The 24th of February 2023 marks the sombre 1 year anniversary of the start of the large-scale war in Ukraine. Twelve months on and still no end in sight to sufferings and humanitarian crises. Looking back on this year of war where we saw true terror and desperation, death and destruction, but also the incredible resilience and strength of the Ukrainian people.
One year ago, the founder of the Ukrainian Equestrian Charity Foundation Mykhaylo Parkhomchuk said: “Help us to stand for our country and for our values! Being an equestrian means a unique bond between horse and human built on trust. Our commitment to the welfare of our horses is strong at all times and without compromising.”
The events that followed the invasion proved the resilience and deep commitment of the Ukrainian equestrian community to their country, community and the welfare of their horses. Whilst aggressive missile attacks continue to spread terror and desperation, the Ukrainian equestrians are coming back to their homes, bringing relocated horses back to their stables, repairing the destroyed yards, paddocks and riding arenas and dreaming of building back a better future.
This week also marks the first anniversary of the Ukrainian Equestrian Charity Foundation. It was established on the 28th of February 2022 to rescue and save equines in Ukraine and help the Ukrainian equestrians to stand for their horses and protect their welfare.
“We started with a group of volunteers from 15 different countries and Ukraine. What we have accomplished together is unbelievable. During the first months of war we arranged the relocation, evacuation and shelter for more than 500 horses. We have organised logistics for 1200 tonnes of humanitarian aid for horses. Another 500 tonnes of hay and feed have been sourced locally. We have helped to supply stables with rugs and blankets for the winter period, and Ukrainian equine vets with the essential medicines and equipment. Almost 5000 horses from 300 stables benefited in one or another way from the help of our team and our partners. The most important is that our work has brought hope and strength to the Ukrainian equestrians to recover and adapt and to win together.” Mykhaylo Parkhomchuk described the first year of the UECF.
The UECF has developed in one year from zero to the largest equine humanitarian organisation in Ukraine. The help is provided on a large scale and is localised – production of compound feed and sourcing of hay are organised in Ukraine.
We would like to thank the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and British Equestrians for Ukraine (British Equestrian, The British Horse Society, British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and World Horse Welfare), Equestrian society of Ukraine, IFAW, US Equestrian, Brooke USA, Blue Cross, House of Animals, European Equestrian Federation, FEEVA, BEVA – The British Equine Veterinary Association, ISELP, Worldwide Vets, Equus Caballus Rescue Foundation – ECRF, Stadnina Koni Leśna Wola, Hub SOS UA, Tallinn International Horse Show and many other organisations along with individual members of the equestrian community all around the world that have supported and encouraged us.
Together with the help of donors and hundreds of volunteers, the UECF will continue implementing a five step action plan to support the welfare of equines in Ukraine over the winter:
- distribution of humanitarian aid to regions most affected by the war, with primary focus on hay supplies
- on demand help with relocation of horses to safer regions and regions with better supplies
- distribution of rugs along with other equestrian and stableyard equipment
- providing a free of charge all-inclusive shelter for horses relocated from dangerous and deprived regions
- readiness to relocate horses and offer them shelter stabling in emergency situations
The horses in Ukraine have been facing significant challenges during the ongoing war, as many horse owners are struggling to provide enough food for their animals. If you’re looking to make a difference in their lives, please consider supporting UECF’s efforts. Your contribution can help provide hay and compound feed to the horses, as well as support food deliveries to stables. Your help can mean the difference between life and death for these animals. Please consider making a donation to UECF today. Donate