Today’s honorees: Charlotte Dujardin and The Brooke.
The Brooke works tirelessly to improve the lives and conditions for working animals in some of the poorest parts of the world: the organization sends teams of veterinarians and instructors to communities to directly treat ill or injured animals as well as teach the local populations better ways to care for their hardworking equines. We’ve featured The Brooke as a Standing Ovation nominee in the past, so for more information check out our earlier post.
The Brooke is proud to list several ambassadors of the charity on its website, including Monty Roberts, Charlotte Dujardin, Major Richard Waygood, Emma Milne and Nigel Payne. In October, Charlotte Dujardin, along with fellow dressage rider Alice Oppenheimer, traveled with The Brooke to India to see for herself — and share with her fans and social media followers — exactly what kind of conditions are experienced every day by the working people and animals of a developing nation.
As Charlotte’s trip progressed, she and the Brooke team saw many less-inspiring sights, reminding all of Charlotte’s fans and followers that many of the aspects of horse life we take for granted are truly a gift and a luxury. For 100 million working equines supporting 600 million of the world’s people, this is the reality.
Throughout her journey, Charlotte did an excellent job providing her fans with a realistic portrait of the conditions of working animals in India and including her own emotions, without judgment for the people who owned and worked with these equines: one of the goals of The Brooke is to continue the education of horse owners in such communities, who have never learned many of the basic principles of care that we might consider common knowledge in first-world countries where horses are essentially pets. It’s easy to look at these images of suffering horses and assume the worst about the people involved, but other than some specifically noted incidents of abuse and mistreatment, the majority of these cases are simply due to ignorance and a lack of knowledge.
Charlotte’s “star power” helped raise awareness of the world’s large population of working animals as well as bolstered interest and support for The Brooke, which continues its good work all around the world. To learn more about The Brooke and support its continued efforts, please see the organization’s website and “like” The Brooke on Facebook for updates.
Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected] Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.