The Duchess of Cornwall hailed the power of women to bring about change as she hosted a event in support of an animal welfare charity this week.

Her Royal Highness told potential supporters of The Brooke, which works to end the suffering of equine animals overseas, that the organization needed their help and would get things done as it was “women helping women”.

The Duchess is President of the charity which held the Clarence House reception to highlight its work empowering women in developing countries by teaching them the skills to look after their donkeys, mules and horses.

A short video was screened to illustrate the organization’s work around the world targeting wives and mothers who rely on the animals that contribute significant amounts to the family income.

Images were shown of emaciated donkeys and other equine animals with sores or ill.

The Duchess addressed the room which included the charity’s patron, ex-horse racing broadcaster Sir Peter O’Sullevan, saying: “I would just like to thank all you women, and two men, for coming, you’ve seen the film I’m sure it brought a tear to your eye – it certainly did mine.”

She added: “We do need your help, it’s women helping women which I do think is very important – we know we’ll get things done.”

Some of the equestrian world’s leading women, including former racehorse trainer Jenny Pitman, were joined by presenter Anthea Turner and broadcaster Clare Balding at the event.

Clare Balding, who was invited by her friend Sir Peter to the reception, spoke about the charity’s targeting of women: “Emphasising animal husbandry to women is very intelligent – I had not thought of that and it helps women because (looking after animals) helps raise money for the family.”

Referring to one of the misguided equine treatments highlighted in the Brooke video, Ms Balding added: "If as a carer of donkeys, mules and horses you’re putting battery acid on sores you’re not doing it out of cruelty, you’re doing it because you thought it was the right thing to do.

“But they’ve now been taught they should use salt water and Vaseline.”


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