Brooke and her band of little helpers walk tall for crisis-hit pony club

Young girl with brown pony

Pony lover Brooke Underhill - Credit: Submitted

Brooke Underhill  and her band of little friends have done it. Together they have raised hundreds of pounds to help their crisis-hit Torbay pony club.

The nine-year-old from Kingskerswell attends the Moodymare Pony Club in Roccombe, Torquay, which was founded by Emma White.

The club suffered an outbreak of the devastating Strangles virus with all of their eight horses infected and is facing massive vets bills of £1,000 for each horse.

Brooke, who loves Sting the pony the most at the club, decided to walk 50 miles throughout March to raise money and friends joined in - and she inspired others to help as well.

Club founder Emma said: "Brooke and her little legs did it. She inspired others too,  Heidi Milner, eight, walked from Torquay to Brixham. They finished at our stable gates. It was very emotional for us all. And Cassia and Ottille also walked 50 miles in March."

Pete and Debi Underhill, Brookes mum and dad,  are going to the vets on Friday to hand over Brookes' amazing fund raiser money, which stands at £1,125.

Young girl on sponsored walk

Thumbs up from Brooke - Credit: Submitted

Emma says they are still fighting this virus and added: "Sadly,  due to circumstances out of our hands and due to the health of the ponies, we have had to close the doors. It is a very sad day for us all but it is about the ponies and their wellbeing that has to come first.

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"It has been very hard for us all. Its a daily battle keeping on top of it and the biohazard and sanitisation protocol has become second nature. Think it's best summed up as a bit like living the film 'groundhog day'.

"We are certain now that all horses will pull through and we hope that in a couple months we will finally get the all clear from the vets. We just have to keep everything crossed."

Young girl on sponsored walk

On her walk - Credit: Submitted

Emma said they can't thank Brooke and her friends enough. She said: "All the girls are nine and under. What amazing young ladies they are.  We know that these girls couldn't do any of this without their amazing parents. We thank all families and all those who have sponsored the girls from the bottom of our hearts."