LEXINGTON, Ky. – March 7, 2017 – This year the United States will commemorate its World War One Centennial by marking the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into one of bloodiest war of the century. As part of the commemoration, the Commission has made Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes campaign an official Centennial Partner in remembering the contribution of America’s horses and mules to the war effort.
The Commission was established by the U.S. Congress under the World War I Centennial Commission Act. The role of the Commission is, among other things, to develop programs to commemorate the historic event and to encourage and facilitate the activities of private, state, and local organizations which are commemorating the centennial. President Obama signed the Act, and Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush are Honorary Chairs of the Commission.
“The Commission is pleased to endorse Brooke USA’s ‘Horse Heroes’ as an official partner. The Commission believes that Horse Heroes will further the Commission’s goals of educating the American people about the causes, courses and consequences of World War One, commemorating U.S. involvement in that war, and honoring the service and sacrifice of American servicemen and women in the war.”
The role of Horse Heroes will be to remember the nearly one million American horses and mules who served alongside their brave soldiers, by raising one million dollars to improve equine welfare around the world.
Dr. David Jones, Chairman of Brooke USA, said, “We are tremendously honored to be counted as an official Centennial Partner alongside several highly esteemed organizations, and we’re also grateful for the privilege of bringing the immeasurable impact that American horses and mules had on the war to the public’s attention.”
Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, Chairman of Brooke International, stated, “As a retired senior British Army officer and a military historian, I can attest to the enormous impact that American horses and mules had on the war effort. As best we can determine, early two-thirds of the animals used by England in France and other theaters of war were from North America, so we are glad for the opportunity that the Commission has given Brooke USA to remember those animals.”
Horses and mules carried men to battle and wounded men to safety. They transported food, water, medical supplies, guns, ammunition, and artillery to the front lines through appalling weather, over unforgiving terrain, in horrifying situations, and surrounded by dead and dying men and animals. Yet they continued to do their part, in spite of being terrified and often while sick and wounded themselves, and they worked until they were annihilated by guns or poison gas, or simply died in their harnesses from exposure and sheer exhaustion.
Sir Evelyn continued, “Their contributions were enormous, but so were their mortality rates and their suffering (of the one million American equines who went to Europe, only 200 returned. In total, eight million horses and mules died in WW1). Neither the men nor the horses wanted to be there, but nevertheless these forgotten equine heroes devoted themselves wholeheartedly, day and night, as true partners to the men who needed them. The American horses and mules provided immense support to the British, French, and American armies, and without their sacrifices, the war’s outcome – and now the world – would be very different.”
Brooke has its roots in WWI, as its founder, Dorothy Brooke, rescued 5,000 former war horses and mules who had been abandoned by their armies after the war. Today, the charity that still operates in her name, Brooke, has become the world’s largest international equine welfare charity.
Sir Evelyn continued, “While horses no longer serve the military in the massive numbers of former years, today there are more than 100 million equines who are carrying out many of the same jobs as they did 100 years ago while they work for the poorest people on earth.
“They are also suffering similar hardships leading to chronic suffering and high mortality as their military forebears, while working to support 600 million people in the developing world.”
It is estimated that 80% of those working equines are suffering from preventable problems such as exhaustion, dehydration, lameness, heat stress, diseases and injuries.
Last year alone, Brooke reached two million horses, donkeys, and mules in the developing world with programs to improve their welfare.
By providing scientifically proven, practical and sustainable programs, Brooke teaches owners how to improve the welfare of their animals. They also provide free veterinary care for many of them.
Brooke USA, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, supports Brooke’s sustainable equine welfare programs across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central America through fundraising and stewarding donations to the areas of greatest need.
Jones continued, “With Brooke’s North American headquarters located in Kentucky, we are especially pleased to represent the ‘Horse Capital of the World,’ as we ‘salute’ America’s war horses in partnership with the Commission.”
Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes campaign will seek to raise one million dollars – one dollar in memory of each American equine war hero – to support equine welfare programs which will also benefit the people who depend on those animals.
Jones concluded, “We believe that the best way to honor yesterday’s war horses and mules is by helping today’s working equines. Brooke is equipped and positioned to do a great deal to improve the welfare of these important animals through our Horse Heroes campaign. We’re asking anyone who appreciates the contributions that American horses and mules made to the war effort to respond by donating in memory of those animals – just one dollar for each animal who suffered and died in service to our country and our allies in World War One.”
To learn more about the U.S. WWI Centennial Commission, go to www.WorldWar1Centnnial.org. To learn more about the Horse Heroes campaign, visit www.HorseHeroes.org. To learn more about Brooke USA, please visit www.BrookeUSA.org. For more information, contact Cindy Rullman, Brooke USA, 859-296-0037 or Cindy.Rullman@BrookeUSA.org.
Horse Heroes also welcomes media partners Equus Magazine and Active Interest Media
About EQUUS Magazine
Established in 1977, EQUUS magazine, published by the Active Interest Media (AIM) Equine Network, is a monthly publication based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Although focused primarily on horse health, care and training, EQUUS explores a broad range of topics related to horses and horse sports, including in-depth articles about the causes of racetrack breakdowns and the history of horse breeds.
About Active Interest Media
One of the world’s largest enthusiast media companies, Active Interest Media publishes leading consumer magazines such as Yoga Journal, Backpacker, SKI, Skiing, Vegetarian Times, Yachts International, Sail, Power & Motoryacht, Black Belt, American Cowboy, Spin to Win Rodeo, Practical Horseman, Dressage Today, EQUUS, Horse&Rider, Log Home Living, Old House Journal, Country’s Best Cabins and more. The company’s five divisions—the Equine Network, Home Group, Healthy Living Group, Marine Group and Outdoor Group—reach more than 40 million people in 85 countries. We also operate websites, B2B businesses, a state-of-the-art video unit, and Warren Miller Entertainment, the most successful outdoor film production company in history. Each of our divisions also runs consumer and trade events, including the world’s largest boat shows and yoga conferences. Active Interest Media’s customers are smart, engaged and loyal, and they look to our brands for trustworthy information and services that will inspire and enable them to enjoy their passions.
About Brooke USA
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 Brooke, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity. For more than 80 years, Brooke has been alleviating the suffering of horses, donkeys and mules who work in some of the poorest communities on earth. 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, the Middle East and Central America. This year alone, Brooke reached 2 million equines, benefiting 12 million people in the developing world. To learn more, visit BrookeUSA.org.