Imagine a flight that replaces pretzels for hay, and where passengers are placed in stalls versus seats.
It is a thing, and a thing that has been going on for quite a while now.
Tex Sutton Forwarding Company is the only American-based transport company currently that flies show and races horses across the United States of America via an aircraft. Established in 1969, flight tickets can cost someone just less of $5,000 for a trip one way. Dubbed “Air Horse One” the company primarily transports horses across the nation.
One might think that flying horses anywhere just may be a recipe for disaster and chaos, however during a recent interview the Operations Manager for Tex Sutton, Mike Payne explained that the animals navigate their way to flights using custom-made ramps with walls that are so high, the horse’s feet don’t touch the ground, reducing the risk significantly for a horse to escape when boarding on the aircraft.
Once they are on the plane, horses are then placed in to specially made stalls that can be organized so that there are two or three horses across, within the aircraft. There are times that horses of the ‘celebrity’ variety charter an entire airplane, still, Air Horse One can fly about 18 to 20 horses on each craft.
And what about their pets? Yup, some thoroughbreds even have little animals of their own (i.e. goats and such) that accompany them on the plane (for no extra charge) and stay on the ground to keep these horses relaxed during their flight. There are also ‘human’ seats from grooms who fly along with the animals (like horse couriers), and these seats are located at the rear of the plane.
MSN reported that Air Horse One pilots also known and understood who they are flying. Precautions are made when it comes to ascents and descents, as well as gentle wide turns to ensure the horses remain calm, and don’t fall over. Additionally, when it comes to takeoff, Air Horse One may get a preference from time to time, considering their precious and sometimes impatient cargo.