Fiancee forgoes ring to aid donkeys
After getting down on one knee and proposing to his girlfriend, a Manchester man then had to explain to his new fiancee why she would not be receiving a diamond ring.
Ross Pinkerton, 53, proposed to Celeste Hill, 46, from Monmouth, South Wales, while on holiday in Vietnam and suggested that instead of buying an expensive diamond ring, they could use the money to help out a cause close to Celeste's heart.
Celeste immediately accepted Ross's proposal and even said she would match the amount he had originally planned to spend on a diamond ring and give it to the Brooke, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of working horses and donkeys in some of the world's poorest communities.
Celeste said: "If I ever had any doubts about being with Ross for the rest of my life, they disappeared when he came up with his amazing plan of helping working donkeys and horses rather than giving me something shiny to put on my finger.
"He really has an understanding of what is important to me and I know that this cause is so important to him now as well. It means so much to us that many innocent, helpless working horses and donkeys will not suffer thanks to the Brooke.
"I am a very independent person and have done a fair amount of travelling in poorer countries and have seen the reality that is the lives of many working horses and donkeys.
"Some of the situations I have witnessed have been very upsetting. After Ross proposed we both immediately knew the money from the engagement ring should support the Brooke as they were addressing the problems and issues of the animals that I had personally seen.
"I've seen some awful things involving donkeys and horses during my travels. The poor animals often have to carry unbearable loads, lack food, water, veterinary treatment and shelter from the scorching sun. I'm so pleased that working horses and donkeys will be helped and healed because of our engagement."
Celeste and Ross will get married in early 2016.
The Brooke began operations in Egypt 80 years ago when its founder, Dorothy Brooke, rescued 5,000 former war horses left behind after the First World War. Today, the charity reaches 1.5 million working equines in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.