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Off to Rio!

Melanie Taylor Blog

Do you know that to get all the Three Day, Dressage and Show Jumping horses down to Rio it will take 9 plane loads?  Horses will depart from England, Belgium and Miami, Florida.  The US Three Day horses took off early Saturday morning, July 30, from Miami. The US Dressage horses will leave from Belgium on Monday, August 1, and the US Show Jumpers from Belgium on Sunday, August 7.  They all fly “business class” in double stalls on pallets loaded by fork lift into giant 777 cargo planes. Inflight beverages include only buckets of water to go along with their nets of hay.  Flights from Europe are 12 hours in duration with the stallions loaded up front so as not to be distracted by the mares.  Each horse has a passport much like ours.  A limited number of grooms fly with the horses.  The remaining staff will meet the horses upon arrival and will have the stalls ready and waiting for their special equine athletes.  All riders fly commercially and arrive about the same time as the horses.  Good luck to all for safe travels!

The Three Day riders leaving from the States go through processing and fittings in Houston to receive their Olympic clothing and US Team jackets for the opening ceremonies.  The Dressage and Jumping riders leaving from Europe will have to take their chances and be processed once they arrive in Rio.  Good luck with everything fitting!