Archive for category Equine News

Thank You Creech Horse Transport

Creech Horse TransportationFleet Equine would like to thank Creech Horse Transportation, Inc. for the generous order that we had the privilege of filling recently. Much like ourselves, Creech also understands the importance of providing quality equine transportation to their drivers, and we are happy that we were able to provide them with the quality units to suit their needs. Creech has been providing full service equine transportation to consumers throughout the United States and Canada since 1965, and we are honored that they would consider us as a valuable resource to meet their demands.

Creech is known in the industry as providing customers with the best equipment available, from air-ride Peterbilt Conventionals to vans that are built with Morton and Davis Truck Bodies. They service Canada and 48 states and can frequently be found traveling through Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, California, and Oklahoma. They hire only professional drivers who have experience in the industry and their agents are well known at all major tracks throughout the nation and in Canada. They are also a proud member of the National Horse Carriers Association.

We thank Creech Horse Transportation, Inc. for their trust and confidence in Fleet Equine to provide them with the equine transportation they were seeking. We are proud that we were able to meet the demands of such a fine company and look forward to doing business with them again in the future. To be considered as a source to fulfill the needs of one of the finest horse transportation companies in the industry is both flattering and satisfying, and we appreciate the opportunity to serve one of the most respected and well known companies in the horse transportation industry.

The Classic Van from Fleet EquineWe at Fleet Equine believe in providing the best equine transportation vehicles you can find, and by having a giant like Creech request a significant order for these vehicles helps us know that we are doing things right and providing top end units that even one of the leaders in the industry will be proud to showcase, and for this we cannot thank them enough.

To the owners and everyone else at Creech Horse Transportation, Inc., we at Fleet Equine would again like to extend our heart felt thanks for considering us as your source for the quality vehicles you need, and want you to know that we appreciate your business. It was an honor to have a chance to deal with one of the finest companies in our industry and wish you the best of luck both now and in the future.

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C & E Horse Transportation

Here’s a piece written for the Medill News Service this week:

by Whitney Harrod

Craig Sappington has always loved horses. As a child he showed them competitively and won his fair share of ribbons.

So it made sense that after graduating from Purdue University in 2005, he launched his own horse shipping business – C & E Transportation Inc.

Despite the recession that hit everything from jewelry sales to high-end hotels, Sappington’s business thrived last year. The Carpentersville-based firm transported 5,000 horses and racked up a strong revenue.

Sappington, owner and president of C & E, attributes that success to his close relationship with clients and his top-of-the-line equipment. He even has a sophisticated Facebook page that allows customers to stay in touch with him, provide feedback and make shipping requests.

“For us, it’s more one-on-one with the customer, so we get direct feedback as opposed to bigger companies,” he said.

Debbie Monsees Kirsch, who owns and boards warmbloods at Long Grove Farm in Kildeer, outside Chicago, has used C & E twice, most recently in March for a hunter/jumper show in St. Louis. On her way back to Illinois, Kirsch ended up following the C & E truck.

“They made good time, but never crossed the speed limit. I was really impressed on how they handled it,” she said. “They seemed to be very attentive. Everyone came back safe and sound, which is the most important part.”“Over the years, I haven’t really had the luxury to pick and choose who I used,” she said. “I’ve relied on the farm to secure a safe situation.”While Kirsch owns a two-horse trailer she pulls behind her Chevy Tahoe for short trips, she happily uses commercial shippers, too. “I really appreciate commercial drivers,” she said. “They have really nice, new equipment which is better than some of the haulers we’ve been using. And they get down there safely.”


About 300 companies exist in the North American horse transportation industry. But about half are illegal shippers that don’t undergo proper licensing or take out insurance, Sappington said.

Horse shipping companies are based throughout the United States, predominantly in California, Kentucky and Florida. Depending on destination and length of trip, owners may choose to fly their horses via a cargo plane or transport them on commercial trucks, the most popular option.

C & E hauls hunter/jumpers, saddlebreds, dressage horses and thoroughbred racehorses, throughout the East Coast with weekly routes from Chicago to Florida and Kentucky.A customer can expect to pay about $1000 per horse from Chicago to Florida, with pricing based on fuel, mileage and stall accommodation. Depending on the size of the horse, customers have a choice of a stall-and-a-half or an eight by 10 box stall. The company has four drivers, with Sappington himself the most active.While it’s a niche market, most carriers in the same region offer similar pricing.

“Everybody – commercial haulers – has a different price, but from Chicago to Florida, we’re all within $10 to $20 of each other,” said Chip Hudson of Creech Horse Transportation Inc. in Ocala, Fla.

