Flying Arab Lands Safely in Hawaii

Editor’s Note:  Connie Balmes is an internet friend of mine on a list totally unrelated to horses.  But being the small world that it is, we found out we both love Arabs.  Connie purchased a stallion in California and had him transported by air to Hawaii.  Here is her account of his arrival:

     “First of all, Illusion's flight was supposed to land here at 5:30 am on June 21st.  On June 20th the guy from the shipping company called me and said there would be a "slight" delay.  I figured that was fine because I didn't want to get up at 4 in the morning.  It turns out that the plane was STILL HERE in Hawaii!  I called him back around 9 a.m. on the 21st and he said that the plane "should" land around noon.  Great! We got all our stuff ready, ran some errands, and got out there at noon.  Prior to all this, the people who had him, trailered him from Inyokern, CA to LAX.  Since the flight was so delayed, they had to spend the night in their truck and poor baby Illusion had to sleep in the trailer.  The last drink of water he had, they said, was around 3:00 on the afternoon of the 20th!  At any rate, they said that he loaded on the plane like a champ.  There were 9 horses on the flight and all of them were totally freaking out, except my boy.
     When they finally landed here at 1:15 p.m., we had to wait probably 45 minutes before they brought the containers off the plane.  All the horses were losing it, except Illusion.  His was the second container off the plane and I saw his tippy ears immediately and hollered for Mike and Steve (my son) who both came running.  They set the containers down and started getting the ramp prepared.  They unloaded the first container of 3 horses and man o man were those horses stressin!  One of them was on his hind legs all the way out of the container.  Another was an Arab mare who was dripping with sweat and shaking like a leaf.  And the other was fairly calm, but kept stamping his feet real hard and throwing his head.  Just as they were prepping the ramp in front of Illusion's container some kid screamed, "Oh my God, her leg is bleeding!!"  A mare that was being transported out was bleeding profusely in her trailer.
    She was in an 8-horse trailer and wouldn't you know it?  She was in the front.  They had to unload EVERYONE. When they got her out of the trailer, it just so happened that she was directly in front of Illusion's container and since we couldn't move her, the horses had to stay in the container for a while longer.  After some time during which my husband Mike cared for the shocky mare, she was moved away from Illusion and attended by vets (with Mike still at her side).
     So, with her moved and somewhat settled, we started unloading Illusion's container.  One of the guys said, "Oh $%&#!  We got a stud here!"  I laughed and told him to just give me the lead rope.  Illusion walked calmly off the ramp. Things were so unorganized we just stood around for what seemed like an eternity and I finally got fed up with it and grabbed Illusion and Steve and walked him over to our trailer.  Steve held the door open and Illusion walked right on in - no problem.  I tied him down and left my 12-year-old son with this "crazy A-rab stud", both of them in the trailer. Steve got our water jug and gave Illusion some water while I went back to check on Mike.
     Okay, so we left and had to drive up to the quarantine station where we unloaded Illusion.  They gave him a quickie physical, did yet another Coggins on him, and sprayed him with insecticide.  We also got him a real drink of water there.  Then we got the okay to take him home and he loaded right into the trailer again!  No problems!  We got him out to the ranch, took him out of the trailer and put him in the big arena to stretch...he ran and bucked and shook his head all over the place.  Just beautiful!
    Everyone is so impressed with him.  His roommate is a buckskin gelding who is probably older than dirt, but they get along famously.  I also just met a man a couple days ago who is so taken with his beauty and temperament that he wants to breed him to his mare.  I'm still thinking on that one…”

Some additional information on Illusion’s trip to Paradise.

According to Arabian Horse DataSource 2000, there are only 401 Registered Arabians in Hawaii.  Illusion will make that 402.

The cost of transport by air is about $2,000.  Shipping by sea is less but is not as safe and can take 6-7 days.  The sellers in California had to have a full physical for Illusion, Coggins, shots and worming up to date, and required he be dusted or sprayed with pesticide seven days prior to shipment.  In Hawaii, Illusion is now on a 45 day “in house” quarantine and cannot leave the ranch until Aug. 5.  The airline only wanted a health certificate and required a cotton lead rope be used.

Connie is an experienced horse woman who grew up with Arabians until a bout of AHDD (Arabian Horse Deficit Disorder).  Then Illusion came into her life.  Congratulations on your cure, Connie.

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