Pony girl Brooke, 9, leads fund-raising drive for stables

Nine-year-old girl on scooter

Fund-raiser Brooke - Credit: Submitted

Little Brooke Underhill is leading the way with a fund-raising campaign to help her pony club after its horses were hit by a devastating disease.

The nine-year-old from Kingskerswell attends the Moodymares Pony Club in Roccombe, Torquay, which was founded by Emma White and is now run by her daughter, Katie Leszman. 

The club has suffered an outbreak of Strangles and all of their eight horses are currently infected, including two foals.  

The cost of vet’s bills will run into thousands of pounds. With Covid already hitting the club hard, Brooke came up with the idea of walking 50 miles throughout March to raise money. She is currently 25 miles down and has so far raised £715. 

The club was started by Emma eight years ago when she realised there was a lot of children wanting to spend time with a horse but were lacking confidence. 

The outbreak began on February 24 when a vet was called to check on horse Jig who was under the weather. 

Emma said: “She took bloods and said we were to lockdown the yard and expect the worse as she suspected strangles. For any equestrian this is the worse thing any vet could say. 

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“Jig was very poorly and we had to wait two days for the dreaded news that came back as positive for Strangles.” 

All the horses have since been struck down. 

Emma says: “Our insurances won't cover bacterial and viral infections so the cost of this is solely down to us.  

“We have been blown away by Brooke. Her mum messaged me and asked if we were happy for her to set up a go fund me and walk 50 miles in March. We were speechless. 

“Brooke has been coming to pony club for a while now. Her clear favourite is Sting. She even has a picture of him beside her bed.” 

She has inspired other pony club kids to also raise money.  Heidi Milner is walking from Torquay to Brixham. Cassia and Ottille Harman are also going to walk 50 miles in March. 

Emma said: “We want to thank them all. We are hoping that one day soon we can all get back to normal and all our horses pull through.” 

The link to Brooke’s fundraising page is https://gofund.me/7dce2a7a