Media updates

Olympic champion Sam leaves Liege on flight bound for Rio 2016

Media updates
30 July 2016 Author: LCW

The second group of Olympic horses departed from Liege Airport (BEL) today (30 July) on a special cargo plane bound for Rio 2016, marking the start of the Olympic dream for the world’s best equine athletes, including reigning Olympic Eventing Champion Michael Jung’s (GER) horse Sam FBW, on which he won team and individual gold at London 2012.

With 32 horses from 12 nations on board, the equine cargo worth multiple millions, was loaded into customized pallets for the 11-hour flight aboard an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777-F which left Belgium at 17:35 CEST.

Eventing horses from Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, France, Sweden, Belgium, Russia, Equador, Japan, Belarus and Finland are on board Saturday’s flight out of Liege, the second of nine shipments delivering more than 200 horses to Rio International Airport, en route to the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro Olympic Park.

The first batch of horses touched down in Rio just before midnight last night and were transferred to their new stables at Deodoro in the early hours of this morning, welcomed by their grooms and entourage, who had spent much of the day decorating the equine accommodation with national flags.

The Liege flight is due into Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport at 23.00.

This highly complex operation involves three hubs in Europe and America: Stansted (GBR), Liege (BEL) and Miami (USA). During the Games, the competing horses and their riders will represent 43 nations from around the globe in the Olympic disciplines of Eventing, Dressage and Jumping.

The question is, do horses get jet lag . . . .

Liege flight facts:

  • Estimated flight time Liege – Rio: 11 hours 10 mins
  • Aircraft detail: Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777-F
  • 17,600 kgs of horses flying from Lieges
  • 515kg is the average weight of an Eventing horse (630kg is the average weight of a Dressage horse and 610kg for Jumping horses)
  • 8,185kg of horse equipment
  • 5,726 kg of feed (doesn’t include feed they’ll eat on the flight)
  • 40 litres of water per horse
  • 32 Eventing horses – representing Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, France, Sweden, Belgium, Russia, Equador, Japan, Belarus and Finland

For all the fun facts about flying horses click here

Media information:

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