How War Brought a Silver Lining

When World War 1 ended there were thousands of horses that had survived and were not returned to their homelands of England, Canada or Australia. In 1930 Dorothy Brooke arrived in Cairo, Egypt.She was horrified to find hundreds of emaciated and down trodden horses that had been sold into a life of hard labor at the end of the war.  She wrote a letter to the Morning Post ( now the Daily Telegraph) in London.She pleaded with readers to have compassion on these poor war horses.

“These old horses were, many of them, born and bred in the green fields of England – how many years since they have seen a field, heard a stream of water, or a kind word in English?”

Her appeal was successful and she received £20,000 in today’s money. She spent the next five years purchasing these warhorses and most were humanely put down and allowed to end their lives in peace. In 1934 she founded the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital in Cairo to provide free veterinary care for all the working horses and donkeys.

The Brooke Hospital for Animals was born.

A Brooke trained community based health care worker treats a horse in India.

Today the Brooke helps over 1.8 million working horses, donkeys, and mules in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the  Middle East. Brook has vets, animal welfare experts,  advocacy and development specialists. They provide veterinary care and also education to owners on how to best care for their horses and donkeys with well fitting harness, good forage, nourishment, hoof care and much more. It is a marvelous organization and I encourage you to follow this link and find out more about it.

Olympic gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin is an Ambassador for the Brooke and visited India in 2015.At the clinic she gave in Ontario she talked about how heartbreaking it was to see the working animals in India but in the areas where the Brooke has been working the difference was remarkable.
The Brooke is the silver lining for working horses and donkeys and they have Dorothy Brooke and the war horses to thank for it.
Charlotte names a mule “Eddie”.  (photo The  Brooke)

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Maria says:

    That is a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are most welcome!


  2. I have huge respect for the work of the Brooke. Thanks for this re-blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      My pleasure. I am happybo bring news of the Brooke’s work to people.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. anne leueen says:

    Reblogged this on HorseAddict and commented:

    November 11 we will remember the veterans. Can war bring a silver lining? Here is proof it can.


  4. nathaswami says:

    If you visit the Marina beach in Chennai (formerly Madras, a city in the south of India), the second longest beach in the world, you can see the former race horses spending the evening of their life in a pitiable condition. They are hired for pleasure ride for children – a pathetic sight.


    1. anne leueen says:

      I know the Brooke does a lot of work in India but mostly with working horses and donkeys. They also have a tourist awareness week and try to get people to be aware of the condition of horses that are offered for rides. It is sad to see horses in the state you describe.


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