What the FEI and other agencies are doing for Ukraine, Shire horses help sow sustainable seeds and more – Daily Hoofbeat

What the FEI and other agencies are doing for Ukraine, Shire horses help sow sustainable seeds and more – Daily Hoofbeat

Today’s ‘Daily Hoofbeat’ helps shine the spotlight on how our industry can really focus on community support. We’re humbled to share news stories that highlight the commitment the FEI and other agencies have shown to provide additional support to the Ukraine crisis, how world-renowned athletes have been dedicating their time to share training advice with riders to better their riding experiences, and how Shire horses are helping with sustaining natural habitats.

New FEI Solidarity Relief Fund initiatives for Ukraine launched in May 2022

A recent visit by a Ukrainian delegation at the FEI Sports Forum 2022 in Lausanne has seen additional initiatives and projects put in place, and approved for funding, by the FEI Solidarity Relief Fund. 

Established in February 2022, the dedicated CHF 1 Million FEI Solidarity Relief Fund for Ukraine has been actively supporting a number of equestrian related schemes across Ukraine and neighbouring nations receiving Ukrainian horses and athletes. This includes, among other, the creation of a logistical hub in Granat (UKR), located between Lviv and the Polish border, to prepare horses for transfer into the European Union; funding and distribution to regional hubs of critical horse supplies such as feed and bedding; and, the emergency evacuation of a Vaulting team.  

In order to deliver the aid efficiently and have the desired impact, the FEI has been working hand in hand with the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation (UEF) and the UEF Charity Foundation, with FEI President and Chair of the Solidarity Committee Ingmar De Vos (BEL) referring to their Ukrainian colleagues as their “eyes and ears on the ground”. 


Following discussions, among the programmes being launched in Ukraine throughout May, bespoke veterinary supplies have been sourced and prepared for dispatch; four new athlete scholarships have been allocated; as well as financing for the purchase of 80 temporary horse boxes in order to support the set-up of additional horse hubs in Ukraine. 

The dedicated emergency veterinary supplies which are being packaged into specialised kits and dispatched to strategic locations around Ukraine include over the counter as well as prescription medication so the veterinarians onsite have all the necessary supplies to care for the horses remaining in the country. The bespoke veterinary kits have been sourced through the FEI Veterinary Department and are entirely funded by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Ukraine Relief Fund which is supplementing the FEI Solidarity Fund with 100 percent of all donations raised being distributed through the FEI to ensure effective and targeted use of the funds.

Based on the existing FEI Solidarity Athlete Scholarship scheme, two Ukrainian Jumping athletes – Oleksandr Prodan and Anastasia Bondarieva – and two Ukrainian Dressage athletes – Danylo Konovalov and Diana Borovyk – have been selected to receive the scholarship grant to support training and competition related preparation with the ultimate goal of representing Ukraine at FEI Championships in 2022 and 2023. 

The USEF Ukraine Relief Fund has already reached over 100,000 USD and continues to work closely with US based philanthropic organisations to leverage their fundraising networks to support the horses and people of Ukraine.

In addition to the existing horse hub in Granat which was financed by the FEI to prepare all the necessary documentation for horses to cross the border and has been operational since March, the FEI is now working with the UEF Charity Foundation to supply 80 horseboxes to two new hubs which are being built to allow horses to remain safely in Ukraine. The new hubs are located near existing stables so the horses will have access to all the necessary infrastructures and can continue to train in good conditions. 

These initiatives are especially relevant given the unknown when it comes to the duration of the conflict and the need to work together to keep horses and athletes safe in Ukraine.

Shire Horses help rewild Wandsworth in ambition to recover nature in London

Class 50 Shire Horse of the Year Championship supported by the Shire Horse Society
Image for illustration only: Class 50 Shire Horse of the Year Championship supported by the Shire Horse Society

Not-for-profit organisation Enable, has been awarded £600,000 worth of funds as part of an exciting city-based rewilding project, Rewild London. The organisation, who manages and looks after Wandsworth’s green spaces and parks on behalf of the Council, will apply this funding to King George’s Park in Wandsworth. Supported by The Mayor of London, and in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust, the aim is to create wildflower meadows and biodiversity-rich woodlands which will act as habitat corridors for pollinators, such as wild bees and butterflies, across the borough. 

