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17 February 2023

Bloodstock Industry to support Humanitarian Crises

On Monday, 20th February over 75 one-off stallion nominations will be auctioned off to raise money for the crises in Ukraine, and Turkey and Syria. Hosted by Tattersalls, the idea was the brainchild of well-known equine osteopath Stephen Byrne, who has undertaken a number of missions to war torn Ukraine to deliver aid and supplies.

Oliver St Lawrence has been instrumental in the logistical side of the event and has received nominations to leading stallions including Sea The Moon, Sottsass, Showcasing, Kodiac, Hello Youmzain, Nathaniel, Kameko, Time Test and Dandy Man, and many more for lower budgets. He is still receiving more from stallion farms and owners across Britain, Ireland and France.

St Lawrence said: “It was all Stephen’s idea, I just picked it up and ran with it, it’s the easy bit compared to what he does.

“I do quite a lot of stallion nominations for my clients and help shareholders and breeding rights’ holders to sell those they don’t want to use for a year, so I was a good fit to help on this task.

“I badgered stallion masters, who have been very generous, and I have a large mailing list, who I emailed across Europe. People have really come and helped donating, it’s been a group response from the bloodstock industry across Europe.

Stephen Byrne will set off on his fourth mission to the Ukraine on Friday, with a convoy of five trucks under the charitable banner ‘Giving to the Ukraine’. Initially named Ukraine Equestrian Relief, the charity is a network of people across the Equestrian world who use their horseboxes to deliver aid and medical supplies.

Stephen said: “I kind of got involved in this as the 11th-hour man, I’d done transport and driven trucks all over the continent and was asked by one of my clients if I might drive their truck out to the border with the first load of aid when the war was about two weeks old.

“There were refugee centres with hundreds of women and children who had lost everything. It was a huge eye-opener; one of the things that will stay with me forever is seeing a little girl with a bag of Lego and a phone number written on her arm, that’s all she had, her mother had left her there and gone back to fight.

“It was very raw, people in the centres were living on toast and water. We spent £30,000, went to a cash and carry, bought a load of food in Poland and delivered it back to the refugee centres.”

The lots will be catalogued over the coming days by Tattersalls and the bidding will open on 20th February and will close 24 hours later. There will be no VAT or fees charged by the auction house and it will work on the premise that the buyer will pay for the nomination now and then if there is no live foal they will get a free return to the stallion in 2024. It has been a complicated logistical process worked out between Katherine Sheridan of Tattersalls and St Lawrence.

Stephen Byrne explains that the money raised by the racing industry will be invaluable.

He added: “We’ve brought about 30,000 body bags out there, which is the grim side of it that people don’t see,”

“We’ve got wheelchairs, bandages, all sorts of medical supplies that people have donated, mobile phones, blankets; a company donated about 60,000 of new hoodies and jackets.

“I think we’ve raised around £130,000 so far, we’ve spent every penny on food, essentials and delivering directly, there’s no middle-man, so this will mean so much.”

The donations will be split between Giving to Ukraine and Disasters Emergency Committee’s Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal. To read more and to see the catalogued nominations when released click here

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