AIR HORSE ONE: On Board The Custom Aircraft That Transports Million-Dollar Racehorses

Happy Horses on a Tex Sutton Plane

Ever wonder how a million-dollar racehorse gets from point A to point B?

One way is in a custom Boeing 727 aircraft that transports about 2,300 horses around the country each year, according to the New York Times. 

The horse-friendly jet is owned by H.E. “Tex” Sutton Forwarding Co., a Kentucky-based horse transportation company that “provides first class equine air travel” to valuable racehorses and beloved family pets. 

The company was founded in 1957 by horse-loving Texan Halford Ewel (“Tex”) Sutton, and although Mr. Sutton has since passed away, the business is still going strong: depending on the length of the trip, transporting one horse can cost between $3,250 and $4,950.

Horses can travel in style on a Boeing 727 run by Kalitta Charters, H.E. Sutton's partner. The aircraft has a custom interior and is dedicated solely to transporting horses.

Custom designed walk-on ramps ensure that the horses never have to set foot on the tarmac.

The planes are climate-controlled, and each horse is provided with individual food and beverage service (hay and water) throughout the flight.

Horses are loaded one at a time, and the flexible stall system allows each stall to be contracted around the horse after it is loaded, making the most effective use of the space inside the aircraft.

Each flight can carry up to 21 horses and their accompanying equipment, and grooms or assistants can accompany their horses if they'd like.

Pilots avoid steep ascents and pride themselves on smooth, uneventful landings. They'll fly out of their way to avoid rough weather so as not to frighten the horses.

Now see a cushy plane for humans

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