The Princess Royal, who started taking part in horse riding competitions aged 11, has warned about the effects of equine grass sickness. The illness, which can affect horses, donkeys and ponies, can also lead to their death, according to studies.
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.
Speaking during the latest edition of the podcast OnFARM, the Princess Royal threw her support behind the project.
She also pointed out the importance of researching the issue in light of recent losses at Balmoral Castle.
Princess Anne 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.”
She 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.