Katherine Bellissimo Joins Brooke USA Board of Directors

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Earlier this year, Mark and Katherine Bellissimo attended a private cocktail reception for Brooke USA, hosted by Brooke USA Ambassador Margaret H. Duprey. Katherine was moved by Brooke USA's mission to improve the welfare of working equines in the developing world. Not long after, Katherine, together with Nic Roldan, hosted and organized the event of the Wellington winter season: Nic Roldan's Sunset Polo & White Party. Today the Board of Directors of Brooke USA officially welcomes Katherine Bellissimo to the international equine welfare charity.

Brooke USA is the American-based fundraising arm of the Brooke, the world's largest international equine welfare charity, dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys, and mules in developing countries. For more than 80 years, the Brooke has been alleviating the suffering of equines who work in some of the poorest communities on earth. The Brooke's scientifically proven, practical, and sustainable solutions to enormous equine welfare challenges actively improve the lives of equine animals and the people who depend on them across Africa, Asia, and Central America. Last year alone, the Brooke reached 1.8 million equines, benefiting 10 million people in the developing world.

"It is truly an honor to be included on the board of Brooke USA," Katherine said. "I look forward to continuing to work to raise awareness of the organization, as well as the much needed funds."

Katherine works in partnership with her husband, Mark Bellissimo, for the Wellington Equestrian Partners, the guiding entity for Palm Beach International Equestrian Center show grounds operations and development. She is a principal in the Tryon Equestrian Partners, which oversees the Tryon International Equestrian Center and Tryon Resort in Tryon, North Carolina, as well as the Colorado Equestrian Partners, which manages the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado. For all three venues, Katherine oversees all sponsorship, marketing, communications, retail operations and vendors.

In addition, the Bellissimo family owns The Chronicle of the Horse, one of the country's oldest equestrian publications. Katherine is also the publisher of The Chronicle of the Horse Untacked, the award-winning bimonthly equestrian lifestyle publication.

Katherine, her family, and the Wellington Equestrian Partners continue to grow the Great Charity Challenge (GCC) initiative. The GCC celebrated its sixth year as one of the state's largest charitable giveaways in a single day, and has donated more than $9.2 million to more than 197 Palm Beach County charities since its inception in 2010.

Dr. David Jones, Chairman of Brooke USA, said, "We recently unveiled an ambitious five-year global strategy which will see the Brooke reaching a record five million equines within the next five years. Brooke USA will fund many of the programs within that strategy, so it is imperative that we introduce more Americans to our life-saving mission. We're honored to welcome Katherine to our board and believe that her experience, expertise, and compassion will be instrumental in helping us reach our target."

The Brooke is headquartered in London, England, and oversees a staff of approximately 1,000 worldwide. Brooke USA is headquartered at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, and exists solely to support the overseas work of the Brooke through fundraising.

For more information about Brooke USA, contact Cindy Rullman, 859-296-0037, Cindy.Rullman@BrookeUSA.org, or visit the website: www.BrookeUSA.org.

Brooke USA is a 501(c)(3) charity located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, which exists solely to support the overseas work of the Brooke, the world's largest international equine welfare charity. For more than 80 years, the Brooke has been alleviating the suffering of horses, donkeys, and mules who work in some of the poorest communities on earth. The Brooke's scientifically proven, practical, and sustainable solutions to enormous welfare challenges improve the lives of equine animals and the people who depend on them across Africa, Asia, and Central America. Last year alone, the Brooke reached 1.8 million equines, benefiting 10 million people in the developing world. To learn more visit BrookeUSA.org. Follow Brooke USA's Facebook page. To support Brooke USA in its effort to fund equine welfare projects around the world, go to BrookeUSA.org.