Photos: Stefano Grasso / LGCT
The world’s top equine athletes have
arrived in the spectacular destination of Miami Beach, USA,
after a first class flight from Europe. Two specially
chartered flights with Emirates Airlines carried a total of
75 horses from Liege in Belgium to Miami International
Airport over the course of the weekend ahead of the launch
event of the Longines Global Champions Tour and the new
Global Champions League team competition. Saturday 9th April
will see the highly anticipated LGCT Grand Prix of Miami
Beach take place on the stunning white sands at 15:15 local
time, and history will be made as the inaugural Global
Champions League makes its debut at the unique destination
on Sunday 10th April at 11:30.
With horse welfare a top priority, there was close
co-operation with the United States Department of
Agriculture for the arrival and the settling in of the
The horses travelled ‘first class’, with premium conditions
to ensure ease, comfort and an exceptional level of welfare.
Experienced grooms accompanied the stars of show jumping to
look after their every need throughout the flight, and were
joined by vets and Peden Bloodstock who supervised the
operation with the help of Lachs in Leige (Belgium) and Cas
in Miami, who handled the arrangements.
As per humans, the horses travel with their own passports
which include all the key details and information allowing a
smooth and organised process. In the same way that humans
benefit from premium conditions, the travel arrangements had
been carefully planned to run like clock-work, maximising
efficiency and ensuring the most comfortable travelling set
up for the equine athletes.
Once the flight had landed at Miami International Airport,
the horses were transferred to special waiting
transportation trucks where they were given a police escort
to the venue. The unloading process from the aircraft was
fast and efficient to minimise time, and after landing all
the horses were settled comfortably in their stables at the
show ground by the beach in under three hours.
SDA Supervisory Veterinarian Medical Officer Dr Laura Moya
praised the planning and smooth running of the operation and
said: "We have established a wonderful working relationship
which we look forward to continuing. It is a privilege to be
involved in this where welfare is a priority. We have over
60 years experience in handling and dealing with the welfare
of horses. The horses arrived in fabulous condition and we
did extensive checks. This is a unique setting here in Miami
Beach for the event."
Martin Atock, the Managing Director of Peden Bloodstock
said: "The transport was exceptional and it was perfect for
the horses in terms of the conditions and their welfare.
They had a super flight.”
The horses were then settled comfortably into their purpose
built temporary stables, just a short walk from the warm
Atlantic ocean, where they were monitored and kept under US
quarantine conditions. Sunday morning saw the horses from
Europe released and take to the beach to stretch their legs
in the beautiful and expansive competition arena. Passers by
watched from the shoreline, keen to catch a glimpse of the
stunning animals as they took in their impressive
surroundings ahead of this week’s event. Tomorrow the
European horses will be joined by those from the US, who
will begin to arrive by truck to Miami Beach, bringing the
total number of horses to the venue to over 240.
The action kicks off on Thursday 7th April, with a feast of
show jumping sport running throughout the event and will be
broadcast on international TV and online via the GCT and GCL
TV live streaming.
For event information, including a complete rider list,