Lexington, KY (May 2, 2013) The Kentucky Horse Park has announced the latest addition to its National Horse Center office park - international equine animal welfare charity, Brooke International.
Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall is the president of the charity, headquartered in London, England, which has been reaching out to working equine animals (horses, donkeys and mules) and their owners in developing countries for nearly 80 years.
"It is a pleasure to welcome an organization with the Brooke's history and prestige to the Kentucky Horse Park," said John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park. "We've had the privilege of connecting with members of the Royal Family in the past, particularly through our 'All the Queen's Horses' exhibition, so we are honored that Her Royal Highness' charity has now chosen the Kentucky Horse Park for its base in the U.S.
"The Brooke's mission, to improve the lives of equines, and in turn help the owners who rely on them so very much, is a perfect complement to the park's mission of celebrating the relationship between horse and man."
It is estimated that of the 100 million working animals in developing countries, at least 50 million are suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, malnutrition, and abuse as a result of excessive workloads and limited animal health services. It is these conditions that make extending the organization's reach so vital.
The new office at the Kentucky Horse Park, American Friends of the Brooke, will support the Brooke's vital fieldwork in some of the world's poorest communities. Funds will go towards delivering the charity's proven animal health and welfare programs, including veterinary treatment, training and community education programs across 11 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
The organization has appointed a Fundraising Development Manager, Cindy Rullman, to coordinate its fundraising efforts in the United States from the Kentucky Horse Park.
"We decided that the Kentucky Horse Park was the best location in the United States from which to generate support for the Brooke's life-saving work," Rullman stated. "The desperate situations that the owners of working animals find themselves in, with no jobs and no food, means that often the animals must endure grueling, back-breaking labor under the harshest of physical and environmental conditions in order to help the owners feed their families.
"Since the lives of people in the developing world are inextricably tied to their working equines, The Brooke exists to ensure that the animals' welfare is taken care of, and to educate their owners to prevent future suffering."
The Brooke works directly and through partners to alleviate the suffering of working equines, through veterinary and medical care and, importantly, developing equine welfare education programs in schools and among their owners.
Last year the Brooke reached around 1.1 million animals, benefitting 6 million people, and its goal is to double this number by 2016.
American Friends of the Brooke is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and will be based in the Maker's Mark Secretariat Center at the park. Globally, the Brooke International has approximately 800 staff, led by an international Board of Trustees and assisted by advisers and patrons, including HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, HRH Princess Alia bint Al Hussein of Jordan, and a number of former British diplomats.
Major Richard Waygood, international three-day event competitor and Chef d'Equipe to the British equestrian team that took home Team Silver in the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2010, is also an ambassador and spokesman for the organization.