The USEF (US Equestrian) Equine Disaster Relief Fund has received over half a million dollars to date in response to the devastation and flooding caused recently by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. With raging wildfires spreading throughout areas of California and continued relief needed in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands, there is still a need for funding to directly assist equines of any breed who are victims of natural disasters such as these.
As the wildfires continue to spread and cause devastation in California, US Equestrian is working with organizations on the ground providing aid to ensure the support helps as many horses as possible.
In Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands, through a joint fundraising effort with Equestrian Canada, the Pan American Equestrian Confederation, and the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation, US Equestrian has helped contribute over $100,000 in aid to horses to ensure they receive feed and care in the wake of the recent disasters.
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Tens of thousands of pounds of hay and feed have been sent via shipping containers to the affected islands, helping to address immediate needs, such as lack of forage and nutrition. In addition, supplies sent will allow veterinarians to better assist horses needing medical care.
Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare Inc. (CTA), which helps thoroughbreds in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is using funds provided through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund not only to help more than 850 U.S. thoroughbreds stabled at the Hipodromo Camarero Racetrack, but also to provide assistance to smaller organizations in Puerto Rico, including riding programs, Paso Fino stables, and others. “We have been so blessed to have so much support and good people helping the horses,” said Kelley Stobie of the CTA.
On the hard-hit island of Saint Maarten, a shipping container filled with feed will help feed over 80 horses at Lucky Stables, a riding school on the island that provides equine-assisted therapy for at-risk families and youth. Since the hurricanes, the stable has taken in additional horses, and the contributions from the equestrian community will ensure they have feed for at least the next month.
Although relief is being provided, the recovery is far from over. One 40-foot container can feed about 40 to 50 horses for two to three weeks, but it costs as much as $15,000 to fill and ship each one. Additionally, many of the horses will need care in the upcoming months as rescue agencies help find new homes for horses that may not be able to return to their owners.
Money donated to the fund is held by US Equestrian in an account dedicated for this purpose and distributed only upon authorization of the US Equestrian Chief Executive Officer. Any donation to the Equine Disaster Relief Fund is a timely and efficient benefit for horses and horse owners in need.
Make a donation to the USEF Disaster Relief Fund at https://www.usef.org/donate
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