Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: Help Puerto Rico’s Horses in Maria Aftermath

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico on September 20th, destroying buildings and infrastructure. The equine population of Puerto Rico is in need of help, so we’ve catalogued the ways you can assist.

Hurricane Maria devastated the eastern Caribbean, particularly Puerto Rico, just days after Hurricane Irma struck the region. Puerto Rico was left without power or communications, with infrastructure and buildings sustaining heavy damage. The island’s horses, ranging from family or privately-owned to the 900 racehorses stabled at the Hippodromo Camarero, are in need of basic amenities such as feed and water as well as veterinary attention and medicine, and several aid groups are pledging their assistance. Here’s how you can help.

Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare

The CTA is providing boots-on-the-ground assistance at Camarero; the 16 off-track racehorses at CTA’s own facility weathered both Irma and Maria and are out of danger. The horses at the track, however, are living in barns without roofs; some are standing in muck. Most horses are rationed down to just a little bit of water each day and there is no forage feed at all. For horses who were racing fit prior to Maria, they have little to no reserves of fat to help them in this lean time. The CTA has been instrumental in coordinating on-the-scene efforts and communicating needs to outside groups and contacts. [Donate to CTA]

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

Having recently partnered with the CTA on a separate project, the TRF announced this week that half of its annual hay drive donations will be given to Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare to help with rescue efforts in Puerto Rico. Fundraising for Puerto Rico only lasts until October 1, so don’t hesitate to give if you are able. [Buy a bale (or more!) for TRF]

Brooke USA

While Brooke USA typically works to care for the world’s working animals, the organization has been matching donations in recent weeks for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and now turns its fundraising goals to victims of Maria. Brooke USA’s hurricane relief funds go to US Equestrian but will be matched by the organization, so this is a good way to make your donation go twice as far. [Donate to Brooke USA disaster relief]

US Equestrian

US Equestrian has partnered with the Humane Society International, Equestrian Canada, the Pan American Equestrian Confederation and the Cayman Islands Equestrian Federation to network fundraising as well as source and ship feed and medical supplies to Puerto Rico. The easiest way to help with this effort is to donate money, which will applied to purchasing supplies. [Donate to the US Equestrian Disaster Fund]

Defensa Animal de Rincon

Past Standing Ovation honoree Defensa Animal de Rincon is continuing its good work serving rescued animals, including horses, in Puerto Rico, but feed supplies are running low. The greatest need at this time is outside feed being shipped in, although the rescue is not certain if postal shipments will reach them in a timely fashion. [Learn more about Defensa Animal de Rincon]

Humane Society of the United States/International

The HSUS/HSI has been named by Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rosselló to help lead all-animal rescue and relief efforts on the scene. The HSUS hopes to take advantage of stored but unused feed supplies that were stockpiled for Harvey and Irma, and is working with groups including the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the Jockey Club and US Equestrian to best form a plan specific to equine needs. The HSUS Animal Rescue Team deployed to Puerto Rico on Wednesday. [Donate to HSUS Disaster Relief]

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.

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