Jo Ellen Hayden, Equine Historian and Author of the Horse Heroes Website, Joins Host Elise Gaston Chand on Award-Winning Because Of Horses Podcast

Equine historian and researcher Jo Ellen Hayden, author of the Horse Heroes website, will join Elise Gaston Chand for conversation Friday, Aug. 9, on the Because of Horses podcast. Horse Heroes, produced in collaboration with Brooke USA and the World War I Centennial Commission, is a comprehensive account of the roles played by equines in The Great War.

Hayden researched and authored the site which includes historical information on the purchase, training, shipping, veterinary care and battlefield conditions for the over 1 million American horses, mules and donkeys that served Allied forces in Europe during World War I.

In addition, she carefully documented the many uses of equines both in harness and under saddle. These animals fulfilled a variety of roles, doing everything from carrying cavalrymen into battle to helping wounded soldiers reach care and safety. Others struggled under heavy loads as they hauled unwieldy burdens over steep or muddy terrain.

With 250 images and video clips, the site is the largest single digital collection of photographs of American animals involved in World War I.

Equines suffered greatly during the war. Necessities like feed, water, and shelter were often minimal in combat zones. The U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, formed only a year before the war began, did their best to provide care under often desperate conditions. Afterward, only 200 war horses returned to the United States. Horse Heroes honors the role equines played during World War I and raises awareness of the needs of the nearly 100 million working equines in the developing world.

The plight of equines during and after World War I inspired Englishwoman Dorothy Brooke to take action to improve their conditions for some of the surviving animals. She founded Brooke in the 1930s. Brooke USA was founded in 2007 as a sister organization to Brooke, now the world’s largest equine welfare charity. Brooke USA funds programs to improve the living and working conditions of equines and the families that rely on them through culturally sensitive and practical approaches geared towards long-lasting solutions.

Visit the Horse Heroes website here.


"Elise Gaston Chand is the Terry Gross of the equestrian world with her podcast, Because of Horses." ~ Kristine Dahms, Life Between the Ears

“Listening to your guests each week is like a lighted candle in the darkness.” ~ Bob from Texas

Each week, Elise Gaston Chand connects the horse world with informative and entertaining conversations about horses, horse-people and the equestrian life. Because of Horses is the horse-lover’s podcast for listeners worldwide, sharing notable equestrians’ personal stories, challenges, triumphs and expert insights, as well as timely topics and exciting event information from around the globe. Because of Horses is an American Horse Publications award winner and is the official podcast of the Hampton Classic. For more information, go to

Photos available. Contact Carrie Wirth at

Brooke USA’s mission is to significantly improve the welfare of horses, donkeys and mules and the people they serve throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need. Through the programs funded, Brooke USA helps equine owners, service providers and governments in the developing world to implement scientifically proven, practical, sustainable and culturally relevant solutions to enormous animal welfare challenges.

The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission was established by Congress in 2013 to provide education programs, public outreach, and commemorative events regarding the American involvement in the war.

Media Contact:
Carrie Wirth
EQ Media
(612) 209-0310


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