Draft horse enthusiast, Daisy Sadler, 73, has reached the half way point of her epic 1,000-mile journey in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity, at the iconic Kelpies monument in Falkirk, Scotland.
Daisy’s arduous journey from Banbury to Falkirk and back, using a Gypsy top waggon and her two faithful Belgium draft horses is to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity. Inspired by the tragic story of Imogen Whitby, a two-year-old who died of a brain tumour in January 2017, Daisy is hoping to raise £10,000 for the charity who receive no government funding and rely entirely on donations. Brain tumours are currently the biggest cancer killer of children and under-40s in the UK.
Daisy, who has been travelling roughly 50 miles a week via the UK’s minor road network, left Banbury, Oxfordshire on the 22nd April and expects her trip to take a total of five months to complete. Daisy’s horses, Olive, 13 and half-brother Arthur, 11 weigh nearly two tonnes between them and have lived with Daisy since they were imported from Germany in 2013. The Belgium draft horse, also known as Brabant, is one of the strongest of the heavy horse breeds and able to pull tremendous weights.
Daisy, who lives just outside Banbury, Oxfordshire, has been involved in draft horses since the early 1990s, and currently runs Sydney’s Exploditions, a horse and carriage service for the North Oxfordshire area, available for special occasions, such as weddings, village fetes and children’s birthday parties. www.sydsplods.co.uk
The Kelpies are 30-metre-high horse head sculptures, designed by Andy Scott, as a monument to horse powered heritage across Scotland.
The name comes from the mythological transforming beasts possessing the strength and endurance of ten horses, while the sculptures themselves represent the lineage of the heavy horse in Scottish industry and economy; pulling the wagons, ploughs, barges and coal ships that shaped the geographical layout of the Falkirk area.
The Kelpies opened to the public in 2013, with nearly one million visitors in the first year, at the time Scott said: “The original concept of mythical water horses was a valid starting point for the artistic development of the structures.” He also said that he “took that concept and moved with it towards a more equine and contemporary response, shifting from any mythological references towards a socio-historical monument intended to celebrate the horse’s role in industry and agriculture as well as the obvious association with the canals as tow horses”.
According to Scott the result is: “Water-borne, towering gateways into The Helix, the Forth and Clyde Canal and Scotland, translating the legacy of the area into proud equine guardians.”
Geraldine Pipping, The Brain Tumour Charity’s Director of Fundraising, said: “All of us at The Brain Tumour Charity were deeply moved by Imogen’s story and by her parents’ determination to help others following their terrible loss. It is a fierce reminder of why we must find a cure for brain tumours, which kill more children in the UK than any other form of cancer. We are hugely grateful to Daisy for raising awareness and vital funds for brain tumours, so that young lives are saved, and more families are spared the heartache caused by this devastating disease.”
Followers can track Daisy’s progress via Facebook (search Syds Plods Goes North) and donate to the Imogen Whitby Fund via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sydsplodsgoesnorth or by texting ‘SYDS73’ followed by the donation amount (i.e. SYDS73 £5) to 70070.
Since its inception The Brain Tumour Charity has committed £35.6 million to pioneering research and has been instrumental in reducing childhood diagnosis times from 13 weeks to just 6.5 weeks through ‘HeadSmart’ it’s UK-wide national symptom awareness campaign: www.thebraintumourcharity.org