Wellington, Florida – January 22, 2016 – Equine-lovers from across the nation attended the opening week of the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, sponsored by AMCI Group to benefit Brooke USA. Due to the generosity of long-time supporters, Mr. and Mrs. Fritz Kundrun, equine welfare charity Brooke USA headlined the International Week 1 CDIW1* and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle. The week culminated with a dinner and event held in the VIP Pavilion of the Global Dressage Festival facility.
Brooke USA exists to support the work of the Brooke: the world’s largest international equine welfare charity. For more than 80 years the Brooke has alleviated the suffering of working equines in some of the poorest countries on earth. By helping these extremely hard-working animals, the Brooke also helps the people who rely on them in communities where people often earn less than one dollar a day.
Last year alone, the Brooke reached an astonishing 1.8 million horses, donkeys, and mules, benefitting 10 million people. But there is much more work to be done because at least 100 million equines are working in the developing world to support the livelihoods of 600 million people. Events like the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle are important in expanding awareness of Brooke USA’s mission.
The night was a success, and devout animal-lovers, Fritz and Claudine Kundrun, were the ideal match to sponsor this charity’s event. The couple has been longstanding supporters of Brooke USA.
“I have been with the Brooke for the past 10 or 11 years because as a young man, my company sent me to Pakistan. I lived there for two years and I saw firsthand the plight of donkeys, horses, and camels,” Mr. Kundrun recalled.
“Everyday I saw how cruelly they were being treated, and I promised myself that if I ever made it in a career, I’d make some money and I’d try to do something [to help]. Then, all of a sudden a friend of ours told me about the Brooke. And I said, ‘My God, this is wonderful.'”
Brooke USA is determined to do whatever it takes to ensure that the right elements are in place for working horses, donkeys and mules to be healthy and happy now and in the long-term.
On a personal level, Kundrun and his wife have an obvious passion for animals and they have made it a point in their lives to offer a safe haven to animals in need.
“We ourselves operate a rescue called the Equine Welfare Society on our farm in Virginia,” Kundrun said. “We specialize in retraining and placing horses that are healthy, sound and able to work. The horses often come from other rescue organizations that do not have the time or resources to do this part of the work. We ‘recycle’ the adoption fee back to them. We also have a few ‘sanctuary’ horses, some over 30 years old who are enjoying their last years in complete safety and comfort.”
Brooke USA also focuses on creating awareness of the organization’s goals through its brand ambassadors and advocates. Some of whom include two-time Olympic gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin, polo superstar Nic Roldan, Olympic show jumping gold medalist Laura Kraut, and Debbie McDonald, also an Olympic dressage medalist, as well as rising dressage star Allison Brock, who rides for the Kundruns.
Debbie McDonald, who was in attendance at the FEI Freestyle event, explained how most people feel upon first seeing photographs and videos of these working animals.
“I think the first reaction is a little bit of anger. And then I explain to them, ‘You can’t [get angry] because these people don’t live any better than these animals do. They don’t know better.”
McDonald also noted that the sponsorship definitely generated exposure for the equine charity.
“It is only the beginning of the season, so we are off to a good start, and people are really beginning to take an interest and get involved,” McDonald said.
While the Brooke’s international headquarters are in London, England, Brooke USA is located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
Editor’s note: Photos are available to accompany this release by contacting Cindy Rullman, 859-296-0037 or Cindy.Rullman@BrookeUSA.org. PoloGear USA™ is generously designing and donating apparel for Brooke USA ambassadors. Debbie McDonald is wearing a prototype in the photo.
The Brooke is the world’s largest international equine welfare charity. For more than 80 years, the Brooke has been alleviating the suffering of horses, donkeys, and mules who work in some of the poorest communities on earth. The Brooke’s scientifically proven, practical, and sustainable solutions to enormous welfare challenges improve the lives of equine animals and the people who depend on them across Africa, Asia, and Central America. Last year alone, the Brooke reached 1.8 million equines, benefitting 10 million people in the developing world. Brooke USA is a 501(c)(3) charity located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, which exists solely to support the overseas work of the Brooke. To learn more visit www.BrookeUSA.org.