British Equestrians for Ukraine
Many of you will have seen the calls over the weekend on social media for assistance for the horses and horse owners of the Ukraine. There are heart breaking stories of horses being released loose as their owners flee, stables being subject to missile attack as well as issues of supply for those that remain. There are currently 700 horses being kept in the Hippodrome in Kiev whilst the supply chain to hay supplies is about to be cut off by the advancing Russian army.
BETA together with British Equestrian, the BHS and World Horse Welfare have this week been working on assisting both for the short and long term and have united to form ‘British Equestrians for Ukraine’ which aims to help horses and their owners caught up in the crisis created by the Russian invasion.
The Ukrainian Equestrian Federation has put out an urgent call for supplies on the ground including feed, forage and shavings and with a groundswell of support from our industry, there was a clear need to help co-ordinate the offers of assistance from leading brands as well as raise money to fund aid directly where it’s needed most.
British Equestrians for Ukraine has been set up to help facilitate a supply chain to meet the immediate need for goods on the ground as well as raising money to help purchase supplies and cover the costs associated with transport.
The first action has been to facilitate a trusted method for financial contributions, with World Horse Welfare setting up the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund on their website where direct donations can be made by individuals or organisations.
Donations, no matter how small, will help to work with trusted, local partners, including the Ukraine and Polish Federations and recognised charities to provide emergency support. Please use this for your own donations and share the link with your own audiences. Please do urge them to use the fund to make donations of cash rather than buying small amounts of product to send over.
UK taxpayers can sign up to Gift Aid on their donations which means the fund will receive an extra 25p in every £1 you give, at no extra cost.
Jim Eyre, British Equestrian Chief Executive commented; “This is a dire situation, and, alongside the immediate humanitarian crisis, we must do everything we can to prevent the unnecessary suffering of all equines and help those who care for them. We’re fortunate that our equestrian community is blessed with so many willing to help those in need. However, it’s apparent that careful co-ordination is required to make sure urgent goods get to those in need through the correct channels. We hope that we can help facilitate that while urgently raising funds for the emergency requirements and beyond. I’d like to thank all those involved in getting the fund and export effort launched, particularly Alec Lochore, Alice Fox-Pitt, Roly Owers, James Hick and Claire Williams.”
Roly Owers, Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare said; "The tragedy unfolding in Ukraine is utterly heart-breaking but there has been such a desire from across Britain to help Ukraine’s horses and those who own or care for them. This fund aims to do just that and, along with the British Horse Society, we have donated to the appeal, and would encourage others to do the same. Without doubt there will be huge challenges to effectively target funds where they are most needed, so we will strive to work through a network of trusted local partners in what is clearly such an unsettled and rapidly evolving situation."
James Hick, BHS Chief Executive added; “We have been shocked by the events unfolding in Ukraine and as a charity that is here for all horses and people who care for them, we wanted to help, and we know many of our members and supporters also want to help during this incredibly difficult time. By collectively coming together we have launched a dedicated fund and The British Horse Society will be making a donation, we would encourage anyone who feels that they can afford to donate to do so. These are unprecedented times and just these small actions we’re taking will make a difference.”
The group does not recommend that private individuals collect donations of goods or equipment and/or attempt to transport them to Europe themselves, unless they have extensive experience of exporting goods. There are significant logistical barriers and the required exportation documentation for mixed loads is extensive plus the inherent costs associated with the trip could become prohibitive.
Many thanks for all you are able to donate to such a worthy cause.