EIAF Newsletter March 2017

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eiaf opens uk quarantine

England to Australia transport reaches for the sky with opening of new facility

Flying horses across the world has improved dramatically over time, but it remains a highly specialised field. Horses can’t check in online (well, not yet anyway) and, unlike humans, have to undergo a period of quarantine. The responsibility of caring for and ensuring the safe delivery “Where once a monopoly existed, this now gives clients a much of horses from A to B should only be entrusted to those with a more competitive and price sensitive edge, whilst providing a good track record. great level of experience and professionalism that is vital for the That’s where Equine International Airfreight (EIAF) comes safe transport of horses. in. EIAF has established a considerable hoof print on global “Blackhorse Farm is an impressive operation and specialises transport in recent years and has now taken another massive in the movement of thoroughbreds, sport and polo horses - all stride forward with the announcement that it is opening a new breeds actually - and is an ideal quarantine facility which was quarantine facility in England. immediately approved when inspected recently by the AustralBased at Newmarket - the heart of horse country - Blackhorse ian Department of Agriculture. Farm is spread over 60 acres of lovely, pastured land with “Aside from Leanne (Needham) overseeing Blackhorse Farm’s modern stabling, safe fencing (Diamond Mesh), turn out padday-to-day, all veterinary requirements are catered for by Dr docks, a horse walker and lunging ring, outdoor dressage arena, David Bartram and Dr David Dugdale from the Newmarket veterinary facilities and isolation stables. Equine Hospital. Managed by well known and highly respected horseperson, “EIAF has always aligned itself with credible, experienced Leanne Needham, Blackhorse Farm is an Australian Governshipping operators and has a close association with one of the ment approved quarantine facility and will present owners with world’s leading shipping companies in Europe with Guido a professional and competitive option to transport horses from Klatte. the United Kingdom to Australia. “This new association with BBA Shipping and Equine Logistics “This is tremendous news for EIAF, but more importantly, a Company really opens up the field though and provides owners great leap for our clients,” EIAF’s Managing Director, Cameron with a viable alternative - both in terms of service and pricing. Croucher, points out. “EIAF already has an established quar“BBA is owned and managed by Kevin Needham, whose knowlantine facility in Europe, from which it has safely transported edge of air transport is second to none, while Equine Logistics horses out of the region for quite some time, but the approved Company is owned by Lina Churchward and Australian bound farm in England really opens up the playing field for those with horses will be under the management of Lydia Boult. horse interests in the United Kingdom that are Aussie bound. “Having people of such high regard on board certainly gives “This venture means EIAF now has an association with the clients great confidence. highly reputable BBA Shipping and Equine Logistics Company “What’s more, up until now there has been no competition in in the United Kingdom which will now allow EIAF to vie for this market place and that is about to change for the better, the 300 plus horses that currently make the journey from the particularly for the clients. UK to Australia each year. Continued next page

UK QUARANTINE FACILITY “Without competition, people end up paying a premium, but now the landscape will change.” While the company has been in operation for 18 years, EIAF was ‘re-branded’ in 2014 with its acquisition by Croucher and retail leviathan Gerry Harvey, who is also owner of the Magic Millions sales company (of which EIAF is the partner shipTony Williams, Managing Director, ping agency). GOFFS UK With decades long experience in business, before taking over the role as CEO of one of Australia’s major thoroughbred stud farms, Croucher has always had an association with equine air travel “We have utilised the services of Equine and jumped at the opportunity to become more International Airfreight to transport some closely involved. valuable horses from Europe to Australia. They are a very professional and person“It’s a fascinating industry really,” Croucher enable team who communicate throughout the thuses. “Equine air freight companies are charged whole process: our horses received the best with a huge responsibility and there are many of care and arrived in excellent condition.” arms to the business. “For instance, things like insurance and curStuart & Karen Tinney, Australian Olympian rency exchange rates. EIAF is not tied to any one insurance company and can therefore source the best available rate on behalf of clients. Trust me, rates ebb and flow in relation to a whole range of “I’ve used EIAF and found both the service matters and you don’t want to be tied in to one very good and the price very competitive company. … I would certainly recommend EIAF to “It’s much the same with our foreign currency anyone needing to relocate a horse interexchange service that surpasses the offerings of nationally.” major banks, again saving the clients money. “EIAF offers a real time flight tracking system too James Bester and co-ordinates exports to and from Australia International bloodstock agent to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America and now, Britain. “Naturally enough, professionalism is key and EIAF only uses experienced staff. Our head groom, Peter Anderson, for example, has super“Our experience in using EIAF is that vised well over 1000 individual horse flights. they offer a professional service, “Securing the quarantine facility in England is a have a highly skilled team and their tremendous boost for EIAF and our clients, but communication is first class. They I’m also proud of the fact that we are sticking took care of our valuable horses true to our ‘points of difference’ … a personalised exceptionally well.” service in that clients talk to the person who is actually organising the flights, quotes etcetera, we Adrian Bott Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott Racing have a second-to-none level of communication Partnership and, importantly, offer competitive pricing.” “My clients and I use EIAF exclusively … the team are enthusiastic, obliging and most importantly our horses are given the best possible attention whilst in transit and under the care of EIAF.”

