Top British riders are honouring war horses thanks to Brooke’s latest scheme.
Eventer Harry Meade and dressage rider Alice Oppenheimer are supporting the charity’s “Every Horse Remembered” initiative and have been named as Brooke’s ambassadors for the scheme.
British showjumper Laura Renwick is also backing the cause.
To mark the anniversary of the Battle of Verdun, Brooke has released a pin badge to honour the lives of millions of horses who died in the First World War.
A commemorative badge depicts the Every Horse Remembered logo and is available to buy from thebrookeshop.org. Each badge costs £3 plus postage and package.
“The badge provides the perfect way for supporters to show they’re honouring the lives of war horses, and help working horses, donkeys and mules of today,” said a Brooke spokesman.
Harry was keen to get behind the campaign.
“It is so important to honour the bravery of the millions of horses who served alongside our soldiers in the First World War,” he said.
“I’m supporting Brooke’s campaign to help them reach their £1m target in tribute to our war horses and to raise awareness of today’s working animals around the world.
“Learning about Brooke’s work has made me realise how lucky our own horses are to have all their basic needs looked after. But there are still millions of animals in desperate need of our help, so why not start fundraising today to help Brooke continue their amazing work?”
Alice has seen Brooke’s work first-hand, when she travelled to India with the charity.
“Every Horse Remembered is such an important campaign to remember the heroic horses of the First World War,” she said. “But working animals are not just a thing of the past. Every day horses, donkeys and mules still work tirelessly in terrible conditions.
“Having seen Brooke’s work in India I know how important it is to support them and help them continue their vital work protecting and improving the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable working horses and donkeys, both now and in the future.”
Laura added: “I’m delighted to start my official support for Brooke as an Every Horse Remembered ambassador.
“I’m looking forward to representing the campaign for Brooke in the British showjumping scene.”
Laura, Harry and Alice join author Hannah Russell and Little Alf the miniature Shetland, as well as the United States’ Instagram star “Muledragger” as ambassadors.
The group will be promoting the campaign through social media, attending events and supporting fundraising initiatives through 2018.
“Little Alf and I are so proud to be supporting Brooke’s Every Horse Remembered campaign,” said Hannah.
“The millions of animals who fought in the First World War endured the most horrendous conditions and it’s devastating that there are still equines working in [awful] environments around the world.
“If you’ve ever loved a horse, donkey, mule or even a cheeky miniature Shetland please help Brooke’s Every Horse Remembered campaign to help prevent the suffering of working animals today.”
The battle of Verdun was longest battle fought on the Western Front and was so bloody it was known as the ‘Meat Grinder’ in the trenches.
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Thousands of horses died in the battle, and on just one day 7,000 were killed by a shelling.
Eight million horses died in the First World War, 75 percent of them from the extreme conditions they worked in.
Brooke’s founder Dorothy Brooke sought out many of the leftover horses years later in Cairo, Egypt. She set up the Old War Horse Memorial, a legacy that evolved into Brooke.
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