Breeders' Cup charters 2 FedEx flights to ship horses to Del Mar

Breeders' Cup charters 2 FedEx flights to ship horses to Del Mar
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

The Breeders’ Cup announced that arrangements have been made with FedEx to charter two equine flights that will transport horses to California to compete in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 5-6 at Del Mar.

Both FedEx charters will be making direct trips to San Diego International Airport. The first charter flight will leave Newark International Airport in New Jersey on Sunday, Oct. 31. The second charter will leave from Indianapolis International Airport in Indiana on Monday, Nov. 1. Each flight will carry up to a maximum of 33 horses. 

Breeders' Cup will pay the round-trip cost for all horses competing in the World Championships whose connections use FedEx to ship their runners, whether on the charter planes or on a separately scheduled FedEx flight in lieu of the owner’s standard shipping allowance of $10,000. Horsemen shipping runners into California through other shipping companies will still receive the standard stipend.

Tex Sutton Equine Transportation will manage the bookings of these flights, along with the loading and unloading procedures. Horsemen’s stable grooms will not be allowed on the flights with these horses, but there will be three Tex Sutton professional grooms attending to the horses on board. Each trainer starting horses in the Breeders’ Cup will need to make separate arrangements for their stable workers to fly to California via commercial aircraft.

Tex Sutton has also reserved regularly scheduled FedEx aircraft that fly from both locations to Los Angeles International Airport.

The horses arriving on the charters will join horses already stabled at Del Mar, and those arriving from overseas, for the World Championships.

“Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the availability of equine charters this year, our Board of Directors unanimously approved covering the cost of the FedEx flights for the horses competing in the World Championships,” said Dora Delgado, Breeders’ Cup executive vice president and chief racing officer. “We are very pleased to work closely with the management and staff of Mersant International, FedEx and Tex Sutton to ensure a safe, smooth and efficient transportation program for the horses transported to Del Mar.”

Mersant International, the Breeders’ Cup official international shipping company, was instrumental in securing the domestic FedEx charters for the World Championships.  Breeders’ Cup will again be utilizing Mersant International to coordinate and manage the transportation of European-based horses competing this year.     

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