Find out how Olympic equine super-stars make their way to Tokyo
The idea of horses on a plane might seem totally out of this world, but the Team GB dressage horses have touched down in Tokyo in a very historic occasion. Last night, the first ever full cargo containing 36 Olympic horses flew into Haneda, Japan – including double Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin’s horse, Gio.
Did you know, horses travel with passports like humans do? Horses will also travel with an export certificate and be thoroughly checked over prior to boarding. To ensure they’re in tip-top condition and feeling super-healthy, they’re monitored for 60 days before they fly.
Grooms and vets are present on board to make sure they’re comfy and safe throughout the flight. Luckily, these horses get the most luxurious treatment possible. They fly two per pallet, also known as flying stable – they travel in business class! While on their sky-high adventures, the four-legged athletes are treated to in-flight meals and hay or haylage so they can snack throughout their trip. Horses are able to snooze on board, too.
The Team GB horses are quarantined for seven days in a special facility then travel by road to Liege, Belgium. From there, they fly to Tokyo, stopping in Dubai for a 90-minute refuel. The last leg of their journey is in mega-cool air-conditioned trucks that transport them from the airport to Baji Koen, the equestrian park.
Over the coming days, more equine super-stars will be taking the same journey into Japan in time to adjust to a new climate before the equestrian events start on Saturday 24 July.
Fancy showing off your sky-high horsey knowledge to your friends. Here’s some awesome fast flight facts…
- Total flight time from Liege to Tokyo is 18 hours and 15 minutes.
- There are 19 flying stables on board.
- Each flying stable is 317cms long, 244cms wide and 233cms high.
- Temperature on board’s between 14-17°
- There are 40 litres of water per horse on every flight.
- 325 horses are travelling to Tokyo for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
- The total number of horse flights for both Games is
- Across both Games, 100,000kg of horse equipment will be flown into Tokyo.
- 60,000kg is the total weight of feed imported.
- There’ll be 185 truck journeys made between the airport and equestrian park.
Now some horses have landed in Tokyo, the countdown for the Games can officially begin and we can get ready to cheer on the awesome equestrian athletes.
For more information on equestrian sports at the Games head to olympics.com