John and Allison Lozell of Port Waikato have developed a niche business, Sea Horse Sea Freight Ltd, that fits in with their lifetime’s involvement with horses.
They transport horses by sea around the world in containers specially converted by John. “MAF reckon it’s the best sea container (for horses) they have seen,” he says.
John is a professional horseman. As the clerk of the courses at Ellerslie, Pukekohe and Avondale, he is the rider on the white horse who takes the winner to the circle and pulls up any loose horses on the racecourse. He is also the Whip for the Pakuranga Hunt, keeping the hounds on the scent. Allison is very skilled with horses having taken her young thoroughbred to intermediate level in eventing and she also hunts regularly.
Since the middle of last year the couple have shipped all sizes of horses to several locations around the world. They currently have two containers plying the high seas with four more to be built soon.
Rapid climate change can affect some horses so shipping by sea can reduce problems with climate. “With polo ponies shipped by sea they were able to be played a lot sooner than if they were flown,” says John.
“The horses get acclimatised on the way.” The horses seem to travel well when transported by sea. Their container is put in the middle of the boat hence the effect of any swell is greatly reduced. Additionally, there is less stress on the horses than the stop and start that can occur with road transport.
Allison says: “One client was just amazed at how bright, bushy tailed and relaxed the horses were after their sea trip — it was like they had had a holiday.”
Carolynn West, Franklin County News
Tuesday, March 5, 2002