There has been a great amount of talk regarding the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong, especially in the area of the equestrian teams. Several of the world's top Olympic competitors have already decided not to attend this year's Olympic Games because they feel that there is too much of a risk transporting their horses. One private horse transporter is going above the call of duty to ensure that the horses he is responsible for getting to Hong Kong arrive in pristine condition.
Martin Atock is the managing director of the horse transportation company that is supported by the Olympics, Peden Bloodstock. The project of moving a large majority of the horses that will be competing in the Olympics is the largest project that Atock has ever attempted. This type of project is one that is sure to provide many different challenges along the way.
One way that Atock is keeping everything in order is by carefully planning for any event that could take place before it happens. This will allow him to have an accurate plan in the instance that there is some type of emergency or other situation that needs to be handled. The two main concerns that are currently on Atock's mind are colic and claustrophobia from the horses.
In a sense, horses are just like humans. Most of them will be able to handle the long trip with no problems, yet there will be a few that will have problems during the trip. It is these horses that will require the most attention to ensure that they arrive in good health.
One method that is used to help agitated horses during the trip is pairing them with experienced flying grooms. These individuals have a great deal of experience flying with horses and know all of the various procedures that are used to keep a horse clam and safe during the journey. One of the reasons why trained flying grooms are used instead of the horse's regular grooms is that individuals that are not trained can become nervous as well and the horses will notice this emotion, which will make the situation even worse because the horse will become more agitated.
Once the horses arrive in Hong Kong, they will calmly be moved from the planes to air conditioned trailers that will carry them to the main venue, which is approximately two hours from the airport.