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Posted on March 23rd, 2022

British Equestrians for Ukraine: week one update

Just over a week after launching, the team behind British Equestrians for Ukraine can report a successful start thanks to an overwhelming response from the equine community to help those displaced by the Russian invasion. The public fund set up via World Horse Welfare is currently running at over £100,000 in donations while the co-ordinated efforts of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) have collected feed and bedding worth around £90,000 – about nine lorry loads – which is on route to Poland.

Working in collaboration with the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation and trusted partners in countries around Ukraine, we’re liaising with those on the ground to develop logistics and supply chains to ensure that the supplies of food, bedding and veterinary supplies are distributed in the country from the drop-off points in Poland.

Claire Williams from BETA commented; “Our members and the wider trade have all been touched by the distress faced by the Ukrainian equestrian community and have been overwhelming in their support. So many have pledged support, but I must thank Country Haylage who’ve raised over £25,000 and been instrumental in co-ordinating the nine-lorry lift of product generously donated from manufacturers across the country. Further members of the trade have made significant cash donations to the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund and many retailers are running fundraising initiatives to further boost the fund.”

The situation on the ground in Ukraine is becoming increasingly dire and the priority is getting food and bedding for equines throughout the country. Supplies are arriving daily from a range of supporters throughout Europe, with the Ukraine Federation recently outlining requirements for efficient deliveries, including grouping aid into large quantities on wrapped pallets and ensuring the correct paperwork and accreditations are in place.

There’s now a huge effort focused on evacuating any horses requiring rescue out of the country or a move to safer areas in the west. The group is liaising with Ukrainian contacts including the Ukrainian Horse Union who have the best knowledge of stables and equines in the country and who are helping to establish a ‘base camp’ for equines either in Lviv or Poland near the border. Lobbying is also being carried out in an attempt to reduce red tape for people seeking to evacuate their horses across the Polish border.

Roly Owers from World Horse Welfare said: “The situation in Ukraine remains deeply worrying, but it is encouraging to see the progress being made in getting supplies through to the Ukrainian border. For sure, this is just the beginning and there is no doubt that this is going to be an on-going mission. Without the generosity of everyone who has donated to the appeal already, none of this would have been possible. In such concerning times it is so uplifting to see how much support there is for the animals and people of Ukraine. Financial donations will help us most at this stage as we work with trusted partners on the ground.”

The British Equestrian Veterinary Association has linked in with the newly established British Veterinary Professionals for Ukraine to help raise funds to help with medical and veterinary supplies for practitioners working in areas where fighting is ongoing. Also known as UKVets4Ukraine, British Veterinary Professionals for Ukraine has raised over £15,000 so far as well as physical donations of supplies.

Olympic disciplines British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping have all pledged support to the British Equestrians for Ukraine fund and a number of other member bodies, equestrian companies and individuals are all working to raise money to donate.

Jim Eyre, British Equestrian Chief Executive summed the efforts up in saying; “It’s been a tremendous response so far, but we must keep up the momentum. The humanitarian crisis is escalating as the fighting and unwarranted bombing continues and the conditions for equines and their people will continue to deteriorate. The generosity shown in such a short time by so many is testament to Britain’s amazing equestrian community. We’re already hearing how the funds and products are making an impact and there’s further support in the planning stages to have more impact on the ground and getting the horses to safety. We’ll continue to release updates so those who’ve supported know they’re making a difference.”

James Hick, CEO at The British Horse Society said, “By working together we were able to set up the donations fund quickly and effectively, I want to thank all our members and supporters for their contributions. As ever, I am proud of the outstanding efforts of our amazing industry to support one another through hard times, and particularly now, as we reach out together as a bonded equestrian community, to bring desperately needed help to Ukraine.”

British Equestrians for Ukraine was set up by British Equestrian (BEF), The British Horse Society (BHS), the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and World Horse Welfare with the support of member bodies across the industry. To donate to the British Equestrians for Ukraine, visit the dedicated page on World Horse Welfare. Remember, if you’re a UK taxpayer, you can claim Gift Aid on your donation which makes the money go further at no extra cost.

Posted on March 21st, 2022

Ukrainian Equestrian Federation: situation update

All at the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation have been touched by the amazing response to our calls for help and donations to our www.helpukrainehorses.eu fund, the kindness of equestrian communities across the world has been generous and instant. The situation in our country for equines is exceptionally challenging and constantly evolving and we thank everyone for their patience.  We are beginning to see our collaborative efforts with a number of organisations beginning to have an impact for those who need help.

We are extremely grateful to the many Breeding Societies, Equestrian Federations and Charities such as The FEI, The Finnish Equestrian Federation, British Equestrian, World Horse Welfare and individual from many countries around the world for their ongoing support to help with a hugely complex operation in what is essentially a war zone.


