EQUINE PLEA: Abigail Turnbull with Grace Robbie at the fundraiser
EQUINE PLEA: Abigail Turnbull with Grace Robbie at the fundraiser

AN EQUESTRIAN centre that had to close when a highly contagious bacterial disease was discovered at their livery is continuing its efforts to help “stamp out strangles”.
Last summer Abigail and Andrew Turnbull shut their business, Richmond Equestrian Centre (REC), at Tunstall, to minimise the risk of infecting other horses when Strangles was discovered only three weeks before hosting a major event. They received negative backlash at the time of the outbreak after publicising it online but say they would make the same decision if it happened again.
After eight weeks they were given the all clear and since then have campaigned to raise awareness of the disease, and ensure any outbreaks are dealt with swiftly.
Strangles is a highly contagious upper respiratory tract infection cause by the bacteria streptococcus equi. It affects horses, donkeys and ponies of all ages, breeds and sex. They couple organised a two-day show cross event at their centre on October 10 and October 11 in collaboration with the Redwings Horse Sanctuary Stamp Out Strangles Appeal.
Mrs Turnbull said: “The event was sponsored by six different companies and REC allotted £900 in prize money. We offered a £5 discount on entry fee to competitors who have taken the pledge to help Stamp Out Strangles.”
She added since campaigning to highlight the problem of Strangles, the Redwings Horse Sanctuary has seen a big influx in pledges.
There were two days of hard-fought competition with classes from 60 to 110 with winners taking home prizes of £100 along with a goody bag and rosettes.
Mrs Turnbull said: “Our first show cross event went exceptionally well and ran very smoothly. About 150 people took part over the two days. Each were allowed one helper, but there were no spectators due to our strict Covid-19 rules. We didn’t raise money per se, but raised massive awareness by competitors taking the pledge.”
The pledge is free to take, and those who do so will receive an information pack.
Visit https://www.redwings.org.uk/strangles/make-a-pledge