THE horse world is full of kind-hearted individuals as various relief efforts to help Ukrainian refugees have demonstrated. International show jumper Shane Breen and his wife Chloe have also stepped up by providing a cottage in their Hickstead yard for two Ukranian mothers and their children who fled the country.

“We’re living through history; first, through a pandemic and now a war, it’s surreal,” Shane said. “We have two families here, one lady has three kids, another has one and both ladies are best friends. Their husbands are fighting in Ukraine so we’ve offered refuge. It’s just to try and help out, we’re not going to take the money [the U.K Government has offered a £350 monthly payment to people offering accommodation for Ukrainian refugees], we’re just happy to help.”

Open Day event

There will also be a fund-raising raffle at the upcoming Open Day at the couple’s new development at Pook Bourne Stud. “We have an open day on the 19th of April and some of our sponsors, such as Red Mills and Flex-On, are putting up a prize for a raffle, just to try and do something as well.”

Several of the Breen Team 1.60m stallions, including Golden Hawk, Can Ya Makan and Colmar, plus their progeny will be on view, as well as promising young stallions such as Lucky Luck and Dubai Castlefield.

“Basically, the day starts at 10.30 at our yard in Hickstead. People can go and see the horses in the stable as some people like to see the stallion’s attitude in the stable and what kind of a personality they have.”

After an in-hand and ridden display, the afternoon will be spent at the new state-of-the art Pook Bourne Stud, which is managed for the Breens by Greg Le Gear. Another key member of the team is fellow Tipperaryman Michael Quirke, described by Shane as “an encyclopedia!”

“Pook Bourne is where all the action happens and it’s to see the facilities that we have there too.”

While the Open Day will be livestreamed through the Breen Team’s Facebook page, there’s also the option of a flying visit on April 19th for keen Irish breeders, via Gatwick airport. “Gatwick is 20 minutes from Hickstead, there’s a regular National Express bus that stops outside Hickstead and you can literally walk out of the airport and get here.”

See the Breen Team’s Facebook page for Open Day updates and details.