Solidarity is also organized for Ukrainian horses in Normandy

Frank Lemestre, director of PIC, and Nell Emery of the Normandy Horse Council as the truck leaves to pick up donations for Ukraine. ©DR

At first war in ukraine, solidarity is organized everywhere. Between the collection of basic necessities and the reception of refugees, assistance is different. “We are well aware that the priority is to send medicines and save people, but since our job is a horse, we felt that we were in our role,” insists Lola Quitard. Director Norman Horse Council wished to respond to the appeal of the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation for the solidarity of horses and equestrians in Ukraine. “There are cavalry structures that have ended up in a war zone and no longer have access to the essentials to work properly and take care of their animals,” she explains.

Collections at various Normandy sites

The country of horses, Normandy, wanted to help another country of horses, Ukraine. “Eastern countries have a real equestrian culture and real know-how in this area,” clarifies Frank LemeesterDirector of the International Equestrian Pole, Saint Arno. The country is structured much like France, with state-owned stud farms and a community that does a lot of horseback riding. »

So the Norman Horse Council coordinated a solidarity action to try to support them on their own scale by mobilizing various facilities in Normandy. With Pine National Studfrom Saint Lo, Mokenshi Hippodrome and Norman horse valley to Goustranville, Pôle international du cheval participated in the collections organized in the world of horses for the recovery of blankets, bedding, equipment, food and even veterinary equipment. The first truckload of donations collected from all over Normandy will leave at the end of the week. “We have also raised about 3,500 euros through a fundraiser that allows us to fund the first haul and start financing the next truck,” says Lola Kuitar.

Reception of horses and professionals

Apart from this action, the Norman Horse Council wanted to go further. As we open our doors to Ukrainian refugees, the idea is to prepare for the possible arrival of horses and professionals in the sector from Ukraine. Indeed, the “greatest current show jumping breeder” stallion Cornet Obolensky and his son Komilfo were taken out of Ukraine. “I think they were one of the first horses to be repatriated,” says Lola Kuitar. Others must follow. “Two weeks ago there was talk about the possibility of taking these horses out of Ukraine, some are now in a stable that collects them in Poland,” continues the director of the Normandy Horse Council. At the moment, their movement is blocked, in particular to France, due to administrative problems.

“Trucks must be licensed to carry horses across the border and, in addition, the animals must meet a certain set of conditions, and these are horses that come from a country at war and do not meet them. But if they manage to get the horses back to France, we’ll organize an escort to pick them up. »

Lola Quitard

Thus, in Normandy, the sector wanted to prepare and launch the reception system in order to be ready when the situation is unblocked. “A request was made for crates to see who could accommodate horses or staff,” says Frank Lemestre. Since then, offers have poured in. ” We have 150 potential places to stay in Normandy to accommodate horses, and we have fifty vacancies offered for Ukrainians arriving in France. If necessary, the device is ready,” says Lola Kuitar. As such, Franck Le Maistre volunteers to invite horses and riders to PIC if needed. “In Deauville, the instructor from the training center also asked if it was possible to hire young people,” adds François Pedrono, the mayor of Saint-Arnoux. A general expression of solidarity involving both animals and industry professionals.

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