A host of top riders including Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, Andrew Hoy and Martin Fuchs has pledged to help raise funds and awareness of the new Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund (EFRA).
EFRA has been set up to raise funds for emergency relief for the Australian equestrian community during the devastating bushfires, as well as providing moral support.
It will dispense money raised via emergency and recovery committees, providing emergency aid and using existing schemes, such as those used to distribute goods.
Australian eventing Olympic gold medallist Andrew Hoy said: “To see my home country going up in flames, to see the suffering of people, wildlife and all other animals is just devastating. I have received so many messages from people suffering losses across the affected areas and I am heartbroken for all of them.
“The Australian equestrian community so urgently needs the help of the international equestrian community – financially, but also morally. I hope with this campaign we will be able to make a difference, show our support and get much-needed finances to the people affected.”
Andrew is an EFRA ambassador, aiming to help spread the word and raise money, along with Carl, Charlotte, Martin, Christian Ahlmann, Patrick Kittel and his wife Lyndal Oatley, Michael Jung, Ingrid Klimke, Edwina Tops-Alexander, Chris Burton, William Fox-Pitt, Sam Watson, David O ´Connor and Astier Nicholas.
Sam said: “Reading about the fires has been awful, but imagining if it was our farm and our horses is a devastating thought. When the going gets tough, the equine world gets going. This is what we do, we take action and we help horses, wherever they are and for whatever reason, they need our help.”
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William added: “What a brilliant fund to set up and let’s pray it raises lots of money to support those who are dealing with so much pain and loss. We have got to do everything to get this under control, and the first way is to get some money to support them.”
Rider Jocelyn King, who lives in Australian capital Canberra, will act as EFRA coordinator, supported by volunteers, with Kiah Consulting and Kiah Equine and the advisory board for the fund; John Glenn (chairman), Mike Etherington-Smith, Stuart Tinney and Stefanie Hoy.
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