Teenager Jessica Ball will be swapping her winter coat for the scorching African sun when she jets off on a mercy mission to save dying horses.
The horse loving teenager has said she ‘could not refuse’ the call for help from owners of a riding holiday centre in South Africa. Horses at the centre, which runs a development project for severely deprived children, are being struck down with the deadly African Horse Sickness.
Jessica, 18, from Norfolk Terrace in Horsham travelled to Mkulu Kei riding holiday centre last summer as part of her National Diploma in Equine Management at Merrist Wood. She said: “I had an amazing time there and learned so much. The centre does fantastic work benefitting both the horses and local children and now I want to give something back.”
The former Millais pupil added: “They have already lost 17 horses and a further 71 in the surrounding area of Morgan Bay have also died. Horses with this terrible disease can survive but need 24 hour care. I only have one pair of hands but I will do all I can to save as many as I can.”
Jessica, who will be starting a degree in Equine Business Management next September will be flying out by her self to Africa on Tuesday. She plans to stay for two months and is now raising awareness and funds for the centre’s plight.
Residents can follow her progress and makes donations through her website www.jball-mkulukei.simplesite.com