A special post by Lauren Westin, MD.
Travel day is the longest. It starts early and ends late. The attention to detail is a priority. The precious cargo, the horses and my family.
Given the experience, last June, Qatar Airways Cargo was chosen again to transport the horses from Denver to Saratoga. The entire process is carefully choreographed to ensure the safety and comfort of the horses while in transport, and on the ground in Denver and Saratoga. The departure itinerary is finalized with approximate departure and arrival times, with the on-time schedule guaranteed. Again, they would transit through the FedEx terminals in Denver and Saratoga.
Griffin will be serving as the chief groom, with her daughter, Sophia, as her assistant. The daughters have given Griffin broad authority and discretion in management of the horses. In itself, it is an extraordinary conveyance. They trust her implicitly.
loading the horses for transport to the FedEx facility at DIA (BellaK Horse Farm, May 9 2021)
With an early departure time, Monday morning, at 4:30 am, the horses were transferred to a temporary stable, Sunday evening, at the FedEx facility. Griffin supervised her groom team through the overnight hours before departure. We arrived at the FedEx facility at 2:30 am for in-processing, which included providing registry and veterinary documents for each horse, proof of identity, proof of COVID test results or vaccination. Griffin also briefed the girls on the horses and the updated itinerary.
The horses were traveling business class. To distribute the weight more evenly, on the cargo deck, each horse was given their own stall, which is a first class accommodation. Two additional cargo containers were loaded. One containing the baggage and tack equipment, and the other with extra hay and water for the flight.
final loading of Qatar Airways Cargo Flight 1098SP (DIA, May 10 2021)
Onboard the Boeing 777-200LR plane, the same accommodations were present. A small passenger section consisting of twelve business class seats, a pair of restrooms, and a self-serve galley. David, the girls, Griffin and Sophia were the only passengers.
With everyone onboard, Qatar Airways Cargo Flight 1098SP, non-stop from Denver to Saratoga, was ready to depart, 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
FedEx Terminal, Denver International Airport (4:15 am, May 10 2021)
Saratoga represents the most complex trip undertaken by our girls, and the farthest from home.
Side Notes –
David tolerated the trip to Saratoga very well. Not bad for someone who was discharged from the hospital three weeks ago.