British Equestrians for Ukraine

How the equestrian community in Britain can help support the crisis in Ukraine – FAQs

11 Mar 2022


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The situation in Ukraine is a dangerous and rapidly changing one – we’ll endeavour to keep this document as up to date as possible as information becomes available.

What/who is British Equestrians for Ukraine?

Spearheaded by British Equestrian (BEF), The British Horse Society (BHS), the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and World Horse Welfare with the support of member bodies across the industry, British Equestrians for Ukraine has been set up to help facilitate a supply chain to meet the immediate need for goods on the ground as well as raising money to help purchase supplies and cover the costs associated with transport.

So far, British Dressage, British Eventing, British Showjumping, Riding for the Disabled and The Pony Club have also offered support to the group with more to come.

What is the group doing to help?

The group’s first action was to facilitate a trusted method for financial contributions, with World Horse Welfare setting up the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund on their website where direct donations can be made by individuals or organisations.

The group is also working with leading equestrian brands and BETA members to co-ordinate offers of the urgently required goods and then matching them with planned haulage trips to the Polish logistics hub established by the Ukrainian and Polish Equestrian Federations. This way we can ensure lorries are leaving British shores full, with the right supplies and correct exportation documentation to expedite the goods getting into Poland and on to Ukraine.

What help is needed?

• The most immediate and direct benefit will come from donations:

Equine: British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund (worldhorsewelfare.org)

Humanitarian - www.dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal Donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal will be match funded by the UK Government up to £25 million and funds from Oxfam and the Red Cross are being channelled to the DEC.

• If any companies can help with donations of reasonable quantities of the following in packs weighing 20kgs or less, please contact BETA on info@beta-uk.org who can help with the logistics of supply:

  • small packaged haylage/forage
  • compound/hard feed
  • shavings

Any product supplied will need to be accompanied by export documentation and should not require export health certificates.

How are you raising funds?

The team at World Horse Welfare (registered charity 206658 and SC038384) has set up a restricted charitable fund, British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund, for individuals to donate directly or feed in any monies from their own fundraising activity.

How can I donate?

Equine: British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund via World Horse Welfare - www.worldhorsewelfare.org/support-us/appeals/british-equestrians-for-ukraine-fund

Humanitarian: www.donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitrian-appeal Donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal will be match funded by the UK Government up to £25 million and is supported by Oxfam and The Red Cross.

Is the British Equestrians for Ukraine registered with the charity commission as a registered charity? Or is it just a name set up for this group?

British Equestrians for Ukraine is an action group with the primary aims of co-ordinating the numerous offers of aid and transport to ensure efficiency and get supplies to those in need alongside raising funds to help with that effort such as, working with trusted partners, purchase supplies, help with costs of and areas highlighted by the Ukraine Equestrian Federation. The group is not registered hence all donations are going via World Horse Welfare (registered charity 206658 and SC038384) and into a restricted charitable fund.

What happens to donations? Do they go straight to British Equestrians for Ukraine?

The donations go to a dedicated restricted charitable fund set up by World Horse Welfare. As a group, we are working with a variety of contacts in Ukraine and their Federation on what the most urgent needs are and identifying trusted partners. We will then work with the group to target the funding awards. None of the donations come to the group – all funds will go to support Ukrainian horses and their owners and carers.

What will my money be used for?

We’ll work with trusted partners to make sure the money gets where its needed most and for the most urgent requirements. This could be a number of outlets including the purchase of the required supplies, covering costs of transport or VAT, veterinary care, etc. We’ll link in with agencies on the ground via the Ukrainian and Polish Equestrian Federations so every penny raised is put to good use.

How do I know my money will get to the right people?

We all want to help those in need so using our trusted networks we’ll make sure all support is targeted, relevant and timely. Any partners we invest in will go through due diligence and checks to make sure every penny counts.

Are World Horse Welfare making anything from the fund?

No, every penny raised will go into the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund. Any additional associated administration costs will be covered by World Horse Welfare.

Can I give Gift Aid on my donation?

Yes, as World Horse Welfare are administering the fund, donations will be in pounds sterling so all UK tax payers can opt in for Gift Aid if they’re eligible. We’d encourage everyone who can to do so as it means the fund benefits by a further 25p in every £1 donated – at no extra cost to you.

I’d link to raise money for the fund via my website and take donations, what should I do?

The simplest way is to create a direct link from your site direct to the fund page so your donors are making donations straight into the fund. Alternatively, if you want to keep track of the money raised, you could utilise a platform such as Just Giving and then make a donation of all the funds you raise.

I’d like to help promote donations to the fund – what can I do?

Sharing our posts on social media is quick and easy – most of the British Equestrian member bodies have shared or created their own or you can also use posts by World Horse Welfare. Remember to promote the Gift Aid element – UK donations to a UK charity by tax payers mean we can claim an extra 25p in every £1.

We can help with graphics and a QR code for posters or posts – please email media@bef.co.uk

Does the fund cover donkeys in Ukraine?

Yes, the fund will cover all Equidae - horses, mules, donkeys, etc in need of help.

