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Our Story

Our Story

With offices in Australia, New Zealand, the UK , Germany and USA, IRT's International coverage means that our professional and experienced staff can better facilitate horse shipment all around the world.

We are the global market leader in horse transport with experience spanning over 45 years. As a business we are extremely proud of our success which is grounded in trust and an unwavering commitment to our clients and their specific needs.

With vast experience in the shipment of all types of equine breeds and a global footprint across five countries, we understand the nuances of global markets; be they diverse customer needs, government requirements or market forces. Each IRT office has an IRT Partner at the helm, all with industry experience spanning 10 to 50 years in the horse shipping arena.

Widely renowned as a world class horse transporter, we take great pride in our customer relationships, our reputation for first class service, the rigour we apply to safety and compliance, and our expert employees.

As IRT reflects on over four decades in the industry, company founder Quentin Wallace would like to send a message to its supporters across the world:

"What an amazing journey it’s been. On behalf of the global team at IRT I’d like to say a big thank-you to our many valued customers and friends for your trust and continued support."

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Your horse. Our Passion

Whether it's flying a champion racehorse, Standardbred, Olympian or treasured pet, IRT's commitment to serving the international horse community has stood the test of time.

Before your horses travel anywhere around the world, IRT trained staff are at your service to guide you through the many requirements of International Equine Travel.

IRT take care of all pre-flight requirements, step by step, leaving you with complete peace of mind.

IRT provides the following pre-flight services:

It could be said that what really sets IRT apart as the best in the business is the in-flight experience. Your horse will enjoy unrivalled levels of care and comfort while in the air with particular attention paid to:

After the flight, all horses continue to be supervised by IRT staff right through to quarantine release.

The post-flight experience is oriented around customs and quarantine protocols and safe delivery of your horse:


All you need to know

  • Am I responsible for arranging any tests personally?

    No. IRT will complete all necessary tests required on your behalf.

  • Do I have to apply for permits from quarantine / health authorities myself?

    No. IRT take care of all import/export permit requirements at the port of arrival and departure.

  • Do I have to deliver my horse to pre-export quarantine or to the airport?

    IRT can easily organize transport. However, if you particularly wish to deliver your horse, arrangements can sometimes be made for you to do this.

  • Who deals with Customs authorities in the port of departure and/or arrival?

    IRT - as part of the planning process for each shipment, an IRT consultant will send you a questionnaire. Once you have completed this and returned it to the appropriate IRT office, all necessary Customs arrangements can be made on your behalf.

  • When is payment of freight costs etc required?

    Payment will be required 7 days prior to the departure of the shipment.

  • What quarantine is involved?

    Pre Export Isolation (PEI) is required on most exports, with length determined by the country which the horse is being exported to/from.

  • Can I travel with my horse?

    Depending on shipment sizes, available groom seats and airline policies. As a general rule, all IRT shipments are supervised by an animal air attendant (or 'groom') provided by IRT.

  • Do I need to pay deposit when I book my horse on?

    No deposit is required, however similar to passenger tickets, payment is required a minimum of 7 days prior to the departure of the shipment.

  • When do I need to book my horse on to make the next flight (i.e. how much lead time)?

    We advise all clients to contact with their IRT representative regarding upcoming flight dates and possible intake windows for quarantine.

  • How do I make a booking?

    To make a booking please complete the IRT Shippers Letter of Instruction.

  • My mare is in foal, when can she travel?

    Again depending on country requirements, will determine how in-foal a mare may travel. For example horses may travel up to 300 days in foal to NZ however only up to 240 days in foal to South Africa.

  • Do I need to insure my horse?

    IRT advises that all horses are insured therefore talk to your current insurer to discuss adding a transit policy for travel and any geographical limitations your policy may have. If you require insurance IRT can have our Insurance Company call you to discuss options and costs.

  • Is the flight direct or where are the stops?

    Depending on location and distance from port of origin, there will often be fuel or cargo drop/collection stops on the way. IRT Pro Grooms remain with the horses at any stops on the way, and are pre-customs cleared in and out of each country, ensuring your horses are never left unattended.

