International Equestrian community comes together to support Australian fire relief
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The Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund has been launched to support the Australian equestrian community affected by the 2019-2020 summer bushfires. the 2019-2020 summer fires sweeping across Australia have caused unprecedented devastation; a staggering 10 million hectares have been burned, affecting nearly every state and territory with the loss of both human and animal life, including an estimated loss of 480 million wildlife.
Harnessing the passion of equestrians around the world, the EFRA’s primary aim is to raise funds for emergency relief but hopes to also provide moral support to the Australian equestrian community during such a distressing time.
The EFRA will dispense funds via local emergency and recovery committees in Australia, supporting the affected equestrian community through emergency aid and existing initiatives, including distributing materials and goods.
Top-level International equestrians, Olympic- and World Champions from all disciplines, such as Martin Fuchs (SUI), Christian Ahlmann (GER), Patrick Kittel (SWE) and his wife Lyndal Oatley (AUS), Michael Jung (GER), Ingrid Klimke (GER), Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), Andrew Hoy (AUS), Chris Burton (AUS), William Fox-Pitt (GBR), Sam Watson (IRL), David O´Connor (USA), Astier Nicholas (FRA), Carl Hester (GBR) and Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) – to just name a few - have already come forward and joined as EFRA Ambassadors to help spread the message and raise the much-needed funds.
Australian native and 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.”
Irish-international event rider, Sam Watson, 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.”
William Fox-Pitt, 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.”
Based in Canberra, Jocelyn King, a Canberra local equestrian, will act as the EFRA Coordinator supported by volunteers nationally and internationally along with Kiah Consulting and Kiah Equine and the Advisory Board for the Fund, John Glenn (Chairman), Mike Etherington-Smith, Stuart Tinney and Stefanie Hoy.
Find more information and donate to the Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund on www.equestrianfirerelief.com.au