All horses have been moved from Leśna Wola to other stables in Europe as these stables will be occupied by others during the next couple of days. The Polish Equestrian Federation is currently trying to set up a more “permanent” transit stable in Poland and we are helping them as much as we can with this. We will in the near future (=once the stable is up and running) need volunteers to be based at this transit location to help with the every day life around the stable and horses. Preferably volunteers will stay at least a week. If you would like to volunteer, please send us an e-mail: email@example.com
If you would like to help out from Sweden/your home country, we also need help with organisation including communicating with other volunteers, answering calls, updating our website and FB etc., as there is still so much to be done, so many lives to save. If you are interested – you are most welcome to join our cause!
Recent reflections from Erika, one of us on the current status at the border:
“Thus far we have transported 24 horses from L’viv to a transit stable in Poland, using the Krakovets – Korczowa border as that’s the only polish border that you can pass with horses.
The drive from transit stable to border is about an hour, as is the drive from border to second transit stable in Poland. But the crossing itself takes around 12-24 hours, with 80% of that time being spend on the Polish border.
The Polish border is the biggest hurdle to get across when moving the horses. They are stuck standing in the trailers or lorries the entire time, and if you are unlucky you have to unload them on a parking lot, surrounded by lorries and then go X-ray the vehicles. There are no boxes, stalls or enclosures to out the horses in, either you walk them by hand while the vehicle is away or you tie them up. In total its not uncommon for horses to spend 24 hours or more on the lorries or trailers.
There is a considerable risk of injury, colic and severe stress. Should they get hurt at the border there is no vet available to help so you have to keep waiting and then drive to the transit stable and then try to get a vet out.”
New updates! We could not post any updates until now as certain routes require radio-silence due to safety reasons.
We have managed to evacuate 8 horses from the eastern parts of Ukraine and have brought them to the transit stable in Lviv where they will stay and get their paper-work sorted out before moving, either to other stables in Ukraine or into the EU/Poland and onwards.
In addition, another 13 horses and horse owners have been brought to Poland from Ukraine.
It is difficult to find diesel along the routes and the roads are in various conditions, sometimes great, sometimes very bad. The relief and solace in the people we meet is overwhelming. The horse owners we have evacuated are young, in their early 20’s, and the sights and experiences they will carry with them forever humbles even the strongest of hearts.
A special thank you to our guide Mykola Sudakov, who helped us through Ukraine during our last drive, his kind words are much appreciated, we hope we will continue to travel together!
FOUR HORSES EVACUATED!
We began the evacuation of four horses from Ukraine to Poland last night, and have crossed the Ukrainian border and are now at the polish border…
We are still in great need of haylage (size up too 100 kg/unit because we have to use manpower to move it in an out of the lorries). IF you would like to donate haylage straight to Poland we can pick it up at the Centaurus Foundation, an amazing organisation we are collaborating with. THANK YOU!
After several hours at the boarder, sleeping in the vehicles and waking up covered in snow we have finally crossed the boarded to Ukraine again, this time with a strengthened team of two lorries and trailers.
Next group of wonderfully brave drivers are on-route to Polan-Ukraine! The photo above shows our small truck currently being loaded with more horse supplies, blankets and necessities.
We have teamed up with the amazing Danish community coordinated by the wonderful Janne Lund Visnek (you can read an interview with her here), and have strengthened our team with a danish driver driving a trailer loaded with horse feed, shavings, halters and around 500 kg of food and medicine for cats and dogs <3.
The support we recieve, the help, the comments and the volunteers is heartwarming and beyond this world brilliant, keep it coming, and keep up the spirit, we still have a lot of work to do!
The last lorry from last night made it through at last as well. We’ve dropped of the donated lorry as well as all the supplies we transported in Lviv. The UEF team will be leaving for Kiev today to evacuate horses and to drop of some of the humanitarian aid where it is desperately needed.
We are driving back to Poland today to pick up more supplies and to gather the next troup of drivers and another lorry. We still need more drivers and lorries, so please sign up as a driver if you would like to help out! Or contact us if you have a lorry you would like to lend out/donate.
Once we have picked up the next team we will stay at the transit stable in Lviv and help evacuate horses from the eastern parts to safer parts in the west of Ukraine.
After 6 h (normally it takes 2.5 h) we have now arrived at the transit stable in Lviv! It took some time at customs due to not all paper work being in order for the inventories of our accompanying lorries, and one lorry unfortunately even had to turn around.
The transit stable, which was set up by the UEF, is in top shape and looks very good! THANK YOU for your donations and thanks to the FEI Solidarity fund for helping the UEF to make this happen.
As you might imagine, things are everchanging and plans that were made need to be constantly revised and updated due to the war. More information on what happens next coming soon…
We’re rolling again… we’re going into Ukraine tonight, and the first stop is the transit stable in Lviv.
Our konvoy consits of in total four lorries, one of which was donated by an amazing Swedish man, who prefers not to be mentioned by name. This amazing man drove the to lorry down to Leśna Wola and handed over the keys to his big lorry, loaded from top to bottom with feed, shavings and other necessities.
The lorries in our konvoy are fully loaded with humanitarian aid, with haylage and with over 1500 kg of feed. We will be driving both our lorry and the donated lorry and then hand it over to Mykhaylo once we pick him up in Lviv.
It’s only been a day, but it feels like a year. And we are still on the “safe” side, but there is so much to be done.
There are lorries arriving all the time at the location we’re at, dropping of more and more things. So many things, but what we really need we cannot find, so here is a list of what we need:
- Water buckets
- Forks (grepar)
To donate anything of the above, please contact us here. 25 horses are schedueled to arrive at the base today…
Leśna Wola reached!
And we’re off! An amazing extra thank you to Nils on Hälleby gård that donated enough haylage to FILL the truck!
The first lorry has now reached Poland, unfortunately with a damaged sideview mirror which is being patched up with duck tape as we write…
Listen to a short interview with Josephine on P4 Södertälje here.
Also a BIG shout out to the amazing Matte at AS Lasbilsservice for his tireless help and efforts in trying to fix one of our lorries, searching high and low for a spare part that we really need…! Fingers crossed.
We are getting ready to leave for round one.
Our team just completed our first prep and first-aid training yesterday and are currently sorting out the last details before departure.
Our lorries are all fully loaded with hay, feed and other supplies to be transported into Ukraine.
Help is coming.