Emirates SkyCargo has transported the first group of 67 horses for the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018.
The horses were flown from Liege, Belgium to Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina in an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777 Freighter.
This is the first of 19 flights that Emirates SkyCargo will be operating as a special charter for one of the most important events in the global sporting calendar.
With over 500 horses being flown for the games, this is the largest air horse charter that has been undertaken for a single sporting event, and Emirates SkyCargo worked with horse transportation specialist Peden Bloodstock to carry out the charter.
Horses will travel on a number of flights on different airlines, and the freight carried from Europe, not including the horses themselves, will total 123,500 tonnes of equipment, ranging from saddles, bridles, rugs and grooming kits, wheelbarrows and pitch forks, to horse shoes and all-terrain studs, as well as 51 tonnes of feed, in-flight snacks and 20 litres of water per horse.
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport senior vice president and chief operating officer, Kevin Howell says: “Today’s a little different, because this is four-legged cargo, we don’t move a lot of that. Actually our first equine charter was the test flight earlier this spring. The team is very focused on moving the horses safely, and keeping the horses in the best health and spirits for the competition.”
After landing in Greenville, the first equine arrivals were transferred directly onto trucks for the 50 mile journey to Tryon, cross over the state line into North Carolina.
The FEI World Equestrian Games will see human and equine athletes compete from 11 – 23 September for 29 medals in the Olympic disciplines of eventing, jumping and dressage, the Paralympic sport of para-dressage, alongside driving, endurance, reining and vaulting.