GUELPH – In two short months, just over 30 per cent of a $500,000 fundraising goal has been raised to help school horses that lost their jobs in March. In April, Ontario Equestrian launched For the Herd, an emergency fundraising initiative to support lesson horses and riding school facilities in Ontario, many of whom are facing the harsh realities of little to zero income and some very grim decisions.
The need is still great as many facilities on the verge of bankruptcy attempt to recover in a slow re-opening of industry. COVID-19 restrictions are just starting to be lifted but most lesson programs, summer camps and events are still not operational. Facilities that have re-opened are not back to pre-pandemic income levels due to size restrictions on gatherings, loss of clients that are still recouping from their own income loss and other challenges.
Equine Guelph, in partnership with Ontario Equestrian, has developed a unique learning community now open only to applicants of the For the Herd funding program at no cost.
TheHorsePortal.ca exclusive community, launched in early June, houses helpful information, interviews and resources. Expert guest speakers help connect businesses to the information that could prove vital to their recovery. This information was presented in Equestrian Canada’s June 2020 National Equine Disease and Welfare Surveillance Call and can also be found on the Equestrian Canada website.