Olympians & their travels - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-13-2008, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Olympians & their travels

I probably has the most dumbest question but I was posed with this question by my BF & really couldn't answer it. I tried to look it up on the net to see if I could find pictures or articles or anything & no luck.

He *bless his heart* thought that they just "picked" out new horses when they went over to China (when travelling from other countries). I informed him that many of them "fly" their horses over to the games & some possible "ship" by boat their horses over. I'm sure I'm right on that answer but then he asked me how do they ship them i.e. do they drug them, are they in boxed stalls on planes/ships in crates like smaller animals would be etc etc. I had NO CLUE. I mean these are valuable horses so really ~ some one tell me... how do they get them there>>

Thanks in advance for answering my ignorance...

"It's not about waiting out the storm, it's about getting out and dancing in the rain."
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-13-2008, 10:53 AM
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I'm not sure just how they go about it, but flying is pretty stressful for horses. Here are a few comments from Mary King's Olympic countdown diary on HorseandHound.co.uk ...

"The horses will be kept ticking over now until they fly out on Wednesday from Stansted and our flight is on Thursday evening."

"The day for Call Again Cavalier (Cavvy) to travel to Hong Kong came around incredibly quickly. When he had flown out to Pratoni last year he had became a little edgy, so I was concerned that the same might happen again and that he would lose weight. Fortunately that trial run was the best thing that could have happened as he was fine this time.

"I saw him get on the plane at Stansted and then returned to Devon with my reserve horse Imperial Cavalier (Archie), said goodbye to my family and flew to Hong Kong the next day."

I imagine these horses get the absolute best in horsey air travel, to minimise the problems that follow.

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-13-2008, 11:11 AM
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they have big boxes "equine transport boxes" that they put right into the plane! I'm not sure if they are tied or are loose like in a stall, though :)

equine air is a transporter, here is there site: http://www.airequine.net/introduction.htm

Justin (qh/tb)
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-13-2008, 11:12 AM
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Im guessing sedation is needed in some cases as well.

here is an article off from team usa website on July 11 08

It's one thing to make it to the Olympics. It's another to get there with a half-ton of gear. Equestrians and sailors pack that much and more. And while shooters don't pack heavy, they pack heat - in their bags, of course.

This is the second of three articles that examines how Olympic athletes manage traveling with unwieldy gear.

Will Faudree, who competes in equestrian's three-day event, says his horse, Antigua, "knows when he gets on a plane that he's going somewhere fun."

The pair has already been to Australia, New Zealand, and several countries in Europe together. If they qualify for the 2008 Olympic equestrian event (to be held in Hong Kong) Faudree's horse will be required to travel with a horse passport which details his body markings and vaccinations and bears stamps from past competitions.

When traveling overseas, the horse is quarantined for several hours before it gets to the airport. The duration depends on the arrival country. (Before a horse may enter the US, for example, it must be quarantined 36 hours before the flight.)

After the quarantine, Faudree picks up his horse and drives to the airport. There, a van takes Antigua to a fiberglass box called a pallet, which can house two or three horses during the flight. Next, the pallet is loaded onto a trolley which leads to a lift that transports the horse (in his pallet) onto the plane.

The series of vehicles is necessary because a horse isn't allowed to touch the ground after being quarantined.

Once the horses are loaded, Faudree gets out of the pallet and crawls toward a seat behind the cockpit for takeoff. On domestic flights, Faudree usually takes Fed Ex planes and once the door closes, "it's just us, the horses, the pilots, and the mail," he said.

There's no view because the windows are in back near the horses. There's no heat. There's also no horse bathroom. "It's not bad because you're sitting in front," Faudree contends.

The upside of flying cargo is that the horses never get lost. "Someone's always with them. They're so well taken care for," Faudree said. "When [Antigua] gets on a plane, it's all about him. It's really exciting from start to finish - for the horse."

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-13-2008, 11:13 AM
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I guess you could say its a glorified "crate"...here's a picture.

This is why its more cost-effective to ship more than one horse at a time: you are basically paying to have the box shipped on a cargo plane, not the individual horses. Some horses do better with a mild tranq, some don't need it, just depends.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-13-2008, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Wow now that is truly neat! I knew someone would have better facts then I did. What do I know I'm just a farm girl from the north! LOL. I stick mostly to my own State or surrounding states! LOL. Thanks everyone for your input! I can't wait to pass the info on to the BF!

"It's not about waiting out the storm, it's about getting out and dancing in the rain."
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-15-2008, 02:21 PM
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Most of the Olympic Equestrians were competing in European competitions to qualify for the Olympic teams several months before the Olympics so they had their horse shipped to Europe and from there were shipped to China. It really is amazing.
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