Qatar Cargo gallops ahead with huge horse transport

By Damian Brett

Source: Qatar Airways Cargo

Qatar Airways Cargo has transported 190 race, show jumping and dressage horses over the last few weeks ahead of a series of events in the Middle East.

The horses were being transported for the Amir Sword Festival in Doha (17-19 February), the Saudi Cup in Riyadh (25-26 February), the Commercial Bank CHI AL SHAQAB  presented by Longines in Doha (24-26 February), and the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) in Doha (3-5 March).

For the HH The Amir Sword Festival, the horses transported by Qatar Airways Cargo originate in Ireland, the UK and France. Those horses competing in the CHI AL SHAQAB and LGCT come from all over Europe. 

In total, three full horse charters flew from Liege to Doha: two on February 19 and one on February 20.

The Saudi Cup preparations involved a flight to Los Angeles (LAX) to pick up four horses, and from there to Miami (MIA), to collect another eight and fly them all to Riyadh (RUH), Saudi Arabia.

This operation lasted two days from February 14 to 16.

Two days later, 14 horses were flown from Osaka Airport (KIX) in Japan, to Riyadh, also for the Saudi Cup.

Guillaume Halleux, chief officer cargo at Qatar Airways, said: “Every horse transport requires meticulous advance planning and coordination with the customers, the specialised freight forwarders, and the respective airport facilities.

“We take great pains to ensure that the animals entrusted to our care have as stress-free a journey as possible, naturally in line with all animal transport regulations.

“Alongside state-of-the-art horse stalls, and seats for the grooms on board our freighters, we also ensure that the distance to the aircraft from the airport animal facility, as well as the waiting times are as short as possible.

“Race-horses often have a very high value, and they are shipped three to seven days prior to the event in order to be at peak fitness on the race day. We are well versed in dealing with this precious cargo.

“Horses meanwhile make up around 35% of all our QR Live animal shipments, and we are one of the main horse transportation carriers in the world.”

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