It has actually happened at last, we have made our final decisions and decided to immigrate to Canada.
This has been and is still going to be a huge adjustment for horses and humans alike, but it is going to be worth it, in the end.
This is our story:
We have wanted to immigrate for a while now, but the horses have always been a huge concern to us, so once we sold our property and cashed in all our policies, we had enough money to move, with our horses. We had planned to take all our beloved horses, and got the quotes and started booking everything.
Unfortunately there was an outbreak of AHS in the Cape, and now we could not fly from there anymore, and had to go via Mauritius. At first this didn’t seem to be too much of a problem, considering we could now sit on the beach for three months – yes that is correct three months. The shocker came afterwards, when the cost had doubled per horse, we just could not afford that, no matter how hard we tried. We had already lost Olivia to AHS, which left us with 4 horses and not the intended 5. After much arguing, and deciding, we decided to sell Just Divine to a lovely young girl – Roshelle. We then managed to get a friend to look after Miley, while she just was a paddock ornament.
Now we were set – ready to move Peri, Bailie and Quinie, when the next setback hit us, they could not all fit on a pallet, they each had to have a space and a half, because of their size. Once again the price had escalated – which would not have been too much of a problem, if I was not involved in a very expensive court case, involving the horses. I had to fight the case to keep my babies, so now we could only afford to take two horses. We decided on Peri and Bailie, because they are joined at the hip, and we could never separate them. Also Peri would not travel too well without his side kick, and neither would Bailie.
I have some really wonderful friends and one of them offered to stable Quinie for me. She was perfect for the job, as she had been part of our lives (the horses and humans) for many years, and knew how Quinie needed to be looked after, and what her special needs were. So all stabling fees were paid, and arrangements were made, so that Quinie could join her new herd, in her new home. We moved Quinie to her new home a week before we left, just to make sure that she settled in really well – and I guess I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible before I said goodbye. I will really miss my girl.
Finally on the 11th of September 2011, it was time for our boys to fly, after being in quarantine for 26 days. We were up at 3am, getting our boys fed and ready for their trip. We then got ourselves ready. At 5am the truck arrived to take them to the airport – and of course Peri was not keen on boxing, but after some persuasion he loaded into the truck, and Bailie followed without any problems, and they were off.
Once at the airport, Kerry from Bloodstock Global logistics kept us up dated on the progress of the loading of the horses, as we were in the human side of the airport, getting ready to catch our own flight – yes that is correct, we will be going with our boys the whole way. While we were waiting to fly, Kerry sent me a picture of the two boys in their first class seats, ready to fly – they looked so relaxed, that I knew they would be just fine.
When we landed in Mauritius, we were standing in the queue at customs, and a cargo plane landed, and it was our boy’s flight, they were safe and sound. My friend Audrey was at the airport to greet us, and she gave us wonderful news, that she knew the guy that was going to transport the horses to the quarantine station – that was fantastic. She had arranged that we could be there when the horses were off loaded, which was the most fantastic news. After we had dropped our bags at our flat we were on the way to meet the truck, which just never arrived. After about an hour the truck arrived, with a crazy horse kicking and screaming. The door was opened and there stood Peri – when he saw me he pushed his way out, I grabbed my boy, and started moving away from the crazy horse. At last they let the crazy horse out, it was Bailie – O’ my word was he upset that he was separated from Peri for the trip from the airport. They were now back together and all was well. Needless to say they were given stables next to each other – nobody wanted Bailie breaking down the place. Once the horses had settled, we could chat to the transport guy, and the reason they were so late – you guessed it – Peri, it took 15 Mauritians to load him – he was having none of that.
Our boys settled in really well – off course their every demand is met, even their Mom’s walking a half an hour every day with carrots, to go and love and cuddle them. It took them a few days to get used to being stable bound, but now they are quite used to it, but still look forward to going out for half an hour to roll in the sand, so they can just be groomed again. The people in Mauritius are really helpful and friendly, and the grooms are fantastic.
We are really looking forward to the move to Poste Lafayette, by the sea. Our boys are going to love that.