After six months of painstaking paperwork, the Irish Olympic eventing team has flown 2.5 tonnes of equipment, feed and forage to Rio (28 July).
Horse Sport Ireland’s equestrian sports manager Triona Connors flew to Brazil on Wednesday (27 July) to ensure the essential equipment arrived safely.
She has spent the past six months in the head office in Co Kildare working on the logistics of getting to Rio.
Every minute ingredient in the horse feed has had to be declared to all the relevant authorities.
“We’ve everything ready and are confident our horses will be eating their usual feed according to plan in Rio,” said Elaine Hatton, Horse Sport Ireland’s director of international marketing.
All the veterinary medicine and equipment had to be sent in separate trunks to comply with the Olympic rules.
Before departure a full equipment and tack box check was completed to ensure all items are labelled and listed to help them be processed quickly on arrival at Brazilian customs.
All the equipment is due to clear customs in Rio and be at the equestrian venue in Deodora, Brazil before the horses arrive.
The horses were due to leave the Rio exit camp in Waresley Park Stud at 7am today (29 July) and head to Stansted airport where they will board the Olympic flight to Rio.
The flight is overseen by horse transport experts Peden Bloodstock and the horses are accompanied by team Ireland’s equestrian vet Hugh Suffern.
The horses are due to land in Rio at 3.20pm local time on Friday and will travel by road to the Olympic venue.
“The task of getting five horses, their equipment and support staff to Rio is not an easy one,” said Ms Hatton.
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The Irish eventing team hoping to win a medal in Rio is: Clare Abbott with Euro Prince (pictured, top), Jonty Evans with Cooley Rorkes Drift, Mark Kyle with Jemilla and Padraig McCarthy with Simon Porloe.
The travelling reserve is Camilla Speirs with Portersize Just A Jiff.