A professional groom has successfully completed the biggest ever “Clipathon” – clipping a mammoth 107 horses in just 12 hours to raise funds for mental health charity MIND.
Buckinghamshire’s Katy Barr was moved to act following the tragic death of 14-year-old Bradley John, who earlier this year took his own life after being bullied. Llanelli schoolboy Bradley was a young and aspiring Huntsman, and was already well known on the hunting field as the Whipper-In of the Three Counties Bloodhounds, alongside his father.
The Big MIND Clipathon gathered together a crack team of expert grooms from across the country to raise funds while increasing awareness of an issue that has become increasingly prevalent in all sectors of society – not least in the agricultural industries, with suicide rates among farmers being some of the highest. A report released by the Office of National Statistics earlier this year showed that at least one farmer commits suicide every week in the UK alone. Shockingly, suicide is the single largest cause of death for men aged between 20 and 49 in England and Wales, and one person in 15 will make a suicide attempt at some point in their life.
The event which took place on November 3rd managed to massively beat the initial target of £2,000.
“I wanted to use my skills to run a charity event with a difference, for a cause that’s incredibly close to my heart. I can’t run, I can’t swim, and I don’t like following the norm, but I can clip horses. I’m lucky enough to know several other crazy grooms who are up for a challenge and who care about this cause as much as I do. I can’t thank them enough and together we absolutely smashed the target.”
After the untimely death of Bradley, Katy secured the blessing and support of Bradley’s family, and spent months organising the event.
“With the help of some good friends and some very generous businesses, we managed to organise a silent auction and raffle alongside the clipping. These, along with an incredibly generous donation from a charitable foundation, meant that we beat our target by more than 500%”
However, Katy urges people to keep donating to this very important cause.
“No one should ever feel alone, feel like they can’t talk their problems through or that there is no end to what’s happening to them. If we can help just one person by doing this, we’ll be happy.”
Donations are being accepted through Just Giving , or by sending a text to 70070 stating CLIP98 £ and your donation.