The largest-ever commercial airlift of horses has begun prior to the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tyron, United States.
The complex logistical process has been coordinated by specialist horse transportation company Peden Bloodstock, alongside the Dutta Corp.
They are transporting horses from six of the world's seven continents with 23 flights arriving in the US from Liège, Belgium and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Further flights from 11 South American cities including Buenos Aires, Argentina, São Paolo, Brazil, Santiago, Chile, Lima, Peru, Montevideo, Uruguay and San José, Costa Rica are also expected.
FEI President Ingmar De Vos praised the efforts.
"This is the largest commercial airlift of horses in history, with only wartime shipments of horses coming close, so the military precision involved in the logistics is incredible," he said.
✈️ 23 flights— The FEI (@FEI_Global) September 3, 2018
🐴 500 horses
🌏 From 70 countries
The largest commercial airlift of horses ever undertaken in the history of horse sport is underway ahead of #Tryon2018!
More about this epic journey 👉https://t.co/HIPfFq6YwZ
📸 FEI / Tori Repole pic.twitter.com/OFVnzAYFSJ
"These horses are finely-tuned equine athletes and are not only very valuable, but they must arrive in peak competition condition, just like their human counterparts."
The horses are travelling in specially designed Boeing 777 freighter aircraft in customised stalls, with independently air conditioned zones.
Emirates SkyCargo will provide the transport and its manager of cargo scheduling, planning and equine transportation, Wilfred D’Souza, said: "Emirates SkyCargo is excited to be working on our largest horse transport charter for the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018.
"Over the course of the last 16 years we have developed strong expertise and capabilities in equine transportation and this, combined with careful planning and attention to detail, allows us to consistently deliver a comfortable environment for the horses in flight."
The competition will take place at the Tyron International Equestrian Centre in North Carolina between September 11 to 23.