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09 March 2022

Racing’s response to the Ukraine war

As reported in The Racing Post newspaper.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has sparked protests all around the world including within the racing industry. On Monday 28 February Faye McManoman sported the colours aboard Turn Of Phrase trained by John Berry. The silks show the trainer’s solidarity with Ukraine and he hopes they will help boost the fundraising appeal from the British Red Cross.

John Berry said: “You’d have to have a heart of flint not to be sad with what’s going on in the Ukraine at the moment, I was thinking about what racing could do listening to Radio 4 on Saturday. I thought all the jockeys should wear blue and yellow armbands, but it was too late and I didn’t know how to make it happen. Then I remembered I had these silks in the cupboard so I was on the phone to Weatherbys.

“My parents had the same colours, they got divorced and I don’t think you could get an ex-husband and wife having the same colours nowadays. On the pictures we’ve got I think these were the ones he had when he had Flat horses with Nigel Angus.

“When you see these massive anti-war rallies you think anyone of those there could’ve thought individually, ‘I’m adding nothing so I won’t turn up’, but if everyone thought that, then no-one would be there.

“Individual gestures mean nothing but collectively it means a lot, there are enough people in Russia who are risking their lives, standing up and saying ‘This is how I feel’ never mind all those brave people in Ukraine who are fighting.

“All we can do in the west individually is make our voices heard, make it clear that this is wrong and that we stand with Ukraine. What I’m doing is tiny, but it’s what I can do.”

The Jockey Club are also supporting the British Red Cross Ukraine appeal helping people impacted bu the humanitarian crisis.

In an email to staff, chief executive Nevin Truesdale said: “While I recognise The Jockey Club has no activities in either Russia or Ukraine or race sponsors from either country, clearly this is a developing humanitarian crisis.

“A number of charities have launched Ukraine crisis appeals. One such appeal is from the British Red Cross. They are fundraising to support people impacted and displaced by the invasion with things including food, water, first aid, medicines, warm clothes and shelter through the Ukrainian and international arms of the charity.

“We will be supporting this appeal by making a donation as The Jockey Club. We will also promote the appeal across The Jockey Club’s venues, inviting racegoers to donate should they wish to (via promotions on big screens, in our racecards and over our PA systems).

“If any of you are someone affected by this crisis, such as having relatives or friends at risk in the conflict, please don’t forget that Racing Welfare’s support services are available to help should you wish to use them.”

Trainers have spoken on ‘distraught’ Ukrainian racing staff, with 28 reportedly registered with the National Association of Racing Staff. NARS is offering support to those affected, and is gathering supplies to support the humanitarian crisis.

Ukrainian Horses, Racehorses and Connections

Read Bill Finley’s article for the Thoroughbred Daily News to find out how the racehorses and their connections at Kyiv Hippodrome are coping, just 20 kilometers from the fighting.

Emergency appeal launches to help Ukrainian horses

Leading organisations and individuals across Britain’s equestrian community have united to form ‘British Equestrians for Ukraine’ which aims to help horses and their owners caught up in the crisis created by the Russian invasion. The Ukrainian Equestrian Federation has put out an urgent call for supplies on the ground including feed, forage and shavings and with a groundswell of support from our industry, there was a clear need to help co-ordinate the offers of assistance from leading brands as well as raise money to fund aid directly where it’s needed most.

Spearheaded by British Equestrian (BEF), The British Horse Society (BHS), the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and World Horse Welfare with the support of member bodies across the industry, British Equestrians for Ukraine has been set up to help facilitate a supply chain to meet the immediate need for goods on the ground as well as raising money to help purchase supplies and cover the costs associated with transport.

Jim Eyre, British Equestrian Chief Executive commented; “This is a dire situation, and, alongside the immediate humanitarian crisis, we must do everything we can to prevent the unnecessary suffering of all equines and help those who care for them. We’re fortunate that our equestrian community is blessed with so many willing to help those in need. However, it’s apparent that careful co-ordination is required to make sure urgent goods get to those in need through the correct channels. We hope that we can help facilitate that while urgently raising funds for the emergency requirements and beyond. I’d like to thank all those involved in getting the fund and export effort launched, particularly Alec Lochore, Alice Fox-Pitt, Roly Owers, James Hick and Claire Williams.”

The group’s first action was to facilitate a trusted method for financial contributions, with World Horse Welfare setting up the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund on their website where direct donations can be made by individuals or organisations. Donations, no matter how small, will help us to work with trusted, local partners, including the Ukraine and Polish Federations and recognised charities to provide emergency support. UK taxpayers can sign up to Gift Aid on their donations which means the fund will receive an extra 25p in every £1 you give, at no extra cost.

Find out more and support here.

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