More than 300 horses traveled to the Olympics on special flights complete with passports, in-flight meals, and mandatory COVID quarantines
- More than 300
horseshave traveled to Tokyo to compete in the Olympicsand Paralympics.
- A whopping 19 airplanes and 185 truck journeys were commissioned to transport the equine passengers.
- The horses enjoyed in-flight meals and snacks, grooming sessions, and business class accommodations.
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"To see these horses arriving at Haneda Airport is a truly historic occasion, and what makes it even more special is that these are not simply horses, they are Olympic horses," Administrator of Tokyo International Airport Takahashi Koji said per The Chronicle of the Horse. "It's a really big night for the airport, and particularly for the cargo team, and we see it as one of the major milestones of the final countdown to the
Of the 325 total equine passengers, 247 flew through Liège, Belgium, where the airport has a special hotel for horses. After 60 days of stringent health monitoring and a seven-day quarantine, the horses boarded an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777-F - the most environmentally friendly freighter in circulation - for one of eight chartered flights to Haneda Airport.Between food, water, equipment, and the horses themselves - which weigh somewhere between 1,100 and 1,400 pounds each on average - flying these clip-cloppers through the skies is a rather tall task. Fortunately for those responsible for getting the horses to Tokyo, the Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777-F is a mammoth of a
The horses were divided among 19 flying stables - business class for horses - and kept cool at roughly 60 degrees Fahrenheit. A groom team and a veterinarian flew alongside the animals to provide comfort and care throughout the journey. And in addition to their custom meals, the equines were offered an assortment of in-flight snacks that included bananas, carrots, and hay.
Here's what the journey looked like for some of the American horses:
Equestrian events for this summer's games begin July 23 with dressage horse inspections. Eventing starts nearly a week later on Thursday, July 29, while the jumping competition won't start until August.
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