The USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund has raised more than $150,000 for horses impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation, which is headquartered at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, put out a call Monday for donations, and $50,000 came in the first day. One donor offered to match the next $25,000. Then Ariat, a bootmaker, pledged $10,000, and equine charity Brooke USA also pledged to match the next $25,000. The goal is to reach $200,000, the organization said. To donate, go to USEF.org/donate.
“USEF is overwhelmed by the response,” USEF CEO Bill Moroney said. “We are thankful for those who have stepped forward and not just given monetary donations, but also for those organizations and individuals who are in Houston and the surrounding areas, in the trenches, aiding one another and helping in the recovery. We are proud to be a small part of the relief efforts and could not have done even that without the support of those who are giving in so many ways.”
The money will go to the Houston SPCA, Texas A&M University, the Texas Equine Veterinary Association and other equine rescue organizations, according to the USEF. Financial donations are preferred because of the difficulty in getting supplies from outside the region to affected horses.
In Texas, the Texas Equine Veterinary Association has hubs around the state to collect feed, supplies, buckets, halters, shavings and other items. To volunteer barns, stalls or transportation services, contact them at email@example.com.
The Texas A&M University Veterinary Emergency Team has been helping to provide veterinary care to animals impacted by the hurricane and flooding with mobile vet units. You can also give directly to them at Vetmed.tamu.edu/vet/giving.
The need for equine help has been illustrated by videos such as those showing volunteers Chance Ward and his 17-year-old son, Rowdy, rescuing a horse trapped in a flooded paddock. The Wards and other volunteer cowboy rescuers also have saved cattle, including longhorns.