Heartbreaking loss for Princess Anne confirmed

Princess Anne
(Image credit: Getty)

Princess Anne has revealed she has experienced a heartbreaking loss.

Princess Anne has revealed the sad news that a horse disease breakout has caused a 'devastating impact' among her team at Balmoral.

The Princess Royal, 70, who is an avid horse rider and owner, having first taken to the saddle as a competitor aged 11, said she had experienced a 'lot of losses' following the break out of equine grass sickness.

The illness, which can affect horses, donkeys, and ponies, can also lead to their death, according to studies.

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Speaking on the latest edition of the OnFARM podcast, Princess Royal revealed how her animals had been impacted, as she threw support behind a new project set up by the Equine Grass Sickness Fund. She said, "Yes, more so recently at Balmoral, where they have had quite a lot of losses, sadly.

“And that’s, you know, particularly when you go breeding Highland ponies, and you lose two really nice colts in one go, that’s a pretty devastating impact, as well as the fact that they are working ponies, it’s important to keep those gene poles relevant.”

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Princess Anne, who gave fans a sneak peek inside her Gloucestershire home earlier this month, added, “I’ve seen the other side of that as part of their effort to get treatment.

“And in the end, if you ask them the questions ‘what makes the difference’ – it appears to be nursing care.

“So giving the horses the confidence somehow to go on living.”

And now the Equine Grass Sickness Fund, which Anne is a patron of, has set up a three-year fellowship to increase research into the disease. The programme would liaise horse owners and experts in the study of the subject.

Princess Anne turned 70 earlier this year and a series of rare snaps were released to mark her milestone birthday.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)