Horses being loaded onto an IRT flight  Photo:

Kiwi horses in flight

Caitlin O'Sullivan
30 March 2021
New Zealand bred horses have long made their presence felt around the world, but how do they travel? They fly - although a little differently to how you or I would!
NZB Airfreight and IRT are New Zealand’s leading horse transport services, getting horses from New Zealand to Australia, Asia, Europe and America (no, the horses are not travelling with you on an Air New Zealand flight - they prefer to fly privately instead!) Up to 21 horses can be flown on one flight, with each horse enjoying the comfort of their own individual stall with lots of ‘legroom.’
There are no flight attendants as such on these flights, but horses are accompanied by a groom and vet. On the whole, horses tolerate flying well, however international hopefuls can be worth unfathomable amounts, so no chances are taken. In-flight snacks are readily available, with the horses enjoying a continuous supply of water and hay in their stalls throughout the flight.
Some trainers prefer to fly their horses with plenty of time ahead of their first race, while others believe it makes little difference and are happy to fly a mere few days before the race. Whether or not horses suffer from ‘jet-lag’ is up for debate.
New Zealand horses that have recently taken to the air include Melody Belle, Sir Charles Road and Milford - all whom have their sights set on various prestigious races across the ditch. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates on their efforts. Go the Kiwis! 
Horses being secured prior to take off 

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