The Duchess, who's been Brooke's President since 2006, launched the 80th anniversary celebrations by meeting long-term staff and volunteers from across the UK at an exhibition, before cutting a cake illustrating the charity’s global expansion since 1934. She then visited Brooke's first photography exhibition at St-Martin-in-the-Fields in London. The images taken in India, Pakistan, Guatemala and Egypt show the crucial role of working equines in developing countries.
The Duchess viewed the images alongside Brooke’s Chief Executive Petra Ingram and exhibition photographer Richard Dunwoody MBE. The former champion jockey joined Petra in presenting The Duchess with a framed limited edition print of brick kilns which was taken in Pakistan – one of the four countries the Duchess has visited to see Brooke’s work since becoming President.
“It was wonderful to see our dedicated staff and volunteers recognised in this way. The Duchess was delighted to meet them to hear first-hand about the vital work they do to help working equines around the world. We are grateful for the Duchess’s interest and involvement in Brooke’s work, and the support she continues to give us.
“It’s an exciting time as we expand to reach more working equines around the world, and we have our volunteers and staff to thank for that.”
The Duchess spoke with a group of Brooke employees who between them have accrued 100 years of service. She also met with long-serving volunteers, including Fiona Bolingbroke-Kent from Norfolk who has fundraised and promoted Brooke extensively for over 30 years.
Petra thanked the Duchess for her contribution to the success of Brooke, which reaches more working equines than any other organisation.