The Brooke’s Petra Ingram, A Visionary Force

The Brooke - Animals in brick kilns - image credit ©Brooke/Freya Dowson

The Brooke’s Petra Ingram, A Visionary Force

Petra Ingram joined The Brooke, an international animal welfare charity working to improve the lives of working horses, donkeys, mules and the people who depend on them, as a Finance Director in 2009. After a short period in position, she was appointed Chief Executive in what Petra described as being in ‘the right place at the right time’, driven by her desperate passion for the charity.

Petra Ingram, Charity The Brooke Chief Executive
Petra Ingram, Charity The Brooke Chief Executive

During her time as Chief Executive, Petra has been and still is responsible for, the growth of practice. Statistically speaking, since her appointment the £12 Million income with a reach of 750,000 recorded working animals has increased to, for 2016, a reported £19 Million and 2M respectively.

“Every animal helps up to a family of about six people” says Petra, “reaching 2 million animals helps about 12 million people, a phenomenal number of lives get changed as a result of Brooke’s work”

∼ Petra Ingram ∼

Building the Economic Model

One of the key principals in which Petra implemented was a change in operation. The Economic Model grew to comprise of three elements;


The first element was to focus on families and operation. Instead of ‘parachuting into communities’ with the aim to help care for the working animal by giving free treatments, the charity changed direction to create lasting change. This was done by working with the owners and families to build on education, skills and to grow compassion for the animal. By understanding the complex environment in which both animal and families live, The Brooke were able to identify key area’s that needed work.

The second element focuses on the education of service supply, by aiming to develop quality services by providing a lasting solution. Farriers, harness makers, vets, other animal health workers and feed sellers, all receive additional education and support to be able to provide better care and health treatment so the equids live longer and healthier lives.

Brooke trained farrier working in market in Senegal - image credit ©Brooke/Freya Dowson
Brooke trained farrier working in market in Senegal – image credit ©Brooke/Freya Dowson

In the third element of the new model, The Brooke looked at the systemic environment; policy makers, national and international governments were involved in bringing about long term change to policy, law and standards. In 2016 new international standards were adopted for the working equid by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) for which The Brooke worked with the Adopted International Standards Technical Committee.

Understand the value of working Equids

Understanding the value of these equids to the working lives of families in countries such as Ethiopia, India and Asia has been key to developing sustainable change. Learning what motivates people to change their behaviour has been an ongoing effort to help implement this.

 “In Ethiopia, there’s 9 million working horses, donkeys and mules. 98 % of rural families own at least one donkey”

∼ Petra Ingram ∼

The equids have a lot of key responsibilities, such as transporting produce to market, feed for cattle, and collecting water, without them the responsibility for these tasks would fall to the woman.

Campaign ‘How the Other Horse Lives’

2017 has seen the launch of an exciting campaign, ‘How the Other Horse Lives’ which was brought about by the need to raise awareness of the living conditions of working equids in developing countries. Highlighting the difference in care from the traditional principals in the UK, to those abroad, is key to the campaign’s direction.

Professional riders have been asked to complete short questionnaires. There’s also opportunities for monthly donations or sign up to the MyHackathon to help raise funds.

Support from Ambassadors

Global Ambassador Monty Roberts’ vision is to leave a world a better place for horses and people too. A few years ago he visited India, he was shocked to see people still treat their animals as they did when he was young. Charlotte Dujardin, also a Global Ambassador for The Brooke, has a trip planned towards the end of year and has said to be ‘worried’ about what she will witness when there.

Petra Ingram and Jessica Mendoza credit ©Brooke
Petra Ingram and Jessica Mendoza – image credit ©Brooke

Further support was offered by Nina Barbour when The Brooke were announced as this year’s chosen charity for The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show. The charity used the opportunity not only to raise awareness of the work they do but to announce Jessica Mendoza as the latest Global Ambassador. The 21-year-old rider, who is one of the youngest rider to ever represent Great Britain at senior International level, jumped at the chance to answer questions to support the campaign for ‘How the Other Horse Lives’.

For more information please visit where you will find a wealth of information including ways you can get involved.


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