UKRAINE RELIEF EFFORT (Racing Post)

Racing Post Article - https://www.racingpost.com/news/ukraine-aid-trip-touches-a-nerve-for-newmarket-pre-trainer/545464


Racing's community spirit and generosity has been hailed by Tiffany Morgan-Evans, who was in Germany on Monday attempting to get home to Britain after delivering supplies to a base in Poland where Ukrainian refugees have flocked following their country's invasion by Russia.

Morgan-Evans, who runs a busy pre-training yard near Newmarket with her husband Richard, was part of the Ukraine Equestrian Relief, which has been co-ordinated by Stephen Barnes, from Manchester. She took her horsebox and shared the journey with Stephen Byrne, an osteopath whose clients include a host of big-name trainers.


Tiffany Morgan-Evans and her co-driver Stephen Byrne


"The charity we chose to help was ferrying aid into the Ukraine to people who were trapped or injured and couldn't get out," Morgan-Evans said. "The team that have stayed have gone out today and bought a few thousand pounds worth of food for the rescue centre.

"We left at 4am on Friday and got to Chelm in eastern Poland on Sunday lunchtime. We went in a convoy of nine horseboxes and we did a collection in Newmarket at John Gosden's, where all of the staff raised £1,000.

"One of the girls was brilliant going round with the kitty and they bought the most amazing first-aid kit. We took a lot of medical supplies out there and Roger Varian's yard collected a lot of supplies, including toiletries, nappies and children's clothes.

"The Jockey Club have been fantastic and Amy Starkey, who works at Newmarket, organised for The Racing Centre to be a drop-off point for things. They've been so supportive and the racing industry has really pulled together to make the trip happen."



One of the wagons used for the trip

Morgan-Evans, a mother of two, added: "The last leg of journey, having been on motorways but then on single lanes, was bleak. All you were passing were ambulances and military vehicles coming away from the border. There was suddenly a bit of panic that we were going so close. You did think, 'Oh God', as we didn't know what we'd be driving into.

"If that was my family, I'd hope someone in the situation I was in, with a truck, would help. If my husband and the team at home could cope without me I really wanted to do something to help. It's women and children being left without husbands and having to cope in an awful situation.

"There's a GoFundMe link so any help is appreciated. You got an eerie feeling you were approaching something terrible and we got an emotional video message today from the team who have stayed from a rescue centre where there are 600 beds side by side and women, who have left their husbands, sobbing and not knowing what they're going to do with the rest of their lives."



Supplies for Poland are loaded on to a lorry


The 35-year-old, who prepared 2019 Mill Reef winner Pierre Lapin, added: "I think the Polish people are being incredibly welcoming. Sometimes when you donate to a charity there's normally a bigwig getting a fat salary, but no-one gained anything out of this trip. I wanted to make sure the charity got everything and saw that first hand. It was being put to good use.

"It was really hard to leave the business and two young children, so I have to say a massive thank-you to my husband for supporting me. It's touching how supportive everyone in the racing industry has been.

"Every day we're praying for a miracle, but there's a sense out there this is going to go on for a long time. You don't know when it will end and the refugees don't want to go too far from the border as there's some hope they might be able to go home, but they haven't got homes at the moment. It's such a big thing for them trying to restart their lives."

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