Tokyo: The Tokyo Olympics is not only welcoming thousands of athletes flying to Tokyo for the Olympic Games but also hundreds of horses. They will compete with their riders in the three equestrian disciplines dressage, jumping, and eventing. It is the only Olympic sport where men and women compete individually on equal terms.
The horses, each weighing from 510-630 kg, travel in pairs in special flying stables at a fairly chilly 16 degrees Celsius and are accompanied by grooms and veterinarians.
The transport agents in charge of the animals, Peden Bloodstock, have organized Olympic and Paralympic horse transport since 1960. But it is the first time Tokyo's Haneda airport has handled a full cargo of horses worth fortunes.
"These are not simply horses, they are Olympic horses”, said Takahashi Koji, Administrator, Tokyo International Airport. "It’s a really big night for the airport, and particularly for the cargo team, and we see it as one of the major milestones of the final countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games," he added.
This year's first Olympics flight from Europe carried 36 horses from Belgium via Dubai to Tokyo on a 180hour journey, also transported 12,000 kg of feed and 13,500 kg of horse equipment.
All horses underwent a 60-day health surveillance period and a seven-day quarantine before the flight.
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