Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
I will be running the Brighton Marathon in April to raise money for The Society for the Protection of Working Animals Abroad (SPANA). Why? You may well be asking yourselves. Well, as many of you may already know, I am an Environmental Forester, specialising in low impact sustainable systems of management. A vitally important aspect of this work managing woodlands is working with my team of draft horses extracting timber ("Horse logging"). My horses are my colleagues, companions, contribute to my livelihood and I believe passionately that their use in the woodlands I manage not only enriches the wooded environment but also provides a whole range of other benefits - from the provision of a low carbon foot (hoof) print to social benefits. So, given my own experience working with draft horses, I understand what it is to build and rely upon a happy, cooperative and balanced relationship with a working animal. I know that in order for my horses to be content in their work, they need me to ensure that their welfare and overall health is of paramount importance - both at work and rest. Their working harness is well fitted, comfortable and fit for purpose, they have unlimited access to clean water, good quality forage and feed and I can call upon first class veterinary, farrier, dental and physiotherapy care as and when needed. In all these elements, my working horses and me are fortunate and I could not, nor would I want to be without my horses - our lives are inextricably linked.
However, I am keenly aware that whilst my horses work hard, neither they nor me have to endure the incredible daily hardships and challenges that so many people and their animals face across the developing world. The "luxuries" afforded to me and mine, are out of reach for any number of socio-political and environmental reasons. Simply owning a mule, donkey, oxen or horse in order to transport fuel, water or goods, is as fundamentally important as having access to clean water in the first place. No mule, no water, no fuel, no income, no livelihood!!
In the past year SPANA has directly helped hundreds of thousands of animals, providing free veterinary treatment and advice for owners across Africa and the Middle East. Their work not only provides a lifeline for working animals; it also helps the thousands of people who depend on those animals for a living.
By sponsoring me to run the Brighton Marathon you will be helping working animals in the marathon journeys they often complete every day of their lives.
Thank you so much for donating whatever you can. Your support will make a difference. xxx Frankie xxx
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