Team take on hike to support colic research in memory of beloved Riva

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Beloved Andalusian - Riva
Beloved horse Riva, who suffered an episode of colic in early April 2021

When Kristina (Tina) Auld, husband Craig Williamson and their four close friends (Fiona Donald, Rachel Howarth, Amy Patterson and Nicole Watson) sadly lost their beloved horse Riva to a sudden episode of colic in early April 2021, they set on a mission to raise funds for research of the disease at the University of Liverpool’s Equine Hospital, Leahurst.

Colic is a term used to describe signs of abdominal pain, which in horses is usually caused by problems in the gastrointestinal tract. The University of Liverpool’s Equine Hospital has an international reputation for colic research.

Working with many researchers within the University of Liverpool and other institutions, the discoveries of the Equine Hospital at Leahurst have improved colic diagnosis, treatment and prevention, meaning the prognosis today is far better than it once was. However, colic remains one of the common causes of death in horses.

On 29 May, the group of friends who make up Team Riva will walk up Ben Ledi mountain in Scotland to mark Riva’s 15th birthday and to scatter her ashes, with the hope funds raised will help prevent others from suffering the emotional loss they have had to experience.

Riva passing away broke all of our hearts into pieces… she wasn’t just a horse or just a pet, she was family.

Tina kindly shared fond memories of her beautiful Andalusian, Riva, who came into her care in 2014. Describing her as ‘sassy’, Tina observed how Riva brought light into the lives of people she came into contact with and her ability to boost people’s confidence.

Tina said: "Riva passing away broke all of our hearts into pieces… she wasn’t just a horse or just a pet, she was family. What we are hoping, is that by raising funds for the University of Liverpool’s equine colic research it may in some small way help prevent another beautiful animal from being stolen away too soon."

The University of Liverpool is thankful to Tina and her friends for their commitment to supporting research at the University’s Equine Hospital and wish them all the best of luck in their forthcoming challenge in Riva’s memory. So far, the team have raised an amazing £550 and hope to raise £1,000. If you wish to find out how to support Team Riva, please visit their Just Giving Page.