Sport

High-end horses: The ultimate jet setters

By Heather Buchanan, for CNN

Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT) July 27, 2016
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With major competitions all over the world, top show jumping horses have more frequent flier miles than many people.
Special horse charter companies provide stall door to stall door service, picking the horse up at its home barn and transporting it in a specially air conditioned vehicle to the airport.
Horses on this international circuit can cost as much as $10 million dollars and their health and safety is of utmost importance.
After their horse passport and health certificate are checked, the four-legged passengers are put in a special traveling stall which has good ventilation and a vibration-minimizing floor to keep those legs from getting stressed.
These stalls are raised on a lift on the tarmac to be put in the cargo hold where special flight attendants or professional flying grooms ensure the horses' comfort.
Pilots even fly a special low ascent and descent to minimize the trajectory angle and are particularly keen to avoid bad weather.
"When we landed ... they unloaded the boxes and transferred the horses to a proper stall on the ground," says Alicia Heiniger, head of the luxury lifestyle media company Equestrio.
"After a rest and then another vet check and customs, we left for a horse hotel where we spent the night."
"On our trip from Miami 19 horses were traveling with us and only two were a little afraid which is amazing considering a bird flying by can spook them!"