from Tannoch Stables near Cumbernauld have rallied the local community to support the project, which has already raised more than £4,000 to date.

    “We’ve never seen a fundraising calendar made up here before, and as we are a group of ladies — and a couple of men — mostly more mature in years, we wanted to do something a bit different to grab people’s interest,” said Annette MacDonald, who was the calendar’s Miss January. “There is no nipples or suspenders, it’s all very discreet and tasteful!”

    The idea for a fundraiser came from livery Claire McColl, who lost her mum to cancer and had always wanted to give back to Strathcarron Hospice, where she was cared for.

    “They provided the most beautiful and tender palliative care. They support everyone within the Lanarkshire region who is dying, if they choose to end their lives in a hospice, and it’s a truly beautiful place and very well known,” Annette said.

    “There’s more than 60 horses at Tannoch and the owner has had the yard for nearly 30 years, so there is always some kind of activity going on to support one charity or the other and plenty of people willing to join in.”

    Professional photographer Fiona Brims provided her time free for the season-themed shoots, as did trainee make-up artists from the local college.

    “We had no idea if it would be a success or not, so we contacted local companies to see if they would sponsor a page for £100 and they did, which we thought was good news as they put their money in not knowing whether their promotional piece would even be seen,” Annette said.

    Continues below…

    “Since then we’ve already been back to the printers several times to ask if more calendars could be made. We’ve even had the local Asda and Tesco say we can set up stalls to sell them.”

    The seasonal themes included a snow queen for January, skeleton horse and handler for October and a cheeky jester “who looks like he’s having his nether regions nibbled off by a horse but it is actually carrots!” for April.

    The calendars are on sale for £10, with an official pre-Christmas launch taking place at the yard on November 2. They can also be bought by deposit £10 against sort code 804671 and account  11171164 (Claire Mccoll and Louise Day).  Email postal details to pipsylass@yahoo.co.uk.  All contributions go direct to Strathcarron Hospice.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

    You may like...