Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Here Come the Kiwis!

New Zealand is a force to be reckoned with any international equestrian sporting event. The Kiwis ride with gusto...and can be counted on to enjoy the after-hours and still be on their toes the next morning. Their horses are sure-footed and robust. And they have the world's most winningest eventing hero back on their squad: Mr Mark Todd.

So when the New Zealand van rolled into the stable zone to deliver eventing horses shipped from England, it did turn a few heads.

The New Zealand Equestrian Sports agency reports: "The trip for the horses from the tarmac at the airport to the stables took a total of 90 minutes and was a very efficent process. Once on the air conditioned trucks belonging to the HK Jockey Club, the convory of trucks was police escorted to the stables in Sha Tin. Up to 10 police on motor bikes lead the way, with further police vehicles folllowing behind to ensure no other traffic over took the horse trucks."

Eventing Team Vet Mike Shepherd, who travelled with the horses, was very happy with the flight and the condition of the horses when they arrived. After some routine vet checks, all five horses were given a clean bill of health.

New Zealand had sent ten horses into quarantine at Manton Estate in Marlborough, England under the supervision of team manager (and Olympic veteran) Blyth Tait.

New Zealand's show jumpers are now in quarantine in Aachen, Germany with team manager Greg Best and will ship to Hong Kong at a later date, since the show jumping is the last of the three disciplines.

Here come the Kiwis! The air-conditioned horse van approaches the stable area en route from the airport.

Lordkillinghurst is lead off the truck by team vet Mike Shepherd

Caroline Powell's Lenamore is lead off the Truck by Groom Gill Ford, with a friendly escort by Peden Bloodstock's (and international Olympic equine airlift mastermind) Martin Atock.

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