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Grass Sickness

Heartbreak for Queen Elizabeth as death of five horses from disease.

Queen Elizabeth II is a keen horse lover and a supporter of a number of rare breed programme`s, including owning and breeding Royal Highland ponies at her estate in Balmoral. On Monday this week the queen was contacted by her stud manager Sylvia Ormiston with the devastating news of that five of her Royal Highland horses had been killed by an equine grass disease.

The deadly disease is triggered by toxins that attack the horses nervous system and causes paralyse in the animal`s gut. Little is know about this awful disease, stud manager Sylvia Ormiston expressed her hope for further research into the sickness and a search for a cure, and pledged support from the Balmoral estate to help any way they can towards this goal.
Grass Sickness
The stud manager described how the disease first killed off `a sweet two-year-old filly`, followed by her mother, Clunie, a day later. Later in the year a three year old colt died f the disease and then the stud`s two stallions, Balmoral Lord and Balmoral Hercules, died within two weeks of each other. The loss of the two stallions could have huge consequences for the breeding program at Balmoral and the Highland pony breed as a whole. As the Highland pony is an endangered horse breed, Balmoral Lord`s DNA has been stored in the livestock gene bank. The Highland breed is strong and sturdy breed and can carry lots of weight, the Queens horses are used around the Balmoral estate. Each year the queen name every foal born at the stud and enjoys seeing them every summer during her visit to the estate every summer. As well as the Royal Highland ponies the Queen also works to help other endangered horse species including the mighty Suffolk punch and fell ponies.
View Endangered British Horse And Pony Breeds
Endangered British Horse And Pony Breeds


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