  • I understand the horses travel in stalls on the aircraft - how are they loaded onto the plane?

    The horse stalls are loaded on the ground and then raised into the aircraft by lift, maneuvered into place and locked into position.

  • What equipment will IRT provide for my horse's shipment?

    IRT will supply a new head collar and lead when the horse arrives in our care. When IRT organises pre-flight quarantine a loan rug will be provided for this stage of the shipment.

  • Should my horse wear leg bandages?

    IRT generally recommend against the use of leg bandages and wraps/boots. If you wish your horse to travel with these, please speak with your IRT consultant.

  • Should my horse wear shoes during the journey?

    For the safety of your horse and the people handling it during transit, IRT generally recommend all shoes be removed for the journey. Exceptions can be made for horses with tender feet or brittle hooves.

  • Are horses automatically tranquillized for the journey?

    No. Tranquillizer is generally only administered if deemed absolutely necessary on safety grounds.

  • How is the horse restrained during the journey?

    All horses travel in an airline approved horse stall.

  • If my horse is a larger than normal horse do I have economy, business and first class options?

    Yes. We commonly refer to a single space in a stall being economy (3 horses to a horse stall), space & ½ being business (2 horses to a stall) or First Class being 1 horse in a stall on its own.

  • If the horse has to undergo post arrival quarantine (PAQ) at the port of arrival, where is this undertaken?

    In most cases, PAQ will be spent in an approved quarantine facility conveniently located to the port of arrival. However, quarantine regulations vary depending upon country of import - refer to your IRT consultant for further information.

  • What happens when the horse arrives at the port of destination?

    In most cases your horse will be met by an IRT representative or their Agent.

  • Am I advised when the horse arrives at its destination?

    Yes. As a general rule IRT will advise you once the horse has arrived at its destination. However, if your local representative is meeting the horse they would normally contact you direct. IRT takes particular care to make sure horse owners are well informed throughout the shipping process and make staff members responsible for your shipment readily available.

  • Who cares for the horse whilst undergoing quarantine?

    All Government quarantines are supervised by representatives from the local veterinary authority. Depending upon the route, the care of your horse will be in the hands of an IRT representative or their Agent or the quarantine manager.

  • My friend has a quarantine property in Sydney, why can't he fly into Sydney instead?

    All horses arriving into Australia (except from New Zealand) must do post arrival quarantine at Government’s Post Arrival Quarantine Facility.

  • Does the horse sit underneath us on a passenger plane?

    No. Horses can only travel on main deck cargo freighters.

  • Who deals with Customs authorities in the port of departure and/or arrival?

    IRT - as part of the planning process for each shipment, an IRT consultant will send you a questionnaire. Once you have completed this and returned it to the appropriate IRT office, all necessary Customs arrangements can be made on your behalf both for the departure and arrival customs entries.

  • Which major USA airports do you use for domestic horse shipping?

    In the USA, we use these major airports for domestic horse transportation: Los Angeles, Newark, Indianapolis, Oakland, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Honolulu, Anchorage, Orlando, Memphis, and Baltimore-Washington.

Get in touch


5 Apac Drive
Melbourne Airport, VIC, 3045

F. +61 3 9643 3030

New Zealand

126 Muir Road
Papakura 2580

F. +64 9 298 6066

1525 Kautz Road
Suite 1600
West Chicago IL 60185

F. +1 630 513 0412

P.O Box 91217
Los Angeles, CA 90009-9997

F. +1 310 306 2003


Clifton House
121 High Street, Newmarket
Suffolk CB8 9AE

F. +44 1638 665 534


Martin-Luther-Str. 5
31655 Stadthagen

F. +49 5721 990 49 93

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IRT's ability to provide high quality services is directly dependent on our staff.

With more than 40 office based staff worldwide, and our team of dedicated and professional attendants, IRT's ability to provide excellent service is dependent on excellent staff. We have a wide range of opportunities for the very best people in the industry who have a genuine passion and the right level of experience.

If you would like to be part of our team, feel free to email a covering letter and your resume to our Human Resources team at employment(at)

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