In the wake of tornado damage in Kentucky this spring, the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) created an equine disaster relief fund aimed solely at Kentucky victims. KHC also contributed the remainder of its U.S. Equine Disaster Relief Fund to the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) Equine Disaster Relief Fund, which aids disaster victims across the country.
In the past three years, when a state needed assistance with horses in need due to a natural disaster, the Kentucky Horse Council coordinated relief efforts through that state’s horse council or other local organizations. The agencies determined the needs of the affected horses, and KHC’s U.S. Equine Disaster Relief Funds were used to purchase feed, temporary fencing, and equine medical supplies.
Individuals and organizations across the nation have donated more than $15,000 to the Kentucky Horse Council for national equine disaster relief. Horses in Texas, North Dakota, Minnesota, Vermont, New Mexico, Arizona, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky have all been helped by this fund. After responding to the victims of tornadoes in Kentucky and surrounding states in the spring, more than $5,000 remained in the U.S. Equine Disaster Relief Fund, and an additional $3,000 was donated and specifically earmarked for Kentucky horses.
"While assisting with the tornado relief efforts in March, we realized that USEF also collected funds for national disaster relief," said Anna Zinkhon, President of the Kentucky Horse Council. "It made sense for the Kentucky Horse Council to donate the remainder of our U.S. Equine Disaster Relief Fund to USEF and begin focusing our relief efforts solely in Kentucky by establishing a Kentucky Equine Disaster Relief Fund."
Applications and guidelines for the Kentucky Disaster Relief funds can be found on the Kentucky Horse Council’s website. The USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund follows similar guidelines, but on a national scale. Donated funds will be used to assist equines who are victims of disasters including, but not restricted to, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards and fires.
"Every dollar you donate to the USEF or Kentucky Equine Disaster Relief Funds directly aids horses in need; nothing is used for administration costs," stated John Long, CEO of United States Equestrian Federation.