More than £230,000 has been raised to support riders and owners affected by the European equine herpes virus (EHV-1) outbreak.
The EHV relief fund, set up by international riders Emile Hendrix, Peter Charles, Frederick Goltz, and supported by the FEI, European Equestrian Federation, International Jumping Riders Club, Jumping Owners Club, Equestrian Organisers and Riders Help Riders, has raised €272,413 (£233,148) for veterinary expenses for those affected.
Applications to the fund amounted to €354,476 (£303,383) and “thanks to the generosity” of donors, including amounts ranging from €1,000 (£855) to €100,000 (£85,586) it is thought that 76.8% of costs were covered. Claims ranged from more than €24,000 (£20,540) to less than €650 (£556).
International competition was halted for six weeks across mainland Europe following the “most serious outbreak in Europe for decades” which started in Valencia, Spain, in February. As a result, 18 horses died and more than 150 were affected.
Recipients of the fund expressed their gratitude to the creators and donors.
“We would like to express our great thanks to this EHV relief fund and to all those people and instances who supported all of us in this difficult situation,” said one.
Another said: “Thank you very much for your generous financial aid. We really appreciate your EHV relief fund and are thankful that our horses survived this nightmare.”
Frederick Goltz said the EHV-1 outbreak in Spain was “desperately traumatic” for all those affected.
“We were happy to be able to help ease some of the financial challenges through the fund. We owe a huge thank you to everyone who donated so generously and showed the true spirit of our sport,” he said.
“Despite these desperately distressing times, it has been heartwarming to see in practice what we all know to be true:
FEI president Ingmar De Vos said the FEI is happy to have been able to support the “great initiative” and the organisation congratulated everyone involved for making it happen.
“The financial support provided to the athletes through this fund has been crucial to them and has also once again demonstrated the great solidarity within our equestrian community,” he said.
All money in the fund has been disbursed and it has now been wound up.
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