A horse in Yasinya, Zakarpattia Oblast, Ukraine. • Photo by Volodymyr Yevtushenko via Unsplash

Groups Join Forces To Raise Money For Ukraine Horses & Horsemen

A US-based aid group is partnering with the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and others to help horses in Ukraine affected by the Russian invasion.

Brooke USA, of Lexington, Kentucky, recently announced the establishment of its Ukraine Emergency Fund and asks its generous supporters to help equestrians and their horses as it joins the many organizations supporting relief efforts in that nation. Funds raised will be forwarded to the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation (UEFCF, a charity registered in Belgium) with assistance from the FEI and USEF via the USEF Disaster Relief Fund.

According to UEFCF, there are more than 100,000 horses in Ukraine, many of which are caught up in the war, with no possibility to flee and seek safety nor access to shelter or veterinary care. Horse owners, riding schools, athletes, breeders, and riders are suffering under desperate conditions without any means to save their horses. 

“By making a donation to Brooke USA, donors can provide the Ukrainian equestrian community with a way to help themselves and their beloved equine companions – whether providing feed, bedding, shelter, veterinary care, medications, and other essential needs,” stated Katherine Kaneb, Chair of the Board of Directors of Brooke USA.

Brooke USA said has received several email messages and calls asking for the organization to support those in Ukraine who are living amidst a war zone, lacking essential services and access to meeting their most basic needs. 

“Just imagine if life is difficult for humans; their equine companions are completely at risk. Those who care for them are forced to flee or have no means to provide for them. We have heard that many Ukraine horse owners are staying with their horses because of the difficulty of transporting them out of the country. The situation is truly desperate for all,” added Kaneb.

Brooke USA is in a unique position to help both humans and equines as the organization understands that the lives of both are intertwined. One hundred percent of the funds raised will be designated for direct support services, officials with the charity say.

UEFCF is helping with the relocation of horses and gathering and distributing goods for equestrians and their horses. Initially, the fund was established to manage a hotline for equestrians in Ukraine and those organizations offering help to Ukrainians. UEFCF has expanded their efforts to include coordinating help and operations in Ukraine, offering counselling and other needs-based assistance. Over the last month, outreach efforts assisting horses and humans displaced by the ongoing attacks in Ukraine amounted to more than 375 tons of feed, hay and bedding. One hundred and fifty tons were immediately distributed to 30 different stables in across Ukraine.

“Current donations are meeting immediate needs, but we know that the commitment to aid our fellow equestrians will require long-term support. Brooke USA’s Ukraine Emergency Fund will have a presence at all our fundraising events throughout the year and will be a staple of all our actions during 2023. We know that the welfare of these horses is paramount to their owners,” stated Emily Dulin, Chief Executive Officer of Brooke USA.

To make a donation to Brooke USA’s Ukraine Emergency Fund, visit www.BrookeUSA/Ukraine.