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So I guess I should start by introducing myself, I am new to this website! My name is Bree and I'm 19 years old. I have been riding for about 10 years, 8 of which I have ridden competitively. Horses have always been my first love.
When I was 14 I got my second horse, Ringo Star. He was my first warmblood and the love of my life. We had 3 precious years together, and within those years never a dull moment. Most of the time I had him, was time spent on the ground, rather than on his back. (This was due to me falling off and breaking my leg, and him being off due to Navicular changes.) This did wonders for our relationship. To the point that whenever I would arrive at the yard, he would see my car, and whinny for me. After the 3 short years my boy died of colic, after two consecutive colic surgeries. The vet had said that it was a 1 and a million chance that he could look like that on the inside. Ringo was my forever horse, I thought I would never find another connection like that again, until I met Indiana.
I was heart broken after the death of my horse, and proceeded to go on the hunt again for my next forever horse. After trying out many horses I had finally found him, by a complete fluke of course! He wasn't even advertized, and my mom persuaded me in to calling a number about some fillies (I was a gelding person at the time). We called and the guy told us about Indy, over the next couple of days we went to go look at him.
We arrived at the small yard, I get out the car, and I see my horse being led in from the paddock. I can't quite explain the automatic connection him and I had, but it was there. Because as I saw him I turned to my mom, and said "This is my next forever horse" . I normally wouldn't give a second look at a horse that hadn't been backed (broken in), but there was something about this boy that stole my heart.
Indy wasn't treated well by his previous owner. The previous owner and groom were scared of Indy, and abused him and hit him out of fear. He was unmanageable at first, this is a horse that would rear up, spin around, and try to double barrel you. He once climbed on top of a vet. The groom had to take a bucket of food for a 10 step walk to his paddock. He was deemed crazy, and the vet said he should be gelded right away. (surprise, surprise)
As soon as I got this horse I dedicated my life to him, and the rehabilitation process started. It took a long time for me to earn his trust and respect, but we soon became partners. I backed him myself, and he was just a superstar throughout the whole process. As time went on I could do pretty much anything with this horse, you would have never thought he was a stallion.
I wanted to give a little bit of my horsey history, before I get to the main point of this thread.
I have just moved back to America, I was previously living in South Africa, where I have left my horse behind. As you can imagine my heart is breaking all over again, the last thing I want to do is sell my horse. I have gotten in touch with the Warmblood Society in South Africa, but they have placed a ban on all exports. Even when the ban is lifted (this month) there is still no direct flight to America, they go via Europe. This is extremely costly and nearly impossible at this point.
The only thing I want is for my horse and I to be reunited. I don't know how to go about doing this, so I figured I would post this and see what other people have to say.
Any advice or insight on the subject would be very deeply appreciated.
No matter which way you go about it, it will be very costly. The horse will also need to sit in quarantine for a while once arriving to the US. This type of travel can be very stressful on a horse. I'm sure this is very hard for you to go through. Do you still own this horse?
Hi there, yes I still own him.
I do not know anything about transporting from SA - but would suggest that you get in contact with International shipping agents to get quotes and let them deal with all the legalities of import/export.
I do know that (or it always was so) that an entire horse will have to cover three mares when in quarantine - they are then aborted This is to test for some disease or the other.
Your best option as mentioned above is to speak to professional shipping agents - I've dealt with BBA Shipping and they have always been very knowledgeable and competitive with prices. their main office is based in Newmarket (UK), but we've used them to fly to the states but I'm thinking you may want to find an American based company. Their website, although based on TBs is quite informative about what tests need to be carried out.
Flying a horse is never cheap, but from all our experiences with it they travel perfectly fine as they don't realize they are in a plane. We travel horses to/from Dubai and they tend to lose about 20kg on average.
Thank you for the responses, it has definitely been helpful. The next question is, does anyone know any reliable professional shipping agents in America? I am currently situated in Nevada, but am planning to move to California.
Ideally I would like to find an option that doesn't involve going through the UK first.
Some big names, I don't know anything about them - other than they are big names.
IRT - International transport of horses
New Page 1
EquiAir Horse Shipping, International Flying and Equine Transport
Professional Horse Shipping Company : International Horse Transportation : Horse Transport Services : Alex Nichols Agency
Fedex does it too, but I can't find a link.
More info, from here
Generally speaking the options are a private charter flight or a commercial airline flight.
Charter airlines are generally contracted on an as-needed basis and are usually specially outfitted for that specific contract. Historically, charters are more common after a large sale with international buyers, such as race horses, or for special events such as the Olympics or large shows where a group of horses all going to the same destination can travel together at a reduced cost.
Commercial cargo shipping has become popular with airlines that contract with professional shipping agents. Because of the high volume of horses that travel commercially, we will focus mainly on that method of equine transport.
In the United States, the airports in Miami, New York and Los Angeles are used only for import. Houston (IAH) Chicago, JFK, Miami, and LA are most commonly used for exports, with DFW used occasionally.
What commercial airlines ship horses? El Al, CAL, Lufthansa, KLM, and Cargolux have the most livestock shipping volumes. FedEx and Emery transports also offer international equine shipping services.
The most common in-air transport vehicle, whether provided by the shipping agent or the airlines, is a special container known as an Airstable. Looking very similar to a horse trailer without wheels, one unit holds three horses and locks onto a standard shipping pallet. Some have movable side panels within the box to accommodate different size horses, or mares with foals.
The horses arrive at the airport via regular ground horse transportation such as a van or trailer. The airport will provide a quiet place to load horses into the Airstable. It is then moved by truck or tractor to the plane and moved into place in the cargo hold by cargo elevator and rollers on the floor of the plane. Some planes have the horse transport stalls built into the aircraft. Commercial flights may be restricted to certain airports, and they may be routed through a hub city, increasing the travel time substantially.
Once loaded, it’s not possible for the horses get out of the shipping boxes at all during the flight. According to one shipping agent, most flights are 6 to 10 hours, and rarely is a flight longer than 14 hours. The horses have room within the transport boxes to move a couple of steps back and forth and, as mentioned, some air boxes have adjustable panels. Most airlines do not take more than 6 containers, so 18 horses are usually the maximum head count allowed per flight. Weight as well as space is a factor in determining the cargo allowed.
Equine Chronicle » Modern Pegasus – Horses Flying Internationally
I am not sure that this helps at all, but a while back I was looking at shipping a horse between American and the UK, the figures came back around $8k-$10k, just to give you a ballpark.
Thank you very much, I will begin sending some emails!! :)
You are welcome. If I were you I'd look at the big name facebook pages and see who they ship with FEI, for English - whoever for western, I am sure they fly their horses too.
I think the commercial airlines might do it, but I am not sure.
Yeah I was speaking to my mom and she has exhausted almost every option from that side. I believe that's where the real problems lie. They have actually placed a ban on exports from SA, due to AHS (african horse sickness).
I was speaking to my mom and she said that when she had spoken to the head of exports and the vets in SA, they had said there hasn't been any exports out of SA for 6 years. Nor will they allow less than 40 horses to be exported. Otherwise the quarantine and actual exporting facility is closed down. Supposedly. It seems as if I'm getting tons of different theories from all different directions. I'm not sure what to believe anymore. All I know if the country is going downhill quick, and I want my boy back.
I wish it was as easy as hiring a plane, flying it there, and getting him myself!
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