Impromptu lorry auction raises thousands for Ukraine

  • An auction has raised nearly £12,000 for families in Ukraine – with another auction planned this weekend.

    Senior showing steward Phil Judge, of agricultural transport company Philip Judge International, and showing judge Nigel Oliver, were taking essential supplies to Poland this week when the pair decided to host an auction in their lorry on livestream. Among the top lots were Horse of the Year Show puissance night tickets, a day in the masters’ box at Hickstead, and a bottle of Ukrainian vodka, which sold for £1,000.

    The money raised will be combined with the efforts of nanny and maternity nurse Louenna Hood, daughter of showing producer Allister Hood, who has been working with Phil to get urgent supplies to families in Ukraine. To date more than £96,500 has been raised through the JustGiving page, and more funds have been pledged.

    “People have been phenomenal in their kindness and generosity, particularly the Bunn family [of Hickstead], Sandy Anderson of Grandstand Media, Arena UK, and Martin Wood of Dallamires Stables, to name a few. The equestrian world has properly come together,” Phil told H&H.

    “This Sunday afternoon (13 March) we are going to host another online auction, which we are provisionally hoping to do from the King’s Head at Dullingham in Newmarket. We’ve had some more things donated including a John Deere Gator, which Nigel and myself will personally deliver in our famous lorry The Maggie.”

    Phil, who is back in the UK preparing for the second lorry to leave next week, said the evening he arrived in Poland 80 babies under 12 months old had been evacuated from Ukraine, and the supplies including blankets and baby milk went “straight to work”.

    “The first trip was a success and we are trying to get back out there as fast as we can. We are absolutely horrified by the atrocities taking place. The lowest point was when we were in the cab listening to the radio and heard about the children’s hospital getting bombed,” he said.

    “I’m very humbled by how much people have wanted to help and donate. This has been a real team effort and a huge thank you goes out everyone, lots of the equestrian world has been involved. There shouldn’t be a war, we’re in 2022. We’re happy to do all of this – but we’re sad about why we’re doing it. It’s a shocking thing, and I just hope the world unites.”

    Donations can be made via Louenna’s JustGiving page, and the auction will take place on Phil’s Facebook page.

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