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Watch free Purple Poppy concert on YouTube at 8pm tonight

A concert in aid of charities with equestrian roots will be shown live on YouTube tonight (8 June).

Former Strictly Come Dancing winner Chris Hollins will host and compere the Purple Poppy Concert as part of the War Horse Memorial’s 2020 appeal launch.

It will be free to watch and links to charities the appeal supports will be shown through the performance.

Britain’s Got Talent star, 90-year-old Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery, is among the performers and is joined by soprano Christina Jonston, actress Jenny Seagrove and others.

Captain Gary Chilton, Colin Roy and Major Craig Hallatt will also be performing.

Serving soldier and singer Captain Chilton is part of the group The Soldiers, whose albums have topped the charts.

Singer, songwriter and actor Mr Roy has had leading roles in West End theatre productions, and has toured the world with various productions, while military musician and composer Major Hallatt’s Elegy to the War Horse was produced as part of an extended play CD, and was gifted to War Horse Memorial.

“All the money we raise will go to those good causes,” said a statement from the War Horse Memorial.

“Animal charities particularly are struggling to keep afloat during these challenging times; we have to help them survive.

“After all, for centuries animals have give us service and sacrifice, love, loyalty and companionship without asking for anything in return. If ever there was a time to return the favour, we believe, this is it.”

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The hour-long virtual Purple Poppy Concert starts at 8pm tonight and is open to “all ambassadors, supporters and animal lovers”.

The Purple Poppy Appeal was first launched in 2018 in memory of the millions of horses, donkeys and mules who served and died in the First World War.

Charities supported by the initiative include the Household Cavalry Foundation, Mane Chance Sanctuary, Royal Artillery Charitable Fun, Brooke, World Horse Welfare, Edinburgh March Riding Association, Windsor & Ascot Driving Group, Blue Acre Horse Rescue & rehabilitation Centre and the Blue Cross.

To watch the concert at 8pm on 8 June, click here

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