LAUSANNE, Switzerland – How do horses get to the Rio Olympic Games? By plane of course!
The first group of Olympic horses departed from London Stansted Airport (GBR) today (29 July) on a special cargo plane bound for Rio 2016, marking the start of the Olympic dream for the world’s best equine athletes.
With 34 horses from 10 nations on board, the equine cargo worth multiple millions, was loaded into customized pallets for the almost 12-hour flight aboard an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777-F which left the UK at 15.20 BST .
Eventing horses from Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Japan, Italy and China are on board Friday’s flight out of Stansted, the first of nine shipments delivering more than 200 horses to Rio International Airport, en route to the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro Olympic Park.
This highly complex operation involves three hubs in Europe and America: Stansted (GBR), Liege (BEL) and Miami (USA). The competing horses and their riders will represent 43 nations from around the globe in the Olympic disciplines of Dressage, Jumping and Eventing.
From airport arrival to check-in, loading onto the plane and taking off for Rio, the FEI is providing a stunning set of images and video footage documenting this exciting day, providing an incredible insight into how these precious athletes embark on their journey towards Olympic glory.
Stansted flight facts:
• Estimated flight time Stansted – Rio: 11 hours 40 mins
• Aircraft detail: Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777-F
• 17,500kg of equine cargo
• 515kg average weight of an Eventing horse
• 9,900kg of horse equipment
• 6,000kg of feed (for consumption during the Games)
Olympic Equestrian facts:
• True gender equality – the only Olympic sport where men and women compete equally side by side for the same sets of medals
• 200 competing horse/rider combinations (plus reserves)
• 3 Olympic disciplines – Eventing (65 horse/rider combinations), Dressage (60) and Jumping (75)