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News

Posted on April 29th, 2022

HorseFest Cancelled

HorseFest Cancel Festival at
Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre 8th-10th July

After months of work it is with regret that Thea Roberts and Heidi Hunter-Cope, founders of HorseFest announce that the event which was to bring equine experts, elite riders and everyday riders together to celebrate all things horse over the second weekend in July has been cancelled.

Said Thea: “It is with a heavy heart that we have taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s HorseFest. Challenges, including the ongoing impact of Covid, the cost of living increases that are affecting our horse communities, along with unprecedented infrastructure cost increases and shortages have all factored in our decision-making process.

“So much work has gone into getting HorseFest off the ground, this is not a decision that we have taken lightly. Our amazing sponsors, suppliers, experts, elite riders and volunteers who all bought into our vision have been totally wonderful and completely supportive of HorseFest; we can’t thank them enough for this support.

Said Heidi: “We’re sorry to let down all our ticket holders. We’ve spoken to our HorseTribe community and understand and appreciate the very particular challenges horse owners are facing at this time of increased living costs.

“We just don’t feel it’s the right time to put on our event when so many are facing a very real struggle. Our objectives have always been about creating an inclusive event where horse lovers and everyday riders can explore, learn and meet experts, elite riders and each other.

“All our ticket competition winners will receive a year’s membership for two to HorseTribe as we very much value their support and are sorry we cannot fulfil the festival prizes we offered in the run up to this year’s HorseFest.”

Said HorseTribe member Anna Harling: “I was so excited about going to HorseFest and I’m absolutely gutted to hear it’s not going ahead, but I love being part of the HorseTribe and can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Adds Heidi: “We’re continuing our exciting HorseTribe journey. Our membership continues to grow and, until things settle down, we’ll be focusing on building our ever growing online community to make sure every horse owner out there feels supported during these tricky times.

The HorseFest team would like to thank all those who have given their time and energy to this event including our friends at Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre and our valued sponsors, in particular our presenting partner John Oates Horseboxes and sponsor Synovium.

All ticket holders will notified by email and refunded by the 6th May.

All staff, performers, collaborators and volunteers have been notified of the cancellation prior to this being shared publicly.


Posted on April 14th, 2022

British Equestrians for Ukraine: – week four update

 

The situation in Ukraine continues to be severe, with fighting intensifying in the south and east and the need for humanitarian and equine aid grows more desperate. Working in collaboration both in the United Kingdom and with parties in Europe and Ukraine, British Equestrians for Ukraine (BEU) has so far helped see nine lorries of goods delivered on the ground and assisted funding for holding facilities and personnel to help with logistics and coordination. Our collective efforts so far have achieved:

  • Donations to the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund, hosted by World Horse Welfare, now stand at £164,000.

 

  • The food, forage and bedding in our nine-truck convoy sent to Poland at the end of March has now been distributed throughout Ukraine via an established supply chain, to key locations where it’s most needed.

 

  • The Ukrainian Equestrian Federation (UEF) is prioritising relocating equines to holding camps in safe areas over trying to get them across the border into Poland and beyond. The wait times for paperwork to be checked, even for microchipped horses, is generally 20 to 40 hours on the border. The camps provide housing and support for any horse and any people who travel with them and BEU has been providing logistics and financial help to set up and run the camps.

 

  •  British Veterinary Professionals for Ukraine (BVP4U) is now linked into the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund for monetary assistance to support the need for veterinary medicine supplies, alongside their own fundraising which has raised £44,000 for humanitarian aid. The British Equestrian Veterinary Association Trust (BEVA) has donated plus a very welcome trans-Atlantic alliance with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) who, in the spirit of organisations working for the common good, have also made a contribution.

 

BVP4U team member David Rendle, President Elect of the British Equine Veterinary Association, will travel to the Polish/Ukrainian border this week to assess the situation and veterinary standards. He’s currently coordinating a lorry of much-needed veterinary supplies to leave the UK this week. He’ll work with Claire Williams at the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) to ensure that lorry is full of any additional donated equine, pet and humanitarian supplies. The lorry will travel to Poland and on to Ukraine, where its cargo will be distributed.

 

  • BETA is working on a supply source and transport provider for haylage and bedding in Europe so BEU can fund more economical ways to get supplies to Ukraine efficiently. The UEF and our source in Ukraine have said that the emphasis is on low-protein, small-bale forage and shavings because they currently have good stocks of hard feed.

Roly Owers of World Horse Welfare said; “The situation in Ukraine remains utterly dire but thanks to people’s generosity we are starting to have some impact in getting aid to where it is needed, both through donations of supplies and funding. The initial response to the appeal has been amazing and to have legends like Lucinda Green and Carl Hester supporting our collective effort is incredible.

“However, the stark reality is that the desperate need to support Ukrainian horses and the wider sector will remain for months to come, whatever happens on the ground. So we would implore everyone to continue to donate and to fundraise in support of this much needed initiative.”

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 help all horses in need in Ukraine and Poland. To donate to the British Equestrians for Ukraine, visit the dedicated page on World Horse Welfare’s website. 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.