To make these biodiversity improvements, Enable will be reducing the nutrients in the existing grassland using shire horses to pull mowers and harrows! The added bonus is the visiting horse’s hooves make gaps in the grass to allow wildflower seed to establish more efficiently and strongly. They will sow the wildflower seed this autumn as well as creating stag beetle loggeries in the woodland.

On 17th and 18th May, shire horses Joey and William, attended the site to carry out the first stage of their work. These sessions were run in collaboration with Operation Centaur- a working horses group who keep the art of working with rare breed heavy horses alive, through estate conservation, heritage, community projects and equine therapy. The session was attended by local school Southfields Academy, with nearly 40 students being able to come along and see the horses in action, and enjoy a Q&A session. 

The Rewild London Scheme as a whole, and this exciting rewilding component in Wandsworth both have great potential to improve access to nature across the Capital. Enable are thrilled to be part of the scheme, and will continue to publicly share updates as the project progresses. 

2022 Longines Global Champions Tour & GCL Season Intensifies With 6-Week Sprint Across Europe 

A thrilling 6-week sprint around Europe will dramatically raise the temperature in the Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL championship battles.

This week the global circuit pit stops in St Tropez (19 – 21 May) and the stunning French Riviera event which will test the best riders and horses in the beautiful sand arena by the Mediterranean Sea.

One week later the series pivots north to Hamburg, Germany (25 – 29 May), for a different challenge for the skills of the LGCT individual riders and the GCL teams. This time the test will be played out on the beautiful Derby arena close to the major port city. Despite careful consideration, the event in Berlin will regrettably not be part of the circuit in 2022 as the calendar looks forward to Hamburg later this month.

The LGCT and GCL series will then head south to the Riviera destination of Cannes (2 – 4 June). The more compact sand arena will again highlight the incredible variety of conditions presented to the top riders and horses to discover who are the ultimate champions.

The dash across Europe then shifts north to Scandinavia and the fantastic venue of the Olympic Stadium in Sweden’s capital (17 – 19 June). The electrifying atmosphere created by the passionate crowd always delivers showjumping magic.

The unique venue in Paris (24 – 26 June) next to the Eiffel Tower will raise the sporting tension again as riders and teams battle it out at the high adrenaline event in the French capital. The following weekend Monaco’s famous yacht harbour (30 June – 2 July) with is challenging sand arena by the Mediterranean will host the 10th leg of the circuit.

So far this season dazzling shows in Doha, Miami Beach, Mexico City and Madrid have produced sensational results from veteran champions like Ludger Beerbaum and also young riders wowing the crowds with unbeatable performances.

Keep an eye out on Everything Horse news for results and reports from both LGCT and GCL rounds.

DressurFit and Aubenhausen Academy Masterclasses Launched in English

Aubenhausen Academy are pleased to announce the renowned fitness programme developed by Olympic, World Cup and European champion Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and the masterclass courses are now available in English. 

Online 12-week fitness programme DressurFit is specifically designed for riders to improve their seat, and communication with the horse, alongside helping build rider fitness step by step. The programme involves a combination of functional fitness, neuro-athletics and yoga to best prepare the rider physically and mentally, create a quiet and balanced seat, better motor-skills and movement patterns, focus and stability. 

The programme includes regular fitness tests, which Sport Scientist and Performance Coach Marcel Andrä created. The tests allow each participant to easily track their own progress and they allow the team to provide a personalised training plan with corrective exercises tailored to each individual’s needs. 

The Aubenhausen Academy Masterclasses were thought of following many inquiries for lessons and courses which is simply impossible to fit into Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, and her brother’s Benjamin Werndl busy schedule. So, the team decided to create online courses on specific topics in order to share their training philosophy and methods with as many people as possible. 

All the Dressage Masterclasses include a series of real training videos with horses ranging from Youngsters to Grand Prix. The videos show you step by step how to prepare and train certain dressage movements including the teams’ favourite exercises, lots of tips, mental images as well as worksheets that will help riders analyse and reflect on their own training. The videos show different types of horses and real-life training challenges and solutions.

For more information visit https://www.aubenhausen-club.de/en/dressurfit

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