Horse groups in Ukraine’s war zone humbled by global support

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Volunteers with some of the donated products ready to head out on the road.
Volunteers preparing to pack a truck with some of the donated horse feed and shavings. © Ukrainian Equestrian Federation

A stable facility with 40 boxes at Lviv is being set up for horses in transit who are being evacuated from the war zones in Ukraine.

It is being set up by the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation with assistance from the FEI Solidarity Fund, and  Michaylo Parkhomchuk, Secretary-General of the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation, said that work was continuing on both sides of 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,” he said, and quarantine stations were also being established for horses to complete their health requirements before 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,” he said.

The group was also working on setting up a rail depot in Berlin, Germany which would take aid directly into the heart of Ukraine. Only full, wrapped pallets will be accepted there.

Parkhomchuk said his team had been inundated with messages, emails and calls and were humbled by the support shown by the global equestrian community.

“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.

Packed pallets of feed ready to go.
Packed pallets of feed ready to go. © Ukrainian Equestrian Federation

“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 will overcome).”

He said there had been an amazing response to calls for help and donations to the www.helpukrainehorses.eu fund, and those at the front line were extremely grateful to the many breeding societies, equestrian federations, charities and individuals from around the world for their ongoing support to help “with a hugely complex operation in what is essentially a war zone”.

Parkhomchuk asked that those donating tried to coordinate with fellow donors to supply larger quantities of feed, packed on euro pallets and following the guidance on the website. He said trucks with larger loads are more efficient to deliver and distribute, and can go directly to the border with Ukraine and from the border to the warehouse in Lviv. “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.”

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