The Kentucky Derby has always been important to my family and when I left sports radio shortly after founding Digital Dispatch, I was excited to dive into the logistics side of sports.

This video was a fun one to research so below, here is the research I collected and learned, which includes a fun little easter egg that is talked about in the video.

Kentucky Derby and how racehorses are transported to and from the big events

In this video, I’m breaking down:

  • Brief background on what the Derby means to me and my family
  • My dad and his side of the family are all from Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby
  • Every year, with the exception of the last two years, we have a HUGE Derby party
  • All-day event filled with betting, food, drinks, games, dresses, big hats, mint juleps, and practically every person I’ve ever met comes to this party

It’s a big deal for our family and with the Super Bowl of horse racing coming up this weekend, I wanted to dive into:

How RaceHorses Fly to the Kentucky Derby

This article from The Points Guy was fantastic. Here are some of my favorite parts:

  • Horses are shipped through ground and air
  • These horses are worth hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of dollars so no expense is spared–for most of them
  • Flying options include first class, business, or economy
  • Shipment is charged by the pound and can include onboard grooms, vets, temperature-controlled stalls, and other premium amenities
  • Depending on the temperament of the horses, they can fly solo or with other horses
  • Seeing the Carriers that specialize in this area like Tex Sutton and IRT
  • Tex Sutton in particular has a Boeing 727 specifically outfitted for horses, called Air Horse One
  • Outfitted for up to 21 horses, fitting two or three wide
  • Pilots will also alter their flight patterns, climb or descend the aircraft at slower speeds just to keep the horses comfortable

As I’m snooping on the different horse carriers, find out there’s a National Horse Carriers Association

  • “Oh that’s cute that there’s an actual association tied to it”
    • Joseph Walter Brumleve, or as I knew him Uncle Walt
    • The man who lived many adventures and lives, including a WWII vet who was in the Battle at Normandy,
    • Was a founding member of the National Horse Carriers Association that now determines not only how horses are shipped across the states but also the conditions they’re flown in all over the world.
    • The National Horse Carriers Association was founded on September 16, 1960 in Louisville, Ky. Eleven companies signed on as charter members. At this time, the Federal Government regulated all trucking companies as to the territories they were eligible to travel through as well as the amount they were allowed to charge for each shipment. The organization was formed to “act for and on behalf of its members in the publication of freight rates and tariffs.”

Another thing I wanted to note is how good these somewhat-niche accounts are at social media:

  • Tex Sutton, who specializes in horse transport by air, calling their specialized planes as Air Horse One
  • What started out as a clever play on words, used on social media, is now a trademarked slogan on their planes
  • Official Kentucky Derby account showing off the BTS and culture around their event

These posts have one thing in common:

  • They make you feel an emotional attachment, they show BTS, or they help you learn
  • Think of ways you can do that in your own business and use that social media gold when posting

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About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.