Successful Brooke USA Disaster Relief Event Hosted at Manhattan Saddlery

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 4, 2017 – On Tuesday evening, Sept. 19, Manhattan Saddlery, New York City’s only and most historic tack shop, opened their doors to host a fundraiser for the renowned equine welfare charity, Brooke USA. The event kicked off a week of equestrian competition for the city, hosting riders and spectators during the esteemed Rolex Central Park Horse Show. The occasion not only raised awareness for Brooke USA and their global work, but also aided in raising additional funding for the countless equines that are desperate for help after the multiple catastrophic hurricanes.

Brooke USA Board Member Katherine Bellissimo, Manhattan Saddlery General Manager Jessie Lochrie, Hall of Fame jockey and Brooke USA Ambassador Ramón A. Domínguez

Brooke USA Board Member Katherine Bellissimo, Manhattan Saddlery General Manager Jessie Lochrie, Hall of Fame jockey and Brooke USA Ambassador Ramón A. Dominguez.

Guests filled the store to shop for a good cause, as well as enjoyed a lovely spread of hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. One of the many guests included Brooke USA’s newest ambassador, Hall of Fame jockey, Ramón A. Domínguez, who was the celebrity bartender for the night. Brooke USA Board Member and Principal of Equestrian Sport Productions, Katherine Bellissimo, was also in attendance and spoke at the event on behalf of Brooke USA.

“I am a proud board member of Brooke USA, which was founded with the purpose of raising money to support the work of Brooke worldwide and for projects where money is needed most,” Bellissimo said. “I am honored to be here this evening to help the large number of equines affected by the hurricanes in the United States, and we are overjoyed to have such strong support from Manhattan Saddlery, as well as the surrounding community.”

While the mission of Brooke USA is primarily to better the living and working conditions of horses, donkeys and mules throughout developing nations, the overwhelming effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria inspired Brooke USA to take action and help equines suffering in the United States.


Manhattan Saddlery graciously donated 15% of the proceeds raised from the evening to Brooke USA’s Disaster Fund, which directly supports the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund. They also hosted a raffle for a basket filled with various products from the store, which was the grand prize of the evening. Supporter, Alexia Mercier-LaFond, of Shánah, a company dedicated to providing natural, therapeutic treats and supplements for horses, also donated a basket to raffle filled with all of their products.

“We pride ourselves on giving back to the equestrian community, whether through charitable activities, show sponsorships or great customer service,” said Jessie Lochrie, manager of Manhattan Saddlery. “When we had the opportunity to support Brooke USA and the incredible work they are doing to help equines in the hurricane-stricken states and around the world, there was no hesitation. It was rewarding to see so many of our customers and friends of Brooke USA rally for the cause at the event.”

Brooke USA Young Leaders Initiative Members Alexia Mercier-LaFond, Jennifer Gates and Chairwoman Paige Bellissimo

Brooke USA Young Leaders Initiative Members Alexia Mercier-LaFond, Jennifer Gates and Chairwoman Paige Bellissimo.

Brooke USA felt compelled to make a difference by raising funds and spreading awareness after the havoc caused by the natural disasters in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Thus far, Brooke USA has raised over $35,000 thanks to generous donors and members of the equestrian community to assist helpless animals through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.

Sadly, these natural disasters left numerous equine victims in serious need of assistance in the form of medical supplies, veterinary services, and even potable water, feed, hay, fencing and portable stalls.

Katherine Bellissimo and Mark Bellissimo

Katherine Bellissimo and Mark Bellissimo

Tax-deductible donations can be made at www.BrookeUSA.org/disaster for equine victims. 100% of the donations will go to assist the animals.

For more information, please contact Brooke USA, 859-296-0037 or Info@BrookeUSA.org.