The Irish horses are part of the biggest commercial airlift of horses ever, with almost 450 horses being flown to the USA from Europe for what will be the biggest sporting event in the USA this year, with 600,000 spectators expected to visit the venue over the 16 days of the games, which take place every four years.
The Irish horses’ journey began last Wednesday when they left the final training camp to travel to Liege airport in Belguim where they were loaded onto a nine hour flight to Cincinnati, where they then spent 42 hours in quarantine. The horses were under the care of Horse Sport Ireland’s team vet Marcus Swail, who travelled with them.
The games incorporate eight World Championships, including championships in the four Olympic disciplines of Show jumping, Eventing, Dressage and Para-dressage. These Championships represent the first chance to qualify Irish teams for the Olympic Games in London. To achieve this the Eventing and Show Jumping teams must finish in the top five at the games.
Ireland will have 14 combinations competing at the Games, including teams in Show Jumping and Eventing. The opening ceremony for the games takes place on Saturday next, September 25th, with the eventing element beginning on September 30th.
Ireland’s show jumping horses will leave for Kentucky on Monday September 27th, as the show jumping element does not begin until October 4th.