Rodeo horses fly from KCI Airport to Madrid

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Aviation Department reports that 60 rodeo horses were shipped by air yesterday to Madrid, Spain. The horses were flown nonstop on an Atlas Air Boeing 747-400 freighter to participate at the Rodeo Europe Tour 2009 being held September 18-19 in Madrid. The charter and animal handling was conducted by professional animal charter operator Instone Air Services of Durango, Colo. Each Instone shipment is accompanied by one or more highly skilled professional handlers to attend to the animals? needs, and three were on the flight with the horses.

?In the past KCI Airport has handled a charter of 119 pregnant Holstein heifers to Fukuoka, Japan, a shipment of ostriches, an alligator and other animals. KCI Airport was selected for the horse charter because of its location and ability to operate and load the world?s largest cargo freighter aircraft,? said Gary Bartek, manager of cargo development for the Aviation Department. ?The airport is the largest cargo airport within a six-state Midwest region and it is charters like this that keep it interesting.?

The Instone company history goes back to the 1900s and has the distinction of transporting the first known racehorse by air in the early 1920s. Today, the company offers walk-on/walk-off horse charter flights and individual scheduled service to over 60 cities, 6 days a week.

Atlas Air was founded as an Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance provider and is today the world?s largest ACMI. The company is also a leading provider of commercial and military freighter charter flights around the world.

The Kansas City Airport System is an Enterprise Fund Department of the City of Kansas City, Mo., and is supported wholly by airport user charges. No general tax fund revenues are used for the administration, promotion, operation or maintenance of the airports in the system. Visit for more information.

Media inquiries about this issue should be directed to: Gary Bartek, cargo development manager for the Aviation Department, (816) 243-3167.

Media Contact:

Joe McBride