The Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund has launched to support the Australian equestrian community affected by the 2019-2020 summer bushfires.
The summer fires sweeping across Australia have caused unprecedented devastation; a staggering 10 million hectares have burned, affecting nearly every state and territory with the loss of human and animal life, including an estimated loss of 480 million wildlife.
Harnessing the passion of equestrians around the world, EFRA’s primary aim is to raise funds for emergency relief, but organizers hope to also provide moral support to the Australian equestrian community.
EFRA will dispense funds via local emergency and recovery committees in Australia, supporting the affected equestrian community through emergency aid and existing initiatives, including distributing materials and goods.
Top level international equestrians from all disciplines, such as Martin Fuchs, Christian Ahlmann, Patrick Kittel and his wife Lyndal Oatley, Michael Jung, Ingrid Klimke, Edwina Tops-Alexander, Andrew Hoy, Chris Burton, William Fox-Pitt, Sam Watson, David O’Connor, Astier Nicholas, Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin have already come forward and joined as EFRA ambassadors to help spread the message and raise funds.
Australian native and eventing Olympic gold medallist Andrew Hoy, said, “To see my home country going up in flames, to see the suffering of people, wildlife and all other animals is just devastating. I have received so many messages from people suffering losses across the affected areas, and I am heartbroken for all of them.
“The Australian equestrian community so urgently needs the help of the international equestrian community, financially, but also morally!” he continued. “I hope with this campaign we will be able to make a difference, show our support and get much needed finances to the people affected.”
“For anyone that has horses in their life, they can truly understand the absolute devastation that is being felt by the fires in Australia,” said Australian-born eventer Boyd Martin. “There is an absolute helpless feeling across a sunburnt country. I have personally been through the horrors of fire, and it is something that can truly destroy the spirit. In my experience, the only thing that kept me going was the support of the equestrian community that is worldwide. I urge anyone to contribute to this heartfelt fund.”
Based in Canberra, Jocelyn King, a Canberra local equestrian, will act as the EFRA coordinator supported by volunteers nationally and internationally along with Kiah Consulting and Kiah Equine and the advisory board for the fund, John Glenn (chairman), Mike Etherington-Smith, Stuart Tinney and Stefanie Hoy.
For more information or to donate visit the Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund.
The Foundation For The Horse is an organization accepting aid to support veterinarians who are helping horses in need in Australia. For more information, visit their website.