Wellington, FL – April 8, 2015 – Grand Prix dressage riders Allison Brock and Shannon Dueck are passionate about Brooke USA, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity.
Brock, of the United States, was introduced to the charity and all that they do for working horses and donkeys by Fritz and Claudine Kundrun. She knew that it was important to bring awareness to it.
“I think Brooke USA is one of the best charities around for working horses and donkeys,” Brock said. “They actually educate people on how to take care of them, and they work towards more sustainable, long term quality care of the animal. To me it’s the best case scenario because when you help the animals the owners benefit, too.”
Brock competes at the international Grand Prix level with Rosevelt, a 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by the Kundruns. She recently won team gold with USA Team 1 at the Stillpoint Farm Nations Cup CDIO3* in Wellington, Florida.
Brock is an athlete who is at the top of the high performance dressage world and her success only continues to grow. At shows, she shares information about Brooke USA to encourage others to become involved.
“I typically will have banners out and bring pamphlets,” Brock said. “I talk to people who ask about it, direct them to the website and try to raise awareness. We live in this world where our horses are taken care of better than people, and you need to balance it out a bit.”
As the Brooke’s presence continues to grow in the United States, Brock hopes that more people who learn about the charity are motivated to help. She believes that at the end of the day, horse people are passionate about helping animals, and involvement will increase as awareness of the charity spreads.
“I think awareness is going to grow and we can keep raising funds at horse shows, among other things, in the U.S.,” Brock said. “I think once people know what the charity is about, they’ll be all for it. It’s such a good cause, and the money is spent so well. People just need to know about it; horse people want to take care of horses and donkeys.”
Dueck, who is also successful in the world of high performance dressage, likewise competed at the Stillpoint Farm Nations Cup CDIO3* on Canada’s Team 2, taking home the team bronze medal. Dueck said she is a “sucker for animal charities,” and she has been supporting the Brooke for around 15 years.
“They’re really helping our horses and our working equines,” Dueck said. “It also makes a difference to so many impoverished people, so it’s a win-win situation for both the animals and the people who rely on them.”
The Brooke was founded in Great Britain. Dueck, like Brock, believes the key to increasing the numbers of U.S. supporters is building awareness of the charity in the U.S., since once people understand the positive impact of the work it does, they want to be involved.
“It’s such a wonderful charity that helps on so many levels,” Dueck said. “The amount of money that goes directly to helping the animals and the people is huge, and the administrative costs are quite low. For that reason, we need the awareness out there, and I’m hoping that in the next five years everybody in my industry knows about this charity.”
Though some people may not be in a financial situation to be donating funds, donating time and knowledge is just as important, which is what Dueck hopes to do.
Brock and Dueck have both had successful winter seasons in Wellington, culminating with their appearances in the Nations Cup. Dueck was especially pleased with her performance that weekend with the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding Cantaris, who is owned by Elizabeth Ferber.
“We got personal best scores through all of our tests and we were the starters both in the Prix St. Georges and the Intermediaire I, so we kind of had to set the bar,” Dueck said. “I was super proud; we didn’t make a mistake all weekend, so that was a very nice way to end the season. It was fantastic to end on such a high note.”
Brock was also happy with her season with Rosevelt. The pair’s two wins in Grand Prix CDI classes and consistent performances at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival established them among the top U.S. combinations. Though Brock believes Rosevelt enjoys showing, it is still important to her to maintain a balance. His wellbeing is far more important to her than winning a blue ribbon, and it is easy to see how this mindset translates to her support of the Brooke.
“I was really, really happy with my horse,” Brock said. “He is just getting better and better. Both of us needed experience, and I think I was smart to not over-show him. He was still happy to show at the end of the season, and I think that’s really important. You can take advantage of the shows, but you don’t want to overdo it. They have to want to go out there and be happy to be in that ring, and I think he was.”
The Brooke is currently working in 11 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, and in the last year it reached 1.5 million working horses, donkeys and mules, benefiting several million of the world’s poorest people. Brooke USA is a 501(c)(3) charity and exists solely to support the overseas work of the Brooke.