The Brooke Hospital for Animals is planning a nationwide fundraising initiative to help the millions of working horses living in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Saturday 11 June has been chosen as “Courses for Horses” day, when thousands of people across the country will be raising money through events that are expected to be as diverse as the individuals taking part.

Niki Austin of the Brooke says: “We hope that this unique fundraiser will galvanise the equestrian and racing communities into action to help us reach even more working horses worldwide.”

Currently the Brooke helps some 500,000 working equine animals toiling in some of the toughest environments on earth, from Luxor and the Nile Delta in Egypt to Peshawar on the far flung border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It hopes that Courses for Horses will enable the organisation to increase the number of horses it helps to around five million animals.

Austin explains: “Being involved with horses is a full-time commitment, so we wanted to make the fundraiser very easy for people to get involved with. Ideas for possible events range from a gymkhana, jumping or sponsored ride ‘course’, to dinner parties with sponsored ‘courses’, or any other ‘course’ related ideas. The possibilities are endless.”

The initiative has received considerable support from the racing community with 10 racecourses around the country holding Courses for Horses fundraising days, during which trainers, breeders, jockeys, race-goers and stable hands will be raising money for the Brooke.

The special racedays are taking place at:

  • Newbury – 14 May
  • Bangor-on Dee – 14 May
  • Brighton – 27 May
  • Perth – 5 June
  • Chester – 7 June
  • Goodwood – 10 June
  • Hexham – 11 June
  • Sandown Park – 11 June
  • Jersey – 12 June
  • Ayr – 18 June
  • Hamilton Park – 28 June

The event has the backing of many leading names including Olympic riders Pippa Funnell, Carl Hester and Lucinda Green as well as Sir Peter O’Sullevan, John Francome and champion jump jockey AP McCoy.

Pippa Funnell explains why she is supporting this worthy cause: “Friendship, loyalty, love — horses give us so much. In developing countries they also give poor people something extra — the means of earning an income for their families. Courses for Horses is our way of giving something back to these faithful animals.”

For more information on holding a Courses for Horses event, including more ideas for sponsored events and a fund raising pack, visit: www.thebrooke.org