Valuable cargo was loaded onto the Qatar Airways B777 chartered freighter aircraft departing Schiphol Airport in The Netherlands at 5:55 a.m., local time, on April 11.
“We estimate there’s about €150 million (nearly $158,250,000) worth of horses on the flight,” said Tim Dutta, the man in charge of transporting many of the world’s elite equine athletes from Europe all to the way to Las Vegas for the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Cup 2015 Finals, taking place April 15-19.
“Horses are just like you and me,” Dutta said. “Some fall asleep before departure and snooze most of the way, and others start praying from the minute they take off and don’t stop until they’ve landed! But the majority of them are like seasoned CEOs—they’ve flown so many times that they just take it all in their stride.”
Dutta has been in the horse transportation business since the Dutta Corporation was established in 1988.
“Over 26-plus years it has grown into a global venture, flying 5,000 horses a year, most of them sport horses,” he explained. “We are the largest player in the U.S. and we transported horses for the Pan American Games in Guadalajara and for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky where we worked with Martin Atock from Pedens in the single biggest air transportation of horses ever.
“There’s a group of companies involved in air transportation of horses, and we work well together," he said. "We are all horseman first—this job needs to be done by horsemen—and all our staff are also experi