COVID 19 EMERGENCY - Supporting ACEEGi "All For Horses" campaign to ensure welfare of riding school horses and adequate supplies of fodder and feed (Girona, Spain)

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Project location: Spain, Girona
Project start date: May 2020 - Project end date: June 2020
Project number: 2020-021
Beneficiary: Associació De Centres Esportius Eqüestres De Girona

Associació De Centres Esportius Eqüestres De Girona (ACEEGi) is a non-profit membership association encompassing 30 riding stables located in the area of Girona, Spain. For more than ten years, ACEEGi has been promoting horse riding through all disciplines and has also organized dressage, show jumping, TREC and driving competition leagues. The association also looks out for the member’s needs, giving them advice on legal and day-to-day issues and topics in relation with the sport federation.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many ACEEGi riding schools are suffering tough times: their income has been significantly reduced while expenses for caring horses and ponies have remained the same. Each of them needs a field or a stable, grain, fodder, a blacksmith, as well as a gentle and continuous workout to maintain horses' optimal physical condition and general health. The important decrease currently observed in the income of ACEEGi's riding schools is due to the fact that most of the horses and ponies are owned by the schools and not by students. Besides, schools get most of their earnings during Easter and summer riding courses, but Easter stages were cancelled, and the summer ones are not guaranteed.The date for reopening riding schools and be back to work as usual remains unknown. What is more, there is no evidence on how students and spontaneous riders will response to the situation once schools reopen.

Through the "All For Horses" project, ACEEGi is currently working on raising funds to ensure school horses and ponies’ welfare in these difficult times and make sure that all maintain their mental and physical health through an appropriate diet.

In response to the current pandemic, the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant to ACEEGi, to help guarantee basic supplies for its members (fodder, i.e. hay, straw, and feed) and assure horses and ponies welfare. Each stable in need will receive funding according to the number of working school-owned horses and ponies held at its facility. This would help particularly small schools that live mostly by renting their horses/ponies to those who do not own a horse/pony. The NaEPF grant is intended to reduce economic struggling for those riding schools mainly dedicated to give riding lessons; to guarantee a healthier and safer quality of life to school horses and ponies; and to help local economy, assuring that the local feed and fodder providers will receive their payments.

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