UK Group Organizes Skydives for Strangles Research

The British Horse Society (BHS) has announced that it's recruiting volunteers from across the U.K. for fundraising skydives aimed to support researchers examining strangles.

A release from the U.K. organization noted that participants would have a chance to jump if they raise more than £395 (roughly $590 USD). "There are three types of jump available, both solo and tandem, so there is something suitable for all," the release reported. "No experience is necessary as all training is provided. You can do any of these jumps from any one of over twenty British Parachute Association-approved airfields across the U.K."

Strangles is a purulent pharyngitis (a pus-associated inflammation of the throat) caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi. It is also causes a lymphadenitis (inflammation of the lymph nodes) affecting the head region. S. equi depends on the horse for survival, and it survives only briefly in nasal discharge and pus drained from abscesses. Strangles can be transmitted by direct contact with this discharge or pus, or by people, flies, veterinary instruments, or shared equipment like buckets or tack. Quarantine and rigorous disinfection procedures are implemented when strangles is diagnosed on a farm.

Amanda Watson, BHS south development officer who initiated the campaign said, "Strangles is an horrific disease that requires 'extreme' action. I am thrilled to be able to offer people the experience of a lifetime and combine this with raising vital funds for the AHT (Animal Health Trust) research into an effective strangles vaccine and diagnostic tool."

If you live in the U.K. and would like to help protect the horse industry against this disease, join the BHS/AHT Strangles Appeal. For a free information packet please call Amanda Watson, BHS south development officer, at 01202 558515, or e-mail

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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