We have crossed the half way point in the year and now we officially counting down to the 2019 Queen’s Cup. Less than 6 month to go and preparations are going well. We are about to watch the hibernation of the race course as it begins its winter sleep and we are hard at work in the office making sure that all is as it should be at this time of year.
With all that in mind, it is important to say that there are still race meets that are yet to run this year and just 2 weeks ago was the biggest meeting of the year in Far Hills, NJ.
The American Grand National happens in mid October every year and offers a staggering $450,000.00 purse fund for its main event. Horses literally come in from all over the world for the day, but have you ever asked yourself, how do horses travel from country to country or state to state?
Well, the state to state part is easy. There are many shipping companies around that specialize in moving horses all over the USA. Some, now, even have air cushioned floors on their trailers to make sure that the horses have the most comfortable rides possible. Crossing the Atlantic is a slightly different matter. Horses will leave their homes in Europe and go to a regular airport. They will be then transported on to a cargo flight especially designed for horses. The will then pop into a stall or stable and relax for the next 8 hours or so. Honestly, they are treated far better than people on a first class flight. They have cushions and protective gear all over their body to insure nothing gets sore.
When they land in the USA, they and their grooms move to a quarantine facility. There, they will spend 3 days and run some tests on site to make sure there is no transfer of disease. Once that is completed, they will be transported like any other horse to their destination.
Like you and me, horses will also have to adjust to time zones and weather, not to mention change in diet and surroundings. The grass is even different here than it is in Europe. Most horses adjust to this fairly easy and some take longer. Some will even crash pretty hard until they acclimatize. All in all, it is pretty fascinating to think that the first horses flew in 1945 and now it is a regular as it is for you and me, That is, apart from the cost. It will probably set you back a cool $10,000.00 per horse. No small amount for sure.
Hopefully we will have some international impact on the Queen’s Cup soon. See you at the races.