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Motorcycling vet has horsepower as she crosses Europe

Sanne Wilmink

Sanne Wilmink

Sanne Wilmink prepares for the epic motorbike ride

Sanne Wilmink prepares for the epic motorbike ride

Press release issued: 17 August 2012

A veterinary surgeon from the University of Bristol is preparing to embark on a motorbike ride across Europe to raise funds for the care of animals living in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Sanne Wilmink, who works as a Clinical Training Scholar in Equine Internal Medicine, is in a team of five vets who will be setting out on the fundraiser from the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, home to Her Majesty The Queen’s carriage horses.

The team, called Vets with Horsepower, will be setting off on Wednesday [22 August] and riding across Europe to visit various veterinary schools in return for donations to international animal charity SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad).  Sanne will be riding with the team until they reach the Netherlands. 

They are aiming to raise £125,000 from the challenge to help SPANA provide more free veterinary treatment for working horses, donkeys and mules in Mali and Mauritania. 

Sanne, who has never taken part in a sponsored motorbike ride before, said: “SPANA’s veterinary clinics are doing such an important job in Mali and Mauritania, where people depend on their animals to earn a living. 

“I’d be incredibly grateful for any sponsorship as we’re aiming to raise £125,000 for SPANA to fund their veterinary clinics, as well as support the charity’s disabled riding centre for children in Bamako, Mali.”

The Vets with Horsepower team can be sponsored by visiting


Further information


SPANA is the charity for the working animals of the world. We provide free veterinary care to hardworking horses, donkeys, mules and camels in some of the world’s poorest countries, helping not only the animals but the families that depend on them to make a living too. We improve the welfare of working animals in three ways: free veterinary treatment, education and training, and emergency response. Founded in 1923 by a British mother and daughter, the charity now provides almost 400,000 treatments to working animals in developing countries every year.

Vets with Horsepower

Vets with Horsepower was founded in 2010 by a group of leading equine veterinary surgeons with a love of motorcycles. The team is aiming to raise £125,000 on their 3,000 mile tour across Europe and into North Africa to fund SPANA’s veterinary clinics for working animals in Mali and Mauritania, and support the charity’s Disabled Riding Centre for children in Bamako, Mali. For more information about the team including a list of members, visit

The Royal Mews

The Royal Mews has existed at Buckingham Palace since 1761 and is part of the Lord Chamberlain’s Department. The Royal Mews is a busy working yard which houses 30 carriage horses. The eight State cars are also kept at the Royal Mews. The Royal Collection’s most well-known carriages are on display at the Royal Mews including the Gold State Coach, the Australian State Coach, the Ivory Mounted Phaeton and the Glass Coach.

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