“Air Horse One”, as it’s called (it basically says “First class equine air travel” on the side of the plane), is fitted with room for up to 21 horses, going two or three wide. Ticket cost differs but has been quoted in several thousands of dollars per passenger. The animals are with care loaded into the aircraft with inflight amenities such as drinks (water) and food (hay) to make sure that they get to their destination relaxed, healthy, and well-rested.
In fact, so much are they dedicated to the comfort of their well-hoofed passengers that the aircraft usually descends and climbs slower, and even will deviate hundreds of miles out of its way to have the flight as smooth as possible. It has been said that flight crews will even accept long delays for the same reason. Thankfully, many horses seem to be used to it and obviously don’t mind waiting a little longer for a smooth flight.
From there, horses are transported to the racetrack, with a tiny amount of time to spare. If they’ve come from overseas, they might be quarantined once again and trainers can request that horses have more time to adjust to the time zone.
Horses are well-known for being pricey animals to board, buy, feed, ride and enter into competitions. But transporting them from place to place, regardless if in trailers, long-haul moving vans with air-ride suspension, or specially outfitted airplanes can take luxury and cost to a whole new level.
A one-way van ticket from Kentucky to California for a horse whose owner wants him to have the whole trailer to himself could go for over $10,000. Odds are that the horse will fly, which will run the owner around $7,000 one-way for the same route.