Brooke would not exist today if it were not for the determination and passion of one woman: Dorothy Brooke.
Extraordinary people often describe the moments that defined their lives, and for Dorothy Brooke, that defining moment came when she arrived in Cairo, as the newly married wife of British cavalry officer Brigadier Geoffrey Brooke, in October of 1930.
Dorothy soon discovered that several thousand former British war horses who had served their country bravely during World War One had been abandoned and left behind by the army after the war. These noble animals had been sold into lives of unimaginable hardship, doomed to lives of unending toil and unspeakable misery, working on the mean streets of Cairo in the early 1900s.
We have recently learned that there is a significant possibility that some of the animals she discovered could have originally been American horses and mules who were sent from the U.S. to serve the British Army in Egypt.
...It was from this moment that her life became dedicated to the welfare of Egypt's working horses and donkeys.
Upon meeting one of those old war horses in particular, Dorothy wrote,
"I shall never forget the shock he gave me. I stood staring at him. Heaven knows the other horses were bad enough but somehow he was different.
"Obviously he had been a good horse, once. He had been happy and well fed as other horses had never been. He had been born in England; had known our green fields, had been groomed and cared for. He had moreover served in Palestine and had suffered hardships in that Campaign as few horses have endured in modern times. And then we had sold him into this."
Dorothy set about rescuing those heroic horses, and by the time she was through, more than 5,000 old war horses and mules had been reclaimed, and their suffering was peacefully ended.
Today, Brooke is Led By A Committed Group Of World-Changers
From one woman’s vision and work in the 1930s, Brooke has risen to international prominence as a leader in international equine welfare. Today Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall is serving her third term as President of Brooke. She has visited Kentucky to official open our Brooke USA headquarters and has also visited several of Brooke's programs in Egypt, India, and Pakistan.
“I love horses and I’ve ridden all my life, so I am passionate about the work of this unique charity. Its determination to improve the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in many countries where animals are not so respected and loved as they are here is legendary.
”These animals are the engines powering the developing world. However, many of these animals live in appalling conditions, enduring pain, exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition as a direct result of terrible workloads, poor nutrition and handling. This leads to suffering for millions of working equines and insecure livelihoods for the people relying on them to earn a basic living.
“The Brooke provides veterinary treatment and community programs all over the world to address these problems. It is working with communities to train them in best practices so they can take better care of their animals and safeguard the livelihoods of their families.
“As its president, I wholeheartedly support the Brooke in their vital work across the globe, and feel assured that the lives of these working animals and their owners are being changed for the better with the support of this wonderful charity.
"Having seen for myself the wonderful work the Brooke does in their clinics in Cairo and Pakistan to help the suffering of working animals, it makes me incredibly proud to be the president of this unique charity and to follow its course with enormous interest.”