Contributions from the U.S. Equestrian Federation have allowed the FEI Solidarity Fund to purchase $100,000 worth of equine medicines and veterinary supplies for distribution to veterinarians in Ukraine. The 7-plus tons of supplies include aid for emergency cases, including colic, infections, lameness and other common diseases, which will ensure treatment for 5,700 horses all over Ukraine.
“Following the invasion by Russian military forces, the FEI set aside a Solidarity Relief Fund of one million Swiss francs for the equestrian community in Ukraine,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The USEF joined forces with the FEI Solidarity Relief Fund, establishing the USEF Ukraine Relief Fund to support Ukraine horses and equestrians, with 100% of funds raised going to the FEI Solidarity Relief Fund to be distributed by the FEI for specific projects approved by the USEF.
“We are very grateful to the U.S. equestrian community for their dedication and swift action,” he continued. “Thanks to their generosity, veterinary equipment and supplies have been purchased and donated to the Ukrainian equestrian community to address their most pressing needs. Our efforts continue and the welfare of Ukrainian athletes, both human and equine, remains our priority.”
Prior to the launch of the project in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation (UEF-CF) reached out to equine veterinarians to map the horse welfare situation across the country and assess the help needed. Problem areas highlighted included a lack of medicines, such as painkillers, anesthetics, sedatives, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs; a general lack of equipment, including portable x-rays, ultrasound, endoscope machines; and the very limited financial resources of horse owners to pay for treatment. The most needed medicines and supplies were commissioned in Europe and delivered to Ukraine.
In Ukraine, the UEF-CF coordinated the free distribution of donated medicine and supplies in a collaborative and inclusive manner with FEI-accredited Ukrainian veterinarians who chose the distribution principles and distribution plan. The main objective was to increase accessibility and quality of veterinary services for horses in Ukraine, and donations were accordingly distributed to equine veterinarians in the eight regions with the largest number of horses: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Odesa, Sumy, Vinnytsia, Cherkasy and Lviv.
“Assistance for veterinarians is extremely important in Ukraine. For many horse owners, even simple veterinary care is out of reach now, and veterinarians often work on a volunteer basis,” said Mykhaylo Parkhomchuk, founder of the UEF-CF. “Free medicines will make it possible to save and help many horses in this difficult time. We are very grateful to our colleagues at the USEF and the FEI Solidarity Fund for responding to our request and providing our veterinarians with the medical supplies they need now and in sufficient quantities,”
As a follow-up, the FEI veterinary department plans to hold a seminar to provide general information about the medical supplies and to discuss specific use cases and difficult situations that Ukrainian veterinarians face when treating horses. The winter will create additional challenges for the horses and veterinarians of Ukraine.
“The U.S. equestrian community, and notably Brooke USA, were important contributors to this incredible effort to rally around the needs of horses in Ukraine where help is needed so desperately,” USEF President Tom O’Mara said. “The global equestrian community is powerful and cohesive and demonstrates how much can be accomplished when people come together. We would like to thank you, our members, for once again stepping up with your generosity.”