EHV-1 relief fund aims to help devastated showjumping community

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Peter Charles of Great Britain celebrates a clear round on Vindicat W in the jump-off against the Netherlands to help secure Olympic gold at London 2012.
Peter Charles of Great Britain celebrates a clear round on Vindicat W in the jump-off against the Netherlands to help secure Olympic gold at London 2012. © London 2012

Three top-level showjumping riders are behind the launch of a relief fund to support those affected by the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in Europe.

Riders Emile Hendrix, Peter Charles and Frederick Goltz have established the EHV Relief Fund with the support of several organisations, and €250,000 has already been pledged. Peter Charles thanked those who had already joined the effort. “We very much hope that everyone in the showjumping community will consider helping as much as they are able”, he said.

The fund has the support of the FEI, European Equestrian Federation, International Jumping Riders Club, Jumping Owners Club and Equestrian Organisers. In addition, Riders Help Riders, the fundraising campaign set up by German event organiser and sports marketer Axel Milkau, has joined forces with the fund. Collectively, this group has set themselves up as the sponsors of the fund. The total raised so far includes money committed by the sponsors, other donors, and the very successful fundraising effort already undertaken by the Riders Help Riders team.

The showjumping community has been devastated by the current linked outbreaks in Spain of the neurological form of EHV-1 that has impacted horses in 10 countries in mainland Europe, and led to the deaths of 18 horses. While the situation is being brought under control, many riders and owners are facing severe financial hardship due to the costs of emergency veterinary treatment for their horses during the crisis.

“Despite these desperately distressing times, it has been heartwarming to see in practice what we all know to be true: that in our sport, the welfare of the horse comes first, no matter the circumstance”, Frederick Goltz said.

“As part of that special community ethos, we would hope that the broader showjumping community will help to bear some of the costs, particularly in an environment made all the more difficult by Covid-19.”

The mandate of the fund is to provide financial support to riders and owners for the legitimate veterinary expenses resulting directly from the EHV-1 outbreaks in Spain. All proceeds raised will be applied to this mission, and any administrative or other costs of the fund will be borne by the sponsors.

Guidelines for the submission of funding requests will be published in due course.

The sponsors have created an oversight committee to manage the distribution of the funds. Questions about the fund can be addressed to EHVRelief@FEI.org.

Donations can be paid directly to the dedicated bank account that has been set up through the FEI:

Banque Cantonale Vaudoise
Place St-François 14
1003 Lausanne – Switzerland

Account holder: Federation Equestre Internationale
IBAN: CH72 0076 7000 E536 6418 5
Account: E 5366.41.85 EUR
BIC/Swift: BCVLCH2LXXX
Reference: EHV_relief_fund

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