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TRYON, North Carolina: September 04, 2018. Emirates Sky Cargo has operated 19 B777-200 freighter flights to Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP) in South Carolina as part of the largest airlift of horses for a single sporting event: the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games from September 11-23.

FEI TRYON 2018The games, held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle, is one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar, combining eight equestrian World Championship caliber disciplines including Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

Coordinated by Peden Bloodstock and The Dutta Corp, a total of 650 horses have been flown into GSP and MIA on 23 flights from Liège, Dubai and 11 South American cities including Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, Santiago, Lima, Montevideo and San José, Costa Rica.

They join a further 270 horses arriving from other points in the US to reunite with their riders from over 70 countries for the event which is a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“This is the largest commercial airlift of horses in history, with only wartime shipments of horses coming close, so the military precision involved in the logistics is incredible,” commented FEI president Ingmar De Vos. “These horses are finely-tuned equine athletes and are not only very valuable, but they must arrive in peak competition condition, just like their human counterparts.”

FEI GSP horsesThe horses, which weigh anywhere between 450kgs for the lighter Reining and Endurance horses and 840kgs each for the heavyweight Vaulting competition, arrived in GSP on Emirates SkyCargo in customised stalls and were transferred directly to trailers for the 50-mile journey to Tryon in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina - also famous as the birthplace of jazz legend and civil rights activist Nina Simone.

The airline provided some statistics on its record-breaking airlift: 500 horses in 220 stalls with 50-60 horses per flight; the average weight of each horse was 515kgs; 244 tonnes of support equipment included saddles, bridles, rugs and grooming kits, wheelbarrows and pitchforks, horse shoes and all-terrain studs; 51 tonnes of feed and in-flight snacks; plus 20 litres of water per horse.

And the flights also included room for a total of 227 grooms.

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