But some shippers mark up prices significantly. “C & E’s very competitive,” Kirsch said. “The other shipper we had used in this area was becoming outrageous in pricing so I put my foot down and said I wouldn’t ship with them.”

The cost to fuel one of C & E’s trucks is about $800 with average mileage per trip around 400 miles for local work and 1400 miles for long distance work, Sappington said. Sometimes he offers discounts for horses at the same pick-up or drop location.

C & E was named after Craig and his grandfather Earl who bought Sappington his first four-horse trailer when he was 16. “My grandparents and mom all had horses, and I always loved trucks,” he said. “Ever since I got my license, I started driving horses around for other people.”The company now operates four top-of-the-line trucks, all Air-ride equipped, compared with two last year, and Sappington plans to acquire another rig within the next few months. He sees his business as a lifelong career, and within 10 years, he would like to do less driving but still remain “hands-on” in the day-to-day operations. He and his wife, Christina, still own and care for four horses.Sales averages in May were up at horse sales in Ocala, Fla., a sign that owners are spending more money to move their horses, Hudson said. “People are also moving thoroughbreds because they need to race them and win purses if possible.”

Another shipper, Drexler Horse Transportation Inc., based in Hampshire, Ill., is seeing recovery from the economic recession but still faces challenges. A lot of show horse customers that might have taken two loads to Florida for the season now take only one, said Doug Jones, a dispatcher for Drexler who has been in the shipping business for 32 years. The breeding stock for horse racing along with number of mares traveling from Kentucky to be bred in Illinois is down.

Larry Rivelli, who trains thoroughbred racehorses in Chicago, doesn’t like paying for commercial hauling but feels the expense is necessary. “I think prices are ridiculous, but gas is expensive and it’s not cheap to do it,” he said. “Their time is worth something.”

Rivelli uses Drexler, Sallee Horse Vans Inc. in Lexington, Ky. and Aprile Horse Transportation Inc. in Peotone, Ill., to haul his 50 thoroughbreds from Arlington Park to his farm in West Virginia and to tracks in Canada.

“I’ve done it so much of it now, I know who to use and not to use, whose trailers I like and don’t like,” Rivelli said. “I want responsible people taking care of my horses. I won’t just load a horse with anybody and send them down the road.”

C & E’s largest trucks can hold up to 15 horses in single stalls, but the company usually ships only 10 horses at a time in stall-and-a-half accommodations. The company’s smaller rig, used for local pickups, holds up to six horses. Sappington’s newest truck, purchased from Fleet Equine Inc. in Bolingbrook, cost about $300,000.

“Acquiring the money to buy the trucks is the hardest part,” Sappington said.

Right now, C&E could increase its client base if it had more equipment to do so, Sappington said. He’s now deciding if he wants to go down that road.“A lot of the big companies have quantity but not quality,” he said. “There’s a fine line that you can only do so well in the ability to control all your trucks and customer relations. As you get bigger, you may lose that.”If a shipper doesn’t provide quality service, it can’t expand, Jones said. “You won’t have anybody calling you back.” Drexler sponsored C & E when it joined the National Horse Carriers Association.

As a member of the association, C & E must have a perfect safety rating with the Department of Transportation. Sappington is also the youngest member of the association, and one of the youngest to own a commercial horse transportation busin

Under federal law, C & E displays a Department of Transportation and motor carrier number on all its trucks, keeps track of logbooks and carries $1 million of insurance. To ship a horse in Illinois, the state Department of Agriculture requires owners to have a veterinarian permit, a health certificate and a negative Coggins test result, indicating an absence of equine infectious anemia, for each horse shipped.

C & E’s four drivers, in addition to holding Class A commercial driver’s licenses and current medical cards, were born and raised around horses. “They’re horse people that can drive as opposed to the opposite – truck drivers that haul horses,” Sappington said.

“That’s the toughest thing in our industry – finding people that can haul horses.”


Congratulations On Your New Fleet Equine!

A New Horse Van Rolls out

Congratulations to Craig Sappington and C&E Horse Transportation on the new Horse Van that rolled out in Bolingbrook Illinois. Notice the Custom burned side boards done by Fritz at Fleet Equine. “Click the pictures to see the full view”