What do the equines in Ukraine need?

The Ukraine Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation have put an urgent request for the following in packs weighing 20kgs or less:

  • small packaged haylage/forage
  • compound/hard feed
  • shavings.

I want to donate some new/used equipment – what do I do?

If you have sizable quantities of the items requested by the Ukraine Equestrian Federation (hard feed, forage or shavings in packaging weighing 20kg or less), get in touch with BETA who can help with co-ordinating goods and matching with transport.

We’d advise individuals not to collect any used or new equipment at this time and focus on fundraising to donate to the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund.

At times of crisis, it’s important to get the items most in need to those in the most need, despite our strong desire to help in other ways. An influx of the incorrect equipment/goods, no matter how well intentioned, can create a ‘disaster within a disaster’ and hamper the efficiency of relief operations. Plus, the environmental impact of long-distance transport and disposal of unwanted items (around 60% of unsolicited donations end up in landfill).

Those who wish to make material donations should consider what items are needed urgently and make that their focus, send with the right paperwork for export (HMRC can advise), to a recognised hub/destination set up to receive goods and have a plan on how you’ll recover anything that’s not required. At this stage, the primary advice is to focus on fund raising to get the support where it can be best used.

I want to take my lorry/car with supplies to Europe to help – what do I do?

The group does not recommend that private individuals collect donations of goods or equipment and/or attempt to transport them to Europe themselves, unless they have extensive experience of exporting goods. There are significant logistical barriers and the required exportation documentation for mixed loads is extensive plus the inherent costs associated with the trip could become prohibitive.

I want to set up a collection point for material donations – what do I do?

The group does not recommend that private individuals collect donations of goods or equipment at this stage. We’re working with the Ukranian Equestrian Federation and their urgent call is for hard feed, forage and shavings so that must be the priority.

At times of crisis, it’s important to get the items most in need to those in the most need, despite our strong desire to help in other ways. An influx of the incorrect equipment/goods, no matter how well intentioned, can create a ‘disaster within a disaster’ and hamper the efficiency of relief operations. Plus, the environmental impact of long-distance transport and disposal of unwanted items (around 60% of unsolicited donations end up in landfill).

Those who wish to co-ordinate material donations should consider what items are needed urgently and make that their focus, send with the right paperwork for export (HMRC can advise), to a recognised hub/destination set up to receive goods and have a plan on how you’ll recover anything that’s not required. At this stage, the primary advice is to focus on fund raising to get the support where it can be best used.

Are horses being evacuated out of Ukraine?

Details are still very sketchy, but we understand from the EEF that a very small number have crossed the border into Poland, where the only exit point is located in Korczowa, and some have entered Romania. While getting feed and bedding to those in need, the focus will shift to moving more horses to western Ukraine or out of the country. We are trying to get a better understanding of how this will be managed through various contacts in and around Ukraine to find out what support they will need to do this. We hope that our funding will help with any costs, to enable these horses to be evacuated safely out of the country, and most importantly to a new safe environment.

In Poland, equines will still have to go through the import process with health certificates, tests, passports and a microchip and many horses involved do not have the minimum requirements. The costs involved are in excess of €850 and there’s a four day wait time, making it impractical for most owners/keepers.

Talks are ongoing about simplifying the process and we will do what we can to help with this via our work with the FEI and EEF.

There is a shortage of appropriate equine transport in the country which we’re working with a number of agencies to try and overcome. There’s also a need to set up a base camp for horses to transit to, either in Ukraine, near Lviv, or in Poland with temporary stabling, staff and vet services. We’re looking at taking a role in helping to fund and co-ordinate the logistics of set up and running.

I’ve seen people releasing domesticated horses into the wild in an attempt to save them. What will happen to these horses?

It’s difficult to know as the situation changes rapidly throughout the Ukraine and the scenes are desperate for both human and animal welfare. We’re in contact with various organisations in Ukraine and the surrounding areas to find the best solution for any domesticated horses that have been abandoned. Our fund will go towards any monetary costs that may be required to help the survival of these horses. We may all feel powerless to assist but by donating to the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund we can at least try and get some help and assistance on the ground.

I’ve heard the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation is refusing to help non-sport horses – is this true?

The team from the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation and their charitable foundation is doing everything possible to assist with anyone who requests help for their horses. However, they are being inundated with messages but are doing their best to get through everyone. They are working in partnership with the Ukrainian Horse Society and Ukrainian Horse Union to cover all equines.

Key links

UK government response - www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/russian-invasion-of-ukraine-uk-government-response

UK government help guide - www.gov.uk/government/news/ukraine-what-you-can-do-to-help

Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation – www.helpukrainehorses.eu

British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund via WHW - www.worldhorsewelfare.org/support-us/appeals/british-equestrians-for-ukraine-fund

Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal (government match funded to £25million)  https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal

Red Cross - www.dontate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-crisis-appeal (fed into DEC)

Oxfam - www.oxfam.org/en/waht-we-do/emergencies/crisis-ukraine (fed into DEC)

Pony Club - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/the-pony-club  which will be fed into Save the Children’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.

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