Charity foundation established to support Ukraine equestrians

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The Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation is working to support the horse world in the war-torn country.
Image by Gerd Altmann

Horse sport’s governing body has assisted the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation in the setting up of a charity foundation to support equestrian interests while the country is under siege from Russian military forces.

The FEI has also passed an emergency board resolution prohibiting Russian and Belarusian athletes, horses and officials from international events.

The newly established Belgian-registered Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation, led by the federation’s secretary-general Mykhaylo Parkhomchuk, aims to help horse owners, riding schools, athletes, equestrian clubs, stables and professionals. It will also provide counselling and needs-based assistance on the ground, including the relocation of horses, and gathering and distributing goods for equestrians and their horses both in Ukraine and in their temporary locations in Europe.

Today, Parkhomchuk is taking a horse truck with “humanitarian cargo” to Ukraine and will evacuate several horses to Poland on his return trip. He is also negotiating the organisation of logistical hub for humanitarian aid and as a pick up place for evacuated horses.

He is planning to negotiate with the Polish veterinary service about the possibility of simplifying the border-crossing procedure with horses for humanitarian considerations.

Fighting in Kiev and other regions means that many roads are blocked or impossible or dangerous to drive.

“On the Ukrainian side, there will be no problems with the border crossing. Because of the military state, Ukrainian men do not have the chance to leave Ukraine. Therefore, drivers will be either Ukrainian women or foreigners.”

The foundation is monitoring the equine welfare situation and collaborating with FEI and national equestrian federations. It has a website where those needing help can advise what they need in the way of shelter and stabling, goods, or advice.

“There are more than 100,000 horses in Ukraine, many of the horses are caught up in the war, with no possibility to flee and seek safety, with no shelter and care,” the foundation said.

“Horse owners, riding schools, athletes, breeders, and professionals are in desperate conditions without any resources of saving their horses. By making donations or offering help, you will provide the Ukrainian equestrian community hope for a better future and save the lives of the Ukrainians and their loved ones.

It is in the process of opening a bank account for donations, and setting up a hotline. It had already received offers of help from several countries in Europe and North America.

• The FEI prohibition on Russian and Belarusian athletes, horses and officials comes into effect as of midnight (CET) on Sunday, March 6, 2022 so that FEI Events already in progress, or about to start, are not unduly disrupted.

It follows the decision earlier this week to remove all international equestrian events in Russia and Belarus from the FEI Calendar.

The resolution is in accordance with Article 20.3 of the FEI Statutes, and will remain in place until further notice. It also excludes the possibility of Russian and Belarusian athletes (equine and human) and officials from participating in FEI Events under the FEI flag and/or in a neutral capacity.

The resolution also prohibits, with immediate effect, the display of Russian and Belarusian flags, or their anthems played at, or in connection with, any FEI Events.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos said such measures were “regrettable”.

“But we need to ensure the safety, integrity and fairness of FEI Competitions during these difficult times.

“We sincerely hope that a peaceful solution can be found as soon as possible.”

Article 20.3. of the FEI Statutes states:

In an Emergency Situation the Board may, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of votes cast, pass Resolutions which are normally the prerogatives of the General Assembly. In such cases, the National Federations shall be notified promptly of these measures. If a majority of the National Federations eligible to vote, responding within thirty (30) days of the date of the notice, signifies its disapproval, the measure shall be rescinded if possible.

All FEI Rules & Regulations can be found here.

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