Proudly sponsored by Equine International Airfreight


Big news on the international airfreight front with the announcement on 20 February 2017, from the Australian Department of Agriculture, that “trade in horses for the United Arab Emirate from Australia has now been reinstated”. This is to occur only after the Pre Export Isolation facility has been reinspected by a DAFF Officer and the shipping agents have implemented an Operations & Guidance Manual with each of the quarantine farms. Equine International Airfreight has already completed the Operations & Guidance Manual that includes both the Government requirements and additional requirements of our own to ensure that all protocols agreed upon between the two countries are appropriately followed. EIAF is also in the process of ‘rolling out’ these manuals and are well positioned to deliver horses to the UAE. In August 2016, the Government of the UAE took the serious step of closing all imported horses from Australia as a result of a breach of protocols pertaining to the health status of horses arriving in UAE. For the past six months the Department of Agriculture in Australia and its equivalent in the UAE have been working on revised accepted protocols in terms of pre export quarantine in Australia, veterinary interventions, controls over monitoring & government sign off. This process has taken a long time to finalise and has effected so many clients, breeders and owners of Endurance Horses in Australia, as their main selling market had been completely shut down. Australia is now faced with a ‘back log’ of Endurance horses that were in the process of being sent to UAE when the ban was first put in place. In some instances these horses have continued with their training regimes in the hope that the market would open back up in a short period, but as time has gone on, many owners where unable to continue the training and have their horses in paddocks waiting for buyers to recommence acquiring Australian Endurance horses again. We can’t change what occurred last August but we can encourage you to change who you ship horses with and at Equine International Airfreight we are well prepared to make sure that your horses get to the UAE as quickly as possible.

THE PAYNE OF WINNING! Michelle Payne, Australian horse racing’s first lady of the saddle and the only woman to ride a Melbourne Cup winner, has now added another string to her bow by training her first winner! Despite a bad fall that put her out of racing for many months after her victory on Prince of Penzance in the 2015 Melbourne Cup, Michelle has bounced back by saddling up Duke of Nottingham to win at Echuca in Victoria. Naturally, Michelle’s many, many fans were cheering on Duke of Nottingham, but none more so than EIAF’s very own Sonja Croucher and Sue Ellis as both are co-owners of the horse. Before coming on board as EIAF’s Flight Co-Ordinator, Sue was, in a previous life, a Group One winning trainer and Michelle was obviously happy to cop a tip! Duke of Nottingham has now raced on 6 occasions for 2 wins and a third.

