Brooke’s inaugural Christmas carol service took place on Wednesday 12 December at the beautiful and historic Guards’ Chapel in central London. In attendance were Brooke President HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, actor Peter Egan, Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton, and over 350 Brooke supporters.
The Guards’ Chapel is the spiritual home of the Household Cavalry and was a fitting location after our Every Horse Remembered campaign, which raised awareness of the military equines who served and died during the First World War.
Guests and The Duchess were delighted to meet Ollie the donkey and Harry the mini Shetland pony (pictured right), who welcomed everyone as they arrived in the crisp sunshine. Inside the chapel, guests enjoyed trying their luck on our Tree of Surprises, where prizes included vouchers for Eurostar, Boden and Cook, and Experiencedays.co.uk, as well as books and jewellery.
As part of the service, The Duchess delivered a reading from Grant Hayter-Menzies’ biography of Dorothy Brooke, Dorothy Brooke and the Fight to Save Cairo's Lost War Horses. The Duchess explained how Dorothy Brooke was so moved by the plight of abandoned First World War horses she saw pulling cabs in Cairo in 1930 that she established The Brooke Hospital for Animals.
Guests who were lucky enough to snap up VIP tickets later enjoyed wine and canapes at the fascinating Guards’ Museum, and heard from Brooke’s Chief Executive Petra Ingram, and Brooke supporter and world class programme eventing performance manager, Richard Waygood, who has seen first-hand how crucial the welfare of working equines is to communities across the world.
Video: Prior to the carol service, the Director of the Guards' Museum, Andrew Wallis welcomes our VIP guests, Brooke’s CEO Petra Ingram thanks our #EveryHorseRemembered ambassadors Alice Oppenheimer and Hannah Russell, and finally Richard Waygood talks about his experiences seeing Brooke's work overseas:
So far the event has raised over £27,000 in much needed funds for Brooke. We would like to thank all of our guests, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Peter Egan, Victoria Pendleton, Richard Waygood, Guards’ Chapel and our generous prize donors for making it such a special event.
To learn more about Brooke events across the UK or register your interest for our 2019 carol service, please contact our Supporter Care Team on 020 7470 9393 who will be pleased to help you.