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Published on : Friday, April 8, 2016
This past Friday and Saturday, Miami International Airport welcomed 79 top European horses from Liege, Belgium, that will compete in The Longines Global Championship Tour – one of the world’s foremost equestrian show jumping series – to be held at Miami Beach on April 7-9. The horses will join their U.S. counterparts for the competition, which brings together the top show jumpers in the world.
MIA is home to one of two United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) facilities equipped for equine quarantine, handling more than 2,000 horses during the high season. The horses are just one example of the more than 4,045 tons of live animals – ranging from giraffes to zebras, ostriches and polo horses, among others – that transit through MIA annually, exceeding $281.3 million in total value.
“These prized horses demonstrate the diversity and value of cargo that comes through MIA regularly, and we are honored to serve as the welcoming point for this important global equestrian event,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “MIA continues to lead the way on international freight because of massive shipments like this from around the world. We are also proud to partner with the USDA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to facilitate the smooth entry of these precious animals and other livestock into the country.”
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) facility at MIA consolidates the functions of Veterinary Services and Plant Protection and Quarantine from four locations into a single site. It is the only USDA facility in the nation to house the Veterinary Services’ import and export operations and inspection station in one complex, facilitating the importation of livestock through MIA.
“It is a pleasure for Peden Bloodstock to be transporting the world’s top horses back to Miami for the first stop on the 2016 Longines Global Champions Tour,” said Martin Atock, Managing Director of Peden Bloodstock, an international equine shipping agent that partnered with the Longines Global Champions Tour for the Miami Beach event. “It is the second time the Tour has stopped in Miami Beach. The success of this event is only possible due to the exceptional support we receive from the authorities in the United States and particularly at Miami International Airport, which allows us to undertake a seamless transfer of these elite show jumping horses from the aircraft to their stables at the iconic Miami Beach venue.”
The Champions Tour brings together the top-ranked show jumpers in the world to compete in prestigious locations, with Miami Beach being the only North American stop.