Aid administration

We continue to need aid and now supply channels are being established, we ask all of our supporters to follow very clear guidance to make sure support is handled in the most effective way – for you and for us to facilitate getting aid into the country. We would ask that you please refer to our website www.helpukrainehorses.eu to see the latest logistical advice as these logistics are evolving all the time in this dynamic situation.

What we do ask please, is to try very hard to coordinate with fellow donors to supply at least larger quantities of feed, packed on euro pallets and following the guidance on the website. Trucks with larger quantity of aid are more efficient to deliver and distribute – they can go directly to the border with Ukraine and from the border to the warehouse in Lviv. Only small loads/shipments can be brought to Lesna Wola and will be used for evacuated horses staying in Lesna Wola.

Please do not simply turn up at the Polish/Ukrainian border with stock/aid. There are currently very long lines of lorries and correct accreditation is required, without it you could face long delays.

We are working on setting up a rail depot in Berlin, Germany which will take aid directly into the heart of Ukraine. Only full, wrapped pallets will be accepted here. Please follow our website and social media for progress updates on this.


Equine assistance

Through help from the FEI Solidarity Fund, we are setting up a stable facility at Lviv with 40 boxes to house horses in transit as we begin to evacuate more from danger. We continue to work with a number of individuals on both side the border to establish stop over locations for horses. Some will remain in the west of Ukraine and some will move further west into neighbouring counties.

There is also a requirement to establish quarantine stations for horses to complete their health requirements prior to their onward journey.

We have had very generous offers from a number of logistics/horse transport companies all over Europe but crossing the border into Ukraine remains complex for a number of reasons and the logistics of moving horses is extremely challenging.

Michaylo Parkhomchuk, Secretary General of the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation said; “Our small team has been inundated with messages, emails and calls and we’re very humbled by the support we’ve had but would ask everyone is patient while we try to keep up with our inbox. The actual situation is that we are forced to act during war and in war zone – as Lviv has already been bombed several times, there are no safe zones anymore and there are no guarantees that logistics or any services in Ukraine will work as intended. The ongoing war makes even the simplest things difficult. This will not deter us from the absolute focus to assist as many horses and owners in our country as we possibly can during these dark times. РАЗОМ ПЕРЕМОЖЕМО!!!”

We’ll issue a weekly update of what has been achieved and how those who want to provide support can best help with clear instructions and guidance, that way the aid is expedited to where it’s needed as smoothly as possible. We’re still asking for financial donations which will help with the evacuation and housing of equines via our Charity Foundation or a trusted official fundraiser in your country. On behalf of the Ukrainian horses and their people, we thank everyone for their generosity and kindness.


Posted on March 10th, 2022

‘British Equestrians for Ukraine’ launched to aid developing equine crisis

Leading organisations and individuals across Britain’s equestrian community 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.

Spearheaded by British Equestrian (BEF), The British Horse Society (BHS), the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and World Horse Welfare with the support of member bodies across the industry, 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.

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.”

The group’s first action was 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 us to work with trusted, local partners, including the Ukraine and Polish Federations and recognised charities to provide emergency support. 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.

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.”

The group is also working with leading equestrian brands and BETA members to co-ordinate offers of the urgently required goods and then matching them with planned haulage trips to the Polish logistics hub established by the Ukrainian and Polish Equestrian Federations. This way we can ensure lorries are leaving British shores full, with the right supplies and correct exportation documentation to expedite the goods getting into Poland and on to Ukraine.

Executive Director of BETA, Claire Williams, praised the efforts so far; “What has been achieved in such a short time shows what we are able to do by working together. Shipments of hay and bedding are already on their way, but the logistics due to Brexit are challenging. Feed companies with distributors and stock on the Continent are stepping up to assist while others who are experienced exporters are committing supplies to be sent over either through shared loads or direct with their usual hauliers. Other companies who are not in a position to send product have also pledged cash donations to the new fund.”

How the equine community can help via British Equestrians for Ukraine

· The most immediate and direct benefit will come from donations:

– Equine: British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund (worldhorsewelfare.org)

– Humanitarian: – http://www.donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitrian-appeal 

Donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal will be match funded by the UK Government up to £25 million and funds from Oxfam and the Red Cross are being channelled to the REC.

· If any companies can help with donations of reasonable quantities of the following in packs weighing less than 20kgs, please contact BETA on info@beta-uk.org who can help with the logistics of supply:

– small packaged haylage/forage

– compound/hard feed

– shavings

Any product supplied will need to be accompanied by export documentation and should not require export health certificates.

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.

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.”