Monty was surprised at his demonstration of gentle horse-handling techniques in Kent this week by Brooke trustee Angela Horsman, who formally invited him to become an ambassador in front of a cheering audience. He graciously accepted, calling the invitation an “honour”.
Just like the Brooke, Monty has made it his lifelong mission to leave the world a better place for horses and for people too. This aligned mission saw the Brooke invite Monty on a week-long tour of its work in India late last year. The conditions were harsh and Monty’s emotional journey was captured in a short film which is being released today alongside the announcement of his role as ambassador.
“The visit to India really opened my eyes to the welfare problems that exist amongst working equines. At times it was unbearable and the suffering I witnessed, especially at the equine fair, will stay with me forever. But, on the plus side, I also saw the wonderful work that the Brooke is doing to improve the welfare of these animals. There is a lot of work to do, and I am honoured to help the Brooke in whatever way I can."
During his time in India, Monty met local community groups in Sonipat, Muzzaffarnagar and Baghpat who talked through the improvements they have made since the Brooke came along, and the positive impact these are having on their animals.
At the Beri equine fair he saw thousands of animals as they waited in line to be bought or sold, in temperatures soaring to 40C. They suffered from wounds and heat stress, tightly hobbled without room to move – a sight which reduced Monty and the Brooke team to tears.
Petra Ingram, Chief Executive of Brooke, accompanied Monty on the trip to India.
“Parts of the tour were extremely difficult as you’ll see in the short film. We delighted together in seeing the progress the Brooke has made, and we cried together when we saw the sad reality of life for some working equines. It was an emotional trip but what really stood out to me was how resolute Monty was in wanting to make a positive difference and how mindful he was of the unique challenges people living in poverty face. He engaged with animal owners with a great deal of respect, offering practical advice in handling and simple suggestions on how to make tack more comfortable. He understood the importance of the Brooke’s work and we knew he would be a brilliant Global Ambassador. We are delighted that he has accepted the invitation, and we look forward to working together for the benefit of working horses, donkeys and mules the world over.”
The announcement comes as Brooke USA was officially launched by Brooke President HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at a supporter event in Louisville, Kentucky.
26 March 2015