European equestrian groups have helped deliver over 30 tonnes of feed and hay to stables in Ukraine ©EEF

Over 30 tonnes of equine feed, hay and other materials have been delivered to stables in Ukraine as part of a scheme organised by the European Equestrian Federation (EEF) and the Dutch Federation of Professional Equine Centres (FNRS).

"It was clear from day one that we wanted to help our colleagues in Ukraine," FNRS President Haike Blaauw said.

"Horses should, as civilians, not suffer from a war which they did not choose for."

The deliveries have been coordinated with local groups in Ukraine, but many have encountered obstacles including power shortages, difficult road conditions and problems with paperwork.

Organisers say areas targeted for delivery have been "identified due to their proximity to active fighting, which has consequently left them with little resources while caring for increased numbers of equines".

This week, 20 tonnes of hay have been sent to Nikolaaev, an area in the South of the country close to the front, where there are many horses.

Other equestrian centres in the South have also received three tonnes of hay which will be shared with stables in Kherson, which this week has again come under heavy shelling.  

A similar amount of hay has also been distributed in Dnepr.

A rehabilitation centre in Kropivnitsky was also sent feed to support animals there. 

The aid delivered has included hay and also money to buy fuel for heating stables ©EEF
The aid delivered has included hay and also money to buy fuel for heating stables ©EEF

The centre uses horses to provide "hippotherapy" for soldiers and orphaned children at the local hospital.

A donation of €1,000 (£890/$1,060) has been donated to stables in Odesa where the power supply is unreliable. 

The money will help buy fuel for generators to heat the stables. 

Similar donations will be made to clubs in Kyiv to allow generators to continue running while the electricity supply remains unstable.  

"With the donations from our members and many individuals, we were able to raise funds and with the great assistance of the EEF we are pleased to see that the donations have been well spent in Ukraine," Blaauw added.

Deliveries have been targeted in areas where there has been active fighting ©EEF
Deliveries have been targeted in areas where there has been active fighting ©EEF

In Ukraine, the Ukrainian Equestrian Charity Foundation (UECF) founded in the early days of the war, has reported on its first year of activity.

"During the first months of war we arranged the relocation, evacuation and shelter of more than 500 horses," UECF founder Mykhaylo Parkhomchuk said.

Drawing on a group of volunteers from some 15 countries, it has organised relocation, evacuation and shelter for over 500 horses.

"We have helped to supply stables with rugs and blankets for the winter period, and Ukrainian equine vets with essential medicines and equipment," Parkhomchuk added.

"The most important thing is that our work has brought hope and strength to the Ukrainian equestrians to recover and adapt and to win together."

It is estimated that around 5000 horses from 300 stables have received help from the UECF.

Last year, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) allocated CHF1 million (£882,000/$1 million/€1.1 million) to help the Ukraine equestrian community, while the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) helped with fundraising efforts.