What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

High Performance Dressage Riders Passionate About Brooke USA’s Cause

April 09, 2015 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Allison Brock and Rosevelt (Photo credit: Mary Adelaide Brakenridge)

Allison Brock and Rosevelt (Photo credit: Mary Adelaide Brakenridge)

Wellington, FL – April 8, 2015 – Grand Prix dressage riders Allison Brock and Shannon Dueck are passionate about Brooke USA, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity.

Brock, of the United States, was introduced to the charity and all that they do for working horses and donkeys by Fritz and Claudine Kundrun. She knew that it was important to bring awareness to it.

“I think Brooke USA is one of the best charities around for working horses and donkeys,” Brock said. “They actually educate people on how to take care of them, and they work towards more sustainable, long term quality care of the animal. To me it’s the best case scenario because when you help the animals the owners benefit, too.”

Brock competes at the international Grand Prix level with Rosevelt, a 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by the Kundruns. She recently won team gold with USA Team 1 at the Stillpoint Farm Nations Cup CDIO3* in Wellington, Florida.

Brock is an athlete who is at the top of the high performance dressage world and her success only continues to grow. At shows, she shares information about Brooke USA to encourage others to become involved.

“I typically will have banners out and bring pamphlets,” Brock said. “I talk to people who ask about it, direct them to the website and try to raise awareness. We live in this world where our horses are taken care of better than people, and you need to balance it out a bit.”

As the Brooke’s presence continues to grow in the United States, Brock hopes that more people who learn about the charity are motivated to help. She believes that at the end of the day, horse people are passionate about helping animals, and involvement will increase as awareness of the charity spreads.

“I think awareness is going to grow and we can keep raising funds at horse shows, among other things, in the U.S.,” Brock said. “I think once people know what the charity is about, they’ll be all for it. It’s such a good cause, and the money is spent so well. People just need to know about it; horse people want to take care of horses and donkeys.”

Brooke veterinarian treats a malnourished horse who works in tourism in the Middle East www.BrookeUSA.org (Photo courtesy of Brooke USA)

Brooke veterinarian treats a malnourished horse who works in tourism in the Middle East.
(Photo courtesy of Brooke USA, www.BrookeUSA.org)

Dueck, who is also successful in the world of high performance dressage, likewise competed at the Stillpoint Farm Nations Cup CDIO3* on Canada’s Team 2, taking home the team bronze medal. Dueck said she is a “sucker for animal charities,” and she has been supporting the Brooke for around 15 years.

“They’re really helping our horses and our working equines,” Dueck said. “It also makes a difference to so many impoverished people, so it’s a win-win situation for both the animals and the people who rely on them.”

The Brooke was founded in Great Britain. Dueck, like Brock, believes the key to increasing the numbers of U.S. supporters is building awareness of the charity in the U.S., since once people understand the positive impact of the work it does, they want to be involved.

“It’s such a wonderful charity that helps on so many levels,” Dueck said. “The amount of money that goes directly to helping the animals and the people is huge, and the administrative costs are quite low. For that reason, we need the awareness out there, and I’m hoping that in the next five years everybody in my industry knows about this charity.”

Though some people may not be in a financial situation to be donating funds, donating time and knowledge is just as important, which is what Dueck hopes to do.

Brock and Dueck have both had successful winter seasons in Wellington, culminating with their appearances in the Nations Cup. Dueck was especially pleased with her performance that weekend with the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding Cantaris, who is owned by Elizabeth Ferber.

“We got personal best scores through all of our tests and we were the starters both in the Prix St. Georges and the Intermediaire I, so we kind of had to set the bar,” Dueck said. “I was super proud; we didn’t make a mistake all weekend, so that was a very nice way to end the season. It was fantastic to end on such a high note.”

Shannon Dueck and Cantaris (Photo credit: Mary Adelaide Brakenridge)  Shannon Dueck and Cantaris, Client: Brooke USA Photo Credit: Mary Adelaide Brakenridge

Shannon Dueck and Cantaris (Photo credit: Mary Adelaide Brakenridge)

Brock was also happy with her season with Rosevelt. The pair’s two wins in Grand Prix CDI classes and consistent performances at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival established them among the top U.S. combinations. Though Brock believes Rosevelt enjoys showing, it is still important to her to maintain a balance. His wellbeing is far more important to her than winning a blue ribbon, and it is easy to see how this mindset translates to her support of the Brooke.

“I was really, really happy with my horse,” Brock said. “He is just getting better and better. Both of us needed experience, and I think I was smart to not over-show him. He was still happy to show at the end of the season, and I think that’s really important. You can take advantage of the shows, but you don’t want to overdo it. They have to want to go out there and be happy to be in that ring, and I think he was.”

The Brooke  is currently working in 11 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, and in the last year it reached 1.5 million working horses, donkeys and mules, benefiting several million of the world’s poorest people. Brooke USA is a 501(c)(3) charity and exists solely to support the overseas work of the Brooke.

For more information about Brooke USA, please contact Cindy Rullman: 859-296-0037, Cindy.Rullman@BrookeUSA.org, or visit www.BrookeUSA.org.

Monty Roberts Named Brooke Global Ambassador

March 27, 2015 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Monty Roberts in India with the Brooke. (Photo Courtesy of www.BrookeUSA.org)

Monty Roberts in India with the Brooke. (Photo Courtesy of www.BrookeUSA.org)

The man who listens to horses – Monty Roberts –
named Brooke Global Ambassador

LEXINGTON, KY – March 27, 2015 – Internationally renowned ‘horse whisperer’ Monty Roberts has become Global Ambassador for the Brooke, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity. He joins double Olympic gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin as the organization’s newest ambassadors.

For more than 80 years the Brooke has been dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules and the families they support in the developing world. Monty has also made it his lifelong mission to make the world a better place for horses and people. This aligned mission was the impetus for the Brooke inviting Monty on a week-long tour of some 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 Global Ambassador.

“The visit to India really opened my eyes to the welfare problems that exist among 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 honored to help the Brooke in whatever way I can,” said Monty.

During his time in India, Monty met local community groups across Uttar Pradesh, who talked about 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 104 degrees. 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 the 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 faced by people living in poverty.

“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,” she said.

The announcement comes a week after the Brooke officially christened its new American headquarters, Brooke USA, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. A celebration to launch Brooke USA was held in Kentucky on March 20 in the presence of the Brooke’s President HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at a private reception for donors.

The Brooke is currently working in 11 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, and in the last year it reached 1.5 million working horses, donkeys and mules, benefiting several million of the world’s poorest people. Brooke USA is a 501(c)(3) charity and exists solely to support the overseas work of the Brooke.

For more information and high-res photos, please contact Cindy Rullman in the U.S.: 859-296-0037, Cindy.Rullman@BrookeUSA.org; Tatjana Trposka in the UK: Tatjana.Trposka@thebrooke.org; or Jamie Whear in the UK: Jamie.Whear@thebrooke.org . For a full biography of Monty Roberts, please visit his website: www.montyroberts.com.