“Seeing these horses arrive at Haneda Airport is a truly historic occasion, and what makes it even more special is that they are not just horses, they are Olympic horses,” said the administrator. of Tokyo Takahashi Koji International Airport said. “It’s a very big night for the airport, and in particular for the cargo team, and we see it as one of the major milestones in the final countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. “
The four-legged time travelers are all equestrian dressage horses and include Olympic superstars, among them Bella rose, the mare ridden by germany Isabelle Werth, the most decorated Olympic equestrian athlete of all time.
Gio, the ride of the two-time Olympic champion, also lands in Haneda en route to the magnificent Baji Koen equestrian site, owned by the Japan Racing Association. Charlotte dujardin (GBR), who will bid for a consecutive title in Tokyo.
The 36 equine passengers will carry the flag of the teams of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Britain, Netherlands, Portugal and host country Japan, as well as people from Brazil, Estonia, Finland, Ireland and Morocco. And they will be joined by another group of equestrian dressage stars flying in Tokyo tomorrow.
The first Olympic flight departing from Europe saw the horses coming from Liège in Belgium, where there’s even a special airport horse hotel, flying an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777-F for Dubai, a 90-minute refueling and a change of crew, then Tokyo.
From a sustainability perspective, Emirates has implemented a number of initiatives to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions where operationally possible, including its long-standing operation of flexible routes in partnering with air navigation service providers to create the most efficient flight plan for each flight. The airline, which operates one of the world’s youngest aircraft fleets, also uses advanced data analytics, machine learning and AI in its fuel monitoring and aircraft weight management programs. .
Business class travel
Horses fly two by pallet, or flying stable, which is equivalent to business class. Their comfort and safety are ensured by flying bellboys and an on-board veterinarian. And, unlike two-legged passengers, horses not only receive their meals in flight (including special meal requests of course), but can snack on hay or silage throughout the journey, except when they take a nap.
So, since they travel in business class, does that mean that horses have flat beds to sleep on? Although horses can sometimes lie down to sleep in the sun at home, they actually sleep standing up. They have something called a “support device,” which allows the tendons and ligaments to effectively lock the knees and hocks (in the hind legs) so that they don’t fall out while they doze off. There is therefore no need for flat beds on the flight.
A total of 328 horses will be transported in Tokyo during both Games and the complex logistics of this massive airlift were coordinated by transport agents, Peden Bloodstock, who has been in charge of transporting Olympic and Paralympic horses since Rome 1960 and is the official equine logistics partner of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body for equestrian sport. Peden Bloodstock became a title partner of the FEI Best Athlete Award in 2019.
A convoy of 11 state-of-the-art air-conditioned horse trucks, belonging to the Japanese Racing Association, carried today’s precious horse cargo – and 13,500 kilograms of equipment – during the final transfer from Haneda to Baji Koen where the equine superstars had the chance to settle in their Olympic village of athletes, aka the stables.
“Like all the athletes who arrive in Tokyo for the Olympic and Paralympic Games the horses are sharp and ready to compete on the world’s biggest sporting stage “, FEI President Ingmar De Vos mentionned. “After all the challenges the world has been facing, we are finally almost there and now it is only a matter of days before we hear those magic words, that the Games begin!”
Fast Flight Facts:
- 18 hours 15 minutes – flight time Liège to Tokyo, with a touchdown in Dubai
- Aircraft detail: Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777-F (flight numbers EK9388 LGG-DXB, EK9442 DXB-HND)
- 19 flying stables on board
- Dimensions flying stables: 317 cm long, 244 cm wide, 233 cm high
- 14-17 ° Celsius – temperature on board
- 36 Dressage horses – teams of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Britain, Netherlands, Portugal and host country Japan, and individual horses of Brazil, Estonia, Finland, Ireland and Morocco.
- 22 700 kg +/- total weight of horses at the start of Liège
- 630kg is the average weight of a dressage horse
- 13,500 kg horse equipment
- 12,000 kg food (excluding meals and snacks on board)
- 40 liters of water per horse
Information on total transport between the two Games
- 247 – total number of horses traveling to Tokyo for the Olympic Games
- 78 – total number of horses traveling to Tokyo for the Paralympic Games
- 630kg – average weight of a dressage horse; 515kg – average weight of a CCE horse; 610kg – average weight of a show jumping horse
- 14 – total number of horse-drawn flights for the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020
- 5 – total number of horse-drawn flights for the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020
- 100,000 kg – total weight of the horse’s equipment (including saddles, bridles, boots, bandages, blankets, lanyard equipment, halters, grooming kits, shoes & crampons, wheelbarrows & forks)
- 60,000 kg – total weight of feed (feed / silage)
- 185 – total number of truck trips between Haneda airport and the equestrian park to Baji Koen
Haneda Airport (HND)
Haneda Airport handled more than 87 million passengers in 2018, making it the third busiest airport in Asia and the fourth busiest in the world, after Atlanta, Beijing and Dubai. Following its expansion in 2018, Haneda is able to handle 90 million passengers per year – not counting horses!
With Haneda and Narita combined, Tokyo has the third busiest urban airport system in the world, after London and New York City.
Equestrian sports in Tokyo 2020
A record number of countries – 50 – will participate in the equestrian events of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games following the introduction of new formats that limit teams to three members, meaning more countries will have the opportunity to compete on the Olympic stage than ever before.
A total of seven countries will field full teams in all three Olympic disciplines, including the host country Japan. The others are Australia, France, Germany, Britain, Sweden and united states of america.
Click here for more information on horseback riding at the Olympic Games.
Broadcasters holding rights: VNR and b-roll images of the departure from Liège, from the arrival to Tokyo and on the EQP website are available for download on Content +
Non-rights / digital media: VNR and b-roll sequences (subject to IOC news access rules) will be available for download here at 4:00 p.m. JST.
Images of the departure from Liège, from the arrival to Tokyo and in the EQP room are now available on the FEI Flickr account for editorial use only.
FEI Media Relations & Media Operations Manager
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