STAFF PROFILE peter anderson When did you first start working as a flying groom? I starting flying as a groom in the late 1990’s, firstly working for EBA and then Crispin Bennett Horse Transport. So, I’m coming up to 20 years as my No. 1 focus. How many horse flights do you think you have done over the years? Gee, well in excess of 1000 horse flights I’d say! What is the most unusual destination you have flown to? I would have to say Myanmar. That’s mainly because of the methods for transporting horses used there, are very basic. Many years ago, I was asked by the receiving agent, on behalf of the owners, to accompany the horses from the airport to their stables, which was about 6 hours drive away, and the trucks/horse boxes were very, very basic. There was an incident where a horse leaped out of the box during transit and landed on a motorbike rider. I was able to rescue the horse without trouble but the motorbike rider … I’m not sure of the outcome. And when it came to unloading the horses we had to jump them off the back of a semi trailer on to the side of a hill as there were no such things as loading ramps or any other method available to us. It really was a trip to remember. What is your favourite destination to take a horse to and why? It’s hard to nominate a favourite but I do like the East. I find Asian countries quite interesting and it is always good to take a look around after you have completed a horse flight. Which is your favourite airline to carry horses and why? Matinair … although they don’t fly into Australia anymore. Cargolux are very good and we use them from Asia to Europe, but out of Australia I think Cathay Pacific are outstanding. The stalls, the food and the professionalism of the ground staff and crew make for a pleasant journey. As a flying groom, what do you believe is the main priority with the horses that are travelling under your care? You need to do whatever it takes to make the journey comfortable for the horses. Setting temperatures on the aircraft, making sure they have plenty of hay and ensuring they get their heads down to eat: particularly on long haul flights. Safety is the main priority, especially at the loading and unloading stages, but it is really important that you get the horses to drink lots of water. You have flown with horses owned by sheiks, royals, sultans and general folk but do you have a favourite horse that has flown under your care? I would have to say Singapore superstar, Rocket Man, when we flew him from Singapore to Japan for a big sprint race. He was such a nice horse with plenty of presence and there was such a lot of hype about him at the time … he was a joy to look after. Have you flown with any other animals, or just horses? I have accompanied sheep and goats on flights but nowadays we just specialise in horse flights. Have you ever had any mid air disasters? There has been a couple of incidents. On one occasion, the pilot had to make an emergency landing in Hong Kong as an engine had failed – we had to head out to sea to dump fuel before returning to the airport without a lot of altitude. Another time I was heading into Luxembourg and the pilot informed us that the plane had lost its brake compression so we had fire trucks chase us down the runway in case of fire and it took 45 minutes for the brakes to cool down after bellowing smoke everywhere. However, for horses, flying is very safe. For all of the horses and the flights I have travelled on I have only ever had a couple of horses that have caused dramas by kicking out or scrambling but generally they are very settled once on the aircraft. What is your favourite thing about working for EIAF? I really enjoy the travel and getting to see different parts of the world. I probably would not even own a passport had I not started flying horses all those years ago. The EIAF crew work really well together and everyone has a real passion for horses – it is a good team to be on especially given the level of care dedicated to horses from start to finish.


White yearlings are a rarity in the thoroughbred game and this colt really stood out at the recent Karaka sales in New Zealand, eventually being purchased by the China Horse Club and leading trainer, Ciaron Maher, for NZ$510,000. The Karaka sale draws buyers from all over the world - particularly trainers from Australia - many of whom entrust EIAF to transport their future stars across the ‘pond’.

EIAF YOUNG RIDER A huge well done to Madeline Sinderberry - and to her careful and speedy little horse, Fernhill Zinzan - who won the Equine International Airfreight Young Rider Final at the Summer Showjumping Classic Csi-W, at Sydney International Equestrian Centre, in December. The competition was both intense and thrilling before Madeline eventually won out and she can now add the latest honour to Australian Young Rider title and her Showcase of Show Jumping Young Rider title.


Actually, probably everyone who is anyone was at the Magic Millions Polo event at the Gold Coast in January … from retail kings like Gerry Harvey to the other kind of royalty such as Zara Phillips and her rugby international hubby, Mike Tindall. We’re not sure if Mike knows his chinos from his chukkas but a great day was had by all and EIAF was a proud sponsor of this very popular event.

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Destination: thailand EIAF has the opportunity to fly horses to many and varied destinations including Thailand. Cameron Croucher and EIAF groom, Andrew Skinner, recently visited the Thai Polo Club and Riding For The Disabled class at the indoor arena and, Andrew, who used to be a farrier in Thailand, continues to hold shoeing ‘schools’ for local farriers looking to upskill.


Veteran flight groom, Peter Anderson, is our equivalent to the ‘postie’ … rain, hail or shine! He had to put up with a wet Sydney in mid-February as he prepared for his departure to Japan, accompanied by experienced veterinary surgeon, Dr Saito and a number of show jumpers. On occasions vets like Dr Saito accompany our transports, along with experienced grooms like Peter, ensuring that all of the horses are closely monitored and travel safely.

We also consider this to be a good tip!


• The ban on imported horses from Australia has now been lifted • EIAF fully comply with the new rules and requirements for importation to UAE • Offering a first class, reliable service to UAE • A variety of approved pre-export quarantine properties available • Flights are available from Melbourne to Sharjah or Sydney to Dubai Contact Equine International Airfreight for all quotes and enquiries Cameron Croucher +61 417 293 747


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