A CHARD rider has taken to the street on horseback in memory of around eight million horses, donkeys and mules who died in the First World War.

Joy Wood and her horse Dan took part in equine charity Brooke’s Hack to Remember Day on Sunday, July 1, which marked anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

This year’s event also accompanies Brooke’s year-long Every Horse Remembered campaign, which marks 100 years since the end of the First World War and honours the many mounts which lost their lives to the fight.

The annual hack is also held to remember horses who have passed away more recently.

Prior to Sunday, Joy had been taking part in Brooke’s MyHackathon fundraiser, which encourages riders to hack 100 miles in 100 days and raise £100 to improve the lives of working equines in many of the world’s poorest countries.

Reflecting on Sunday’s hack, Joy said: “I particularly wanted to remember and commemorate Dan’s best friend Holly who started the hackathon with him but tragically was never to complete it.”

Together with her horse, Dan, Joy took on the challenge alongside her riding buddy Yvonne and her horse, Holly.

Unfortunately, Holly had to be put to sleep early on after sustaining an injury. Joy vowed to ride 200 miles instead of the 100, eventually raising approximately £350.

Joy added: “I chose to ride to the river where Yvonne and Holly and Dan and I enjoyed many very happy times together.

“We miss her hugely and today was in honour of her precious memory.”

Brooke works to protect and improve the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules around the world.

Today, 100 million equines work worldwide in punishing environments such as coal mines and brick kilns. Brooke’s target for the year is to mark the millions of lives lost and those in need of saving by raising £1 million.

For more, visit thebrooke.org.