It’s fairly easy for a marathon runner to hop a flight to compete at the Pan American Games but for a competition horse? Not so much. To move a priceless animal from the United States to Mexico takes expertise that only a few companies in the world possess.
In October of 2011, JAS managed the safe delivery of not just one, but ten competition horses from 5 different countries to compete at the 2011 Pan American Games. The attention to detail, safety, regulatory issues, and the needs of the owners and horses alike are just a few of the many reasons JAS Forwarding Worldwide was chosen for this demanding operation.
The Pan Am Games are second only to the Summer Olympics as the largest multi-sport event in the world. The competition is held every four years between athletes from the nations of the Americas. Over 5,000 Athletes compete at the games representing 36 different sports and nearly 400 Events. Various highly competitive equestrian events are at the heart of the Games.
Eduardo Muñiz of the Dominican Republic Dressage team says the Pan American Games, “are the most important event in the Americas, and it’s the second largest sports gathering in the World behind the Olympics. For our country, it is the pinnacle of our cycle, since as a team we would not qualify for the Olympics.”
With this much at stake, it is easy to understand how critical it is that the welfare of the horses be a top priority. “We cannot afford for any of them to suffer a mishap during transportation due to the short arrival timeframe prior to the event” said Muñiz.
The “Dressage” event to which Muñiz is referring is sometimes called "Horse Ballet". Although the discipline has ancient roots in Europe, dressage was first recognized as an important equestrian pursuit during the Renaissance. In the modern era, Dressage is demonstrated through the competitive performance of a series of movements or “tests” carried out by the horse in response to subtle and nearly imperceptible instructions given by the rider. The judges evaluate the individual movements as well as the longer free style choreography presentations in much the same manner as judges would score a gymnastics floor exercise at the Olympics.
Yvonne Losos de Muniz rides Dondolo Las Marismas in the Dressage competition at the 2011 Pan American Games
The 2011 Pan American games in Guadalajara represented the final key step for qualifying teams before the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London. The JAS Live Animals division took on the challenging task of moving not only the three Dominican Republic horses, but also seven others from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Grand Cayman, and Columbia’s “Farewell”, who ended up medaling at the games. Before moving these ten horses from the training facility in Wellington Florida, JAS spent three months developing the best strategy to make the move as easy for the animals as possible. In addition to the shipping logistics, various compliance issues were also handled by the JAS team in order to meet USDA requirements and quarantine regulations.
JAS managed the complicated logistics involved to move the valuable cargo via transport truck from Wellington to a waiting Amerijet charter in Miami. The key to the successful move was to first and foremost, assure a non-stop flight from Florida to Guadalajara and back again; not an easy undertaking.
As Diana Berdote, JAS Forwarding’s equine specialist notes, “You can imagine, when moving live animals it’s always best to find a direct flight from departure to final destination, avoiding long and very stressful transit time in different countries.”
“So we found the best possible option, providing a carrier with a direct flight on a specific route. After that we had to take care to put in place all the arrangements to get the horses ready to be shipped - health docs, grooms (the people taking care of the horses), arranging for an animal handling agent who rents the stalls, load the horses into them, and finally load the stalls onto the aircraft.”
Like all of its forwarding projects, the level of attention to detail is what sets JAS apart for delicate moves like this. As Berdote explains, “All of this is critical and time sensitive because of the specific dates of the event... that means there’s no room for any mistakes.” But even with the requirement for perfection, JAS provided a highly competitive price for the team owners while assuring the very highest quality of care for the animals.
“It was a great satisfaction and privilege for these teams/athletes to put their trust in the JAS Live Animals Division to handle such an important and delicate transport. For these horses to have the opportunity of representing their respective countries, it was three months of hard work, but so much worth it!” Berdote said.
Eduardo Muñiz represents a typical satisfied JAS customer. “We will not ship any horses without JAS, it’s that simple. We will be happy to refer anyone who has valuable cargo to put their trust in them.”
Whether priceless horses or a freighter loaded with critical auto parts, JAS Forwarding Worldwide is the “go-to” company to solve forwarding and logistics for your next shipping project.
For more information about JAS live animal logistics and forwarding services contact: firstname.lastname@example.org