The art of the working equine: Special London showing to benefit charity


A work by Sophie Walbeoffe.

A private viewing of the work of an artist with a special connection to working donkeys in Africa is taking place in London next month.

Equestrian and sporting art specialists the Osborne Studio Gallery in Knightsbridge is hosting the private view of work by British artist Sophie Walbeoffe to support international equine welfare charity Brooke.

Walbeoffe and gallery director Geoffrey Hughes chose to support Brooke’s work in Kenya because of a connection they both have to the country, and a love for animals.

The artist, who has lived in Kenya for 25 years, recently moved back there after living for three years in Jerusalem.

“Whilst living in Lamu, I became well aware of the plight of the working donkeys in Kenya whilst living there, and I love to paint them – they are beautiful animals,” Walbeoffe said.

Detail of Donkey by the Jade Sea, by Sophie Walbeoffe.
Detail of Donkey by the Jade Sea, by Sophie Walbeoffe.

“My family owned donkeys when I was younger, so I got to know what wonderful characters they can be. Seeing them mistreated makes me so upset.”

There are about 1.8 million working equines in Kenya, mostly donkeys, and they help people to put food on their tables, send their children to school and build better futures for themselves and their families. However, disease, untreated injuries, and backbreaking loads are an everyday reality for these animals, and people don’t always have the knowledge or resources to look after them properly.

The special show is being held on the evening of May 10.

Geoffrey Hughes heard about Brooke’s work as a trustee of the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Trust, which has raised thousands of pounds for Brooke and other charities. Hughes visited Brooke’s work in Kenya earlier in the year. “Through the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Trust I learnt how ongoing and sustained support for charities like Brooke enables them to grow and become more effective over the years.

“Brooke’s teams overseas show great love, care and dedication. I’ve seen their work, and they have this fantastic formula of working with local people and showing them how to better care for their working donkeys. We’re excited to hold this private view in support of Brooke, and help them reach even more animals.”

Those interested in attending the private view should RSVP by April 27, by calling 0207 470 9343 or emailing The show takes place between 6pm and 8pm.

A work by Sophie Walbeoffe.

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