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Shipping to America? anyone done it? (long!)

(18 Posts)
Blockette Tue 08-Jan-13 10:44:15

My DH has just been offered a once in a life time opportunity to go and work in America. Will double his salary, and it has always been a dream of his.
- I would go in a drop of a hat ... if it wasn't for the horses.

Horse 1) - 21 y/o stressy TB. - To be quite honest I wouldn't even bother thinking about taking him, he's too old, too stressy - he wouldn't make the journey. But that's ok, I've had him for 11 years, my Father is also rather attached to him and would have him as a field ornament, with occasional riding by a friend or sister-in-law.

Horse 2) - 3.5 y/o QH - She is my issue really, I've had her since she was 18 months, broke her in myself - I don't have quite the same attachment as with the old boy, but it's getting there, even more now she's being ridden.

My first reaction was sell her or lone her out. I have never sold a horse in my life, I'm not sure I could do it, I would feel so guilty and heart broken + if I come back in 2 years (which is possible) then I would have to track her down before thinking of buying a new one. If I lone her out while this young, she wont be the horse I remember, she would be moulded to the loner's style so I might as well sell her ...

But ... she's a QH - If I bought one in america it would be a QH, and I have a perfectly good one which I have put so much work into here .... Her mother was shipped over, as was her dad -and they both where happy enough when i met them. How stressful is the shipping for the horse? According to the websites they are driven to Germany then fly from there, quarantine is done at our end so not too bad. But it doesn't give you a idea of how long it would take? - with a stranger, on her own? And then the cost - about £10k .... + I would have to wait at least a year to make sure it was a one way trip, I don't want to ship her over, then back again in a year.

I think I know what I want to do, but I don't know anyone who's done it?

horseylady Tue 08-Jan-13 13:09:33

I know someone who looked into shipping over to oz but decided against it.

Time, money etc.

I'm not sure what I'd do!! We were offered s year in Germany and I would have taken my tb. But it's Germany!! Not flying to America!!

Good luck!!

Blockette Tue 08-Jan-13 14:14:07

Thanks Horseylady, I have found details for a company who do it, so hopefully they can help - Its just knowing what's best for her Vs just what I want.

horseylady Tue 08-Jan-13 15:18:34

Well eventers and showjumpers etc do it a lot. Along with some race horses so they obviously cope with it?! I guess once the journeys over with and shes settled it's done. Is it much more stressful than horse transporting to the continent? Probably not a huge difference tbh.

ClaireandGeorge Tue 08-Jan-13 15:24:34

Like Horselady I was also going to say competition horses are transported all over the world and that would be for shorter term stays than you are planning.

Also some TB Stallions spend six months here at the National stud then do a season in Austrailia. They do this every year.

I owuld do lots of research, talk to your Vet they should be able to tell you something.

DolomitesDonkey Tue 08-Jan-13 16:49:14

Horses don't do quarantine in that sense. It's a very simple process and they go from heathrow. Budget 5-8k per horse and note that some airports will not accept live cargo during winter due to extreme temps.

Pixel Tue 08-Jan-13 17:06:12

I saw an interesting article about flying with horses, apparently there aren't that many grooms qualified to do it so they get paid really well. Had to google to find it and sorry but it was in the Mail (I know how people fuss about that!). Still worth a read though, and don't worry I don't think it will put you off. I actually found it reassuring as the only other account of horses in planes I'd ever seen was in a Dick Francis novel and you can guess how that went wink.

DolomitesDonkey Tue 08-Jan-13 17:08:52

They also ship in International Velvet.

Wasn't it the grey jumper Milton something or other missed out on Sydney Olympics because his owners said no to the travel.

mrslaughan Tue 08-Jan-13 21:08:58

The practicality of it, I think would also depend on where you will be based, for example living in manhattan and having a horse ( not living in manhattan obviously , but in livery in driving distance) would soon reduce any extra salary.......

Blockette Tue 08-Jan-13 21:38:04

Thanks for all your advice everyone.

We would be just outside Detroit, Michigan. It sounds do-able just scarey, and expensive! Lol

DolomitesDonkey Wed 09-Jan-13 06:57:37

An ex-friend lives in Manhatten and keeps her horse a 45 minute train ride away. Her livery bill made me weep. I think it was $40,000 a year and this was going back a few years.

50k in Michigan would buy you a small farm. wink

mrslaughan Wed 09-Jan-13 10:23:41

Yep Dolomites - and then theres the people who keep a car in mahatten, so they can drive out to their horses.......manhatten is expensive enough....

Butkin Wed 09-Jan-13 11:18:35

OP where are you going to in the States?

Location will define where you horses ship from and to and where they will do their quarantine.

If you're going to the East Coast then you'd probably go from Liege in Belgium directly to JFK. They would then do 42 hours in quarantine at the USDA facility in Newburg. You'd just have to make sure they were properly blood tested before departure - geldings are easier than stallions/mares which need a course of swabs.

To return home to Britain they would need to do a months quarantine if they have been stabled with the local horse population.

If you're going to the mid-West or West Coast then they would probably fly from Amsterdam on a KLM flight.

Butkin Wed 09-Jan-13 11:21:05

Oops - just spotted that you're going to Michigan. You'd need to speak to a specialist horse shipping company (Rapido, BBA, LG Bloodstock, IRT, to get a quote. There will be horse shipments through Chicago at some point this Spring - when quarantine barns at Arlington Park are completed - which may be easier for you than New York.

tnml Wed 09-Jan-13 14:00:08

My friend did it last year. Her husbands company paid!! it cost her around 13 grand and the main hassle was the bloods and tests before travelling. The mare travelled really well and was completely settled at the other end. I think shes planning to be out there for a couple of years then will ship her back again when they return.

unobtanium Wed 09-Jan-13 14:32:51

I've met flying grooms and also vets who accompany valuable horses on such trips. This was at an international conference on horse transportation some years ago in hartpury college. There is a lot of research out there about how different horses react, with "shipping fever", gastric ulcers, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory difficulties topping the list of worries. That said, all flying grooms know the importance of letting the horse get its head down while in transit as much as possible, the importance of good ventilation, access to dust-free hay and water, etc. A very good contact might be Jenny Hall who presented at this conference (vet to the UK eventing team at the time): she has loads of experience and can advise you on best precautions. For instance some vets advise giving Gastroguard in the build-up to and during the trip. Also you could look up Tim Rolfe a very experienced flying groom.

moomooo Thu 10-Jan-13 22:50:08

The last vet record journal had a paper on horse air transport. They looked at heart rate and behaviour, the conclusion was transport by air is less stressful than road transport. Horses were less stressed during loading compared to into a lorry and heart rate came down to resting levels during the flight which doesn't happen on the road. So hopefully that helps with your worries about stress smile And as others have said lots of horses do it regularly without any adverse effects.

Blockette Fri 11-Jan-13 09:47:55

Thanks again everyone!

Feeling a lot better about it now!

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