AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), the scheduled cargo services arm of Volga-Dnepr Group, has transported nine rare Akhal-Teke horses for breeding from Russia to China.
The horses were carried onboard one of ABC’s Boeing 747 freighters from Moscow to Beijing on 10 September for Handicap Company - a regular partner of Volga-Dnepr Group - for a customer in Beijing planning to raise the elite bloodstock.
Three special bays, each divided into three pens, were manufactured for the journey. The horses were monitored by bloodstock and veterinary specialists throughout the seven-hour flight. The temperature inside the cargo cabin was carefully controlled throughout the journey to maintain the comfort and wellbeing of the horses.
The Akhal-Teke horses’ origin can be traced back 2,500-3,500 years to when they were used by tribesmen in ancient Turkmenistan. These ‘golden horses’ have adapted to severe climatic conditions and are thought to be one of the world’s oldest surviving horse breeds, influencing many other breeds such as Arab, English and Russian thoroughbreds. There are currently about 3,500 Akhal-Tekes in the world, mostly in Turkmenistan and Russia, although they are also found throughout Europe, Australia and North America.
Volga-Dnepr Group has great experience and knowledge in transporting live animals, including bloodstock. For example, 105 elite horses were delivered onboard its Boeing 747 freighters from Amsterdam to Moscow in 2008. In previous years, Volga-Dnepr has also carried animals for Prague zoo as well as walruses, dolphins, brown and polar bears, elephants, and even a whale.