Tuesday, July 20, 2010
WELCOME TO AIR HORSE ONE...by Hannah Sue Burnett
Today started bright and early, to make our flight at BWI we had to leave High Acre Farm in The Plains, VA at 4am to arrive & start loading at 6am. Despite a rather interesting detour to get back to our plane (where I may or may not have run numerous red lights, one of which might have been in front of a cop), we had easy travels and met all the other grooms, horses, drivers & riders…almost on time.
After everyone’s ID was checked we were allowed back to the airplane to unload all of our gear & start unloading the horses. The crew at Tex Sutton were amazing, everything was loaded promptly without rushing the horses. I was a bit nervous having a crew of men that I knew nothing about leading and caring for our horses on the flight but they couldn’t have been more professional or kinder. The plane was quite a bit smaller than I had expected-the normal-sized horses were loaded 3 across & the larger horses were in the very front and back of the plane, 2 across. The ceiling was low enough that the horses on the sides’ ears were touching the top.
Everything went very smoothly & the young horse I’m competing in the Preliminary Three-Day, Harbor Pilot, definitely ships better in an airplane than a horse trailer!! They hardly even moved the whole flight except for when we were landing because of all the noise. All the passengers were in the rear of the plane. It was funny cause we didn’t have any supervision. Just us, our seat belts, and a cooler of drinks!
When we landed in Kalispell, we stepped off the plane and immediately felt like movie stars! There were a crowd of around a hundred people to receive us. Thanks to Hawley Bennett, Brewster Walker and everyone who brought their trailers to ship us to Rebecca Farms. The horses unloaded great and before we knew it we were pulling into one of the most beautiful farms I’ve ever seen.
All the horses recovered well and although we’re all a bit jet-lagged with the time difference, we’re excited for our day Tuesday. Some of us are going white-water rafting!! Thanks to everyone at home for holding down the fort and a huge thanks to the Broussards and Sarah Kelly for making all this happen. We are all truly grateful and honored to be here.
I’m off to bed! More tomorrow…