A GUIDE leader from Hawkesbury Upton is to walk 5K dressed as a horse, in aid of charity.

Louise Roberts, 57, is walking the Hawkesbury Upton 5K on Saturday, June 16 to raise funds for working horse and donkey charity, Brooke.

She said: “I thought dressing as a horse would make people smile, but also make them aware of the charity.”

Ms Roberts is fundraising as part of Brooke’s current Every Horse Remembered campaign, which marks 100 years since the end of WW1 and highlights the heroic struggle of the 8 million horses, donkeys and mules who died.

Her interest in WW1 horses was ignited a few years ago after the Steven Spielberg film War Horse inspired a Guides trip to the Army Museum.

“It just moved us all so much," she said.

"We laid a horse shoe with a purple poppy at the Animals at War Memorial near Hyde Park.”

Since then, the Hawkesbury Guides have continued to lay a horse shoe at the Remembrance Service each year and held a WW1 and WW2 exhibition with refreshments to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

This year, Hawkesbury Guides won a competition to name the horse featured within the War Horse Memorial in Ascot.

"We chose the name Poppy, as it evokes WW1, it was the only flower to grow in no-man's land and Poppy for Remembrance," Ms Roberts said. 

A spokesperson for Brooke said: “Although WW1 ended 100 years ago, there are still 100 million horses, donkeys and mules working in punishing environments around the world today, from coal mines and brick kilns to treacherous icy rivers. 

“With help from fundraisers like Louise, Brooke works to protect and improve the lives of these animals by training local communities and owners around the world.”