World Cup Dressage & Jumper Horses from Europe in Las Vegas for Final
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
LAS VEGAS. Nevada, April 11,2015–Forty of Europe’s top show horses including Valegro at No. 1 for dressage and Cornet D’Amour the top jumper arrived Saturday for the World Cup Finals that are the annual global championships of both Olympic disciplines.
International and United States television camera crews and dressage-news.com were on hand to record the arrival and unloading of the horses from the Qatar Air Boeing 777 by dozens of ground crew from Europe and the United States organized by The Dutta Corp. that was responsible for the airlift.
All of the horses made the eight-hour flight safely with no problems and four hours after touchdown at sunrise were in temporary stabling that also is a quarantine station at the Thomas & Mack Center where the World Cups of Dressage & Jumping get underway Wednesday.
“It was just about perfect,” said Dutch veterinarian Jan-Hein Swagemakers who works with the German jumping team and flew with the horses from Amsterdam to Las Vegas. “The flight was good. These horses are in top condition.”
Horses from the United States that were in Florida for the winter circuit, including Laura Graves and Verdades, will fly in Sunday while West Coast entries such as Legolas to be ridden by Steffen Peters will travel by road Monday.
“No problems at all,” declared Alan Davies, who takes care of Valegro and traveled with the 13-year-old KWPN gelding from the stables of Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin in Gloucestershire to Las Vegas for what was the horses’s second trans-Atlantic flight. He competed in Florida in 2012.
Valegro was stallmates in the container with Painted Black, at 18 years of age, a veteran traveler. Painted is being competed by Morgan Barbançon Mestre, 22 of Spain, the youngest dressage rider.
The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) that organizes the Reem Acra World Cup Dressage and the Longines World Cup Jumping reported the value of the horses on the chartered flight at €150 million (US$157 million).
Tim Dutta, whose company banner reads We give horses wings.” described the airborne experience of the horses.
“Horses are just like you and me,” said Tim who is based in North Salem, New York and Wellington, Florida.
“Some fall asleep before departure and snooze most of the way, and others start praying from the minute they take off and don’t stop until they’ve landed. But the majority of them are like seasoned CEOs, they’ve flown so many times that they just take it all in their stride.”