New research into common illnesses  affecting shire horses has been made  possible thanks to a donation by members of the Shire horse world.

The University of Liverpool’s Leahurst  Equine Hospital in Neston will be conducting a health survey about shire horses  with their owners – after it received a £1,000  donation from members of the North West  and Wales Shire Foal Society, which is  affiliated to the Shire Horse Society.

Jean Pleavin Edge, of the North West and  Wales Shire Foal Society, said: “We are  delighted to be able to donate this money to  the Leahurst Equine Hospital.

“We are even more thrilled that it will be  put towards researching common conditions such as sweet itch, an allergy which  causes misery to shire horses and their  owners each year.”

This research will provide evidence-based  information about how common certain  health conditions are in shire horses and  about the areas that owners of shire horses  want veterinary researchers to focus their efforts on  in the future in order to  maximise the health and  welfare of these horses.

Dr Debbie Archer, of the  Leahurst Equine Hospital,  said: “Our speciality is in  research, so donations like  this make it possible to use  our expertise to help benefit  equine health wherever we  can, whether we are looking  at thoroughbreds, shire  horses or an overweight shetland pony, that is what we  are here to do.”

The cheque was presented  to the staff at the hospital  during a short presentation.