International top riders back fund for equestrians in Australia

Australia has been ravaged by fire, unprecedented damage and loss of human and wildlife. Many top-level Equestrians has pledged to help raise funds and awareness of the new Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund (EFRA).

Text Therese Alhaug

The 2019/20 bushfire season which is regarded by the NSW Rural Fire Service as the worst bushfire season in memory, has already burned an estimated 10.7 million hectares, destroyed over 5,900 buildings (including over 2,204 homes), killed 28 people and an estimated 1 billion animals as of 8 January 2020. As we all know, equestrians have a unique bond with animals in general and horses in particular.

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.

EFRA has been set up to raise funds for emergency relief for the Australian equestrian community during the devastating bushfires, as well as providing moral support.

Equestrian Fire Relief Australia’s mission is to support the Australian equestrian community through co-ordination of bushfire relief efforts.

Australian 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.”

Photo Lena Saugen

“The saddest time has come for my country. For all the beautiful wildlife and families that have lost loved ones and homes. The list goes on. The fires are out of control, they have taken over our country. We have to move forward, rebuild and focus on helping everyone. Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by the devastating bushfires in Australia, the Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund (EFRA) has been set up to bring together the equestrian family from around the world to show their support for those affected in the Australian equestrian community.

Edwina Tops-Alexander

Rider Jocelyn King, who lives in the Australian capital Canberra, will act as EFRA coordinator, supported by volunteers, with Kiah Consulting and Kiah Equine and the advisory board for the fund; John Glenn (chairman), Mike Etherington-Smith, Stuart Tinney and Stefanie Hoy.

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“They should not feel alone, we should make them safe, and being part of community eases the despair.”

EFRA

ABOUT EFRA

Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund launched to support the Australian equestrian community affected by the 2019-2020 summer bushfires.
The Equestrian Fire Relief Australia Fund (EFRA) has been established to provide support of the equestrian community affected by the bushfires in Australia. 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.

Sources: Press Release EFRA, wikipedia

Therese Stub Alhaug
Therese Stub Alhaug

Editor

Therese is the editor of Equilife, and is truly dedicated to equestrian sports and horses. She started riding as a little girl, and enjoys her free time with her two horses back home. Portrait interview is her favorite topic, as it has the gift to inspire others through peoples stories, knowledge, training and general life-philosophy, and certainly, their lives with horses.

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