Brooke was chosen as Bolesworth’s charity of the year for 2017, which led to a whole host of activities throughout the show. So far the charity has raised almost £2,500 from collections and a raffle, with more to come from those who texted to donate, and from the Bolesworth Companion Dog Show, which donated its entry fees to the charity.
Throughout the five days two Shetland ponies, Harry and Honey, roamed through the crowds with volunteers, fundraising for the charity with contactless payment readers in pockets on their rugs. They also picked up admirers who posed for a #shetlandselfie, before having to mostly stay in the shade on a scorching couple of days on Saturday and Sunday.
The two ponies also got the chance to meet author Hannah Russell and her miniature Shetland, Little Alf, who attended Bolesworth on Schools Day to support Brooke. Hannah met some of the children to give talks on little Alf and read from her books. Children also got talks from Brooke experts at the stand, and had drawing lessons from Bonnie Snowden, pet and equine artist.
Brooke’s global ambassador and dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin visited the charity’s stand on Wednesday after a display in the main arena, to meet volunteers, mini ponies, and sign autographs, and on Thursday the charity announced their newest ambassador, showjumper Jessica Mendoza. After the announcement Jessica said:
“I look forward to giving something back to the animals I love and I hope my own involvement will inspire more people to become involved with this fantastic cause.”
Brooke’s Patron, Alastair Stewart also attended the show with his family, but took time out to speak briefly about the charity on Ladies Day, and present an award to the winner of the Brooke 2*class, 14 year old Sienna Charles. He also took part in a Q&A on Sunday morning with Bolesworth Managing Director Nina Barbour, who said in the interview:
“The cross-over of the animal welfare and the communities that they support – for me that’s a really important angle […] It’s lovely to think that because of the work that’s being done [at Bolesworth]… we will help the animals and therefore help the people too.”
Brooke Chief Executive Petra Ingram joined organisers, show sponsors and supporters at various points throughout the show including an evening reception at Bolesworth Castle. She said:
“It was a privilege to have Brooke be such a big part of Bolesworth this year, and I was delighted to be able to go into the main arena before the Puissance on Friday with Harry and Honey to personally thank the organisers, attendees, our supporters and our volunteers.
“Special thanks also goes to Hannah and Little Alf for coming to support us on Schools Day, our ever passionate patron Alastair Stewart, and to our newest ambassador Jessica Mendoza, who took part in two live Q&As with me over the weekend. I have no doubt that our involvement in the International Horse Show at Bolesworth has helped us raise awareness of Brooke’s work and enabled us to reach many more potential supporters. I’m excited for what more we can do in future.”
How The Other Horse Lives, Brooke’s current campaign, aims to raise awareness of the stark differences between the daily lives of horses like those at Bolesworth, that have optimal care and support, and those that live in developing countries, working in the toughest conditions and with little access to vets, farriers, and adequate nutrition.
Find out more at www.thebrooke.org/theotherhorse.