Some of England’s top professional polo players are swapping pony power for man power in the world’s number one ocean endurance race, The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The direct beneficiaries will be horses, donkeys, mules, and their owners in developing countries through The Brooke.

The Brooke is the world’s largest international equine welfare organization. It is based in London, England, and has a North American office at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The Brooke is has announced that The Atlantic Polo Team is currently rowing its way across the Atlantic Ocean in aid of The Brooke’s worldwide programs.

Horses are close to the hearts of these polo players. Their 3,000-mile journey, which is one of the toughest races on earth (more people have been into space or climbed Mount Everest than have rowed the Atlantic) began in the Canary Islands on Dec. 4, and are scheduled to arrive in Antigua sometime in January, 2014. Their journey will support The Brooke in its mission to increase the number of working equines it helps from 1.2 million currently to 2 million a year by 2016.

Bobby Melville is captain of the Atlantic Polo Team. He has played for England in the European Championships in Rome, the World Cup in Mexico, and England tours to Pakistan and Zimbabwe.

Henry Brett, another of the four-member team, is a 38-year-old former captain of the England Polo Team. He was also England’s highest rated polo player from a young age. Henry has won every major tournament in England and captained the team at home and abroad and now runs a young horse program in Oxfordshire and continues to play professionally