Treat The Horses Right

Choosing The Best Racehorse Transport Trailer

The Classic Van for transporting racehorses is - well, Classic!Every horse is valuable to its owner, but the financial value of a good racehorse can easily reach seven figures or more.
And considering that there may be a number of investors owning a share of that horse, transportation becomes a much bigger challenge than simply getting four hooves from point A to point B.
That’s why the ROI on a quality racehorse transport trailer is so easy to calculate. And that’s why we recommend the Classic Van.
Perils of Loading and Unloading
A nick, cut or bruise can sideline a racehorse, or even end its career. The Classic Van reduces the chances of accident or injury by providing two easy pull loading ramps that are non-slip, have no sharp edges, are lightweight enough for one person to operate, yet provide a sure, solid footing that is less likely to spook what may be an already nervous horse.
Working In The Dark
You’re not always working under the best lighting conditions, especially when you’re far away from home at an unfamiliar track. The Classic Van solves that problem by providing a generous array of interior and exterior LED lighting.
Using LEDs provides maximum brightness without generating heat and without drawing down an excessive amount of battery power.
Plus LEDs last virtually forever, so you’re unlikely to be caught out in the dark with a vital bulb burned out and no spares on hand. Read the rest of this entry »


A Few Things To Consider

Are All Horse Trailer Manufacturers The Same?

Horse Trailers from Fleet EquineOf course they aren’t. That’s the same as asking if all car manufacturers are the same, or if all restaurants are alike.
Companies in the same industry have a lot of similarities, but there are often times subtle differences when it comes to quality.
Here are some tips on how to tell the difference between a quality horse trailer or van and one that may look good, but could let you down when you need it the most.

Rust — The Horse Trailer’s Public Enemy #1

Even many brand new, shiny horse trailers don’t start out rust-free. Sure, they may look good on the outside, but the danger of rust and corrosion usually lurks behind the walls, in the roof struts, and behind the door posts.
Because rust often eats metal from the inside out, by the time major rust damage is apparent, the chances are good that the horse trailer’s structural integrity has been affected.
Fleet Equine uses Galvanized steel, rust-resistant stainless steel and aluminium to ensure years of corrosion-free use designed to keep your horse trailer structurally sound and equine safe.

There’s Wood-Like Interiors And Then There’s WOOD Interiors

The Wood Interiors of these Horse Trailers are incomparableParticle board is great for doll houses, and plywood is fine to keep your dog out of the rain. But when you’re transporting horses, only the best wood will do.
That’s why the designers of Fleet Equine products specify chemical-free hardwood oak interiors. In fact we use only Havco oak flooring, nothing else is quite good enough.

Ever Try Standing Up In A Moving Horse Trailer?

It’s not easy. Sure, horses get used to it; but when a slip and fall could mean having to put a horse down, you want to make sure your horse trailer has solidly-built, 100% FLAT floors just like the ones you find in every Fleet Equine Horse Trailer and Horse Van.

There’s A Whole Lot More That Sets Fleet Equine Apart From Other Horse Trailer manufacturers.

So, the next time you’re thinking about buying a horse trailer or van,  compare our specs with the others out there and you’ll discover that all Horse Trailer Manufacturers really aren’t the same.



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Need Horse Vans? We Want You!

Horse Vans For Sale


The Classic Box

If you’re like most horse owners, you want to get the most bang for your buck whether you’re looking to buy your first horse trailer, add to an existing fleet, or replace one you already own.


And who can blame you? It’s expensive to own a horse, and those costs rise quickly when you start trailering them from place to place.

The temptation to buy a used horse trailer is strong when money is tight. But be careful! There’s more to buying a used trailer than kicking the tires and making sure the door latches tightly.

Most older horse trailers have a lot of hidden corrosion that isn’t normally visible unless you peel back the walls. Sometimes you can see rust around the door frames, but don’t make the mistake of thinking some sandpaper and a can of Rust-Oleum spray paint will make it all better. That’s usually just the beginning of your problems.

The real danger comes from rusted-out floor and wall supports, weakened roofs, corroded loading ramps, and trailer doors that don’t seal properly.

Read the rest of this entry »

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When Transporting Horses Is Your Job, Mass Produced Trailers Don’t Cut It

Horse Transporters For The Win!

There’s a world of difference between trailering a quarter horse to a weekend jackpot rodeo, and being a serious player in the commercial horse transportation business. When your business reputation, source of income, and the lives of horses are at stake, ‘good enough’, just isn’t good enough. That’s why we build every one of our horse vans and boxes to the highest safety and comfort specifications, and why we never compromise on material or workmanship.
And even though every Fleet Equine horse van shares a common trait of quality materials, design and craftsmanship, no two of our horse vans are exactly alike. That’s because you and your unique needs are an integral part of our design and manufacturing process. Little touches like matching interior paint to your towing vehicle,  and carefully aligning and applying your ranch or company logo, raise your visibility and enhance your professionalism in subtle yet effective ways.

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If You’re Going to be King of the Road, You Might as Well Pull The Royal Van

Our Royal Horse Van For Sale

Designed from the ground up for equine professionals who feel like they spend more time on the road than in the saddle, The Fleet Equine Royal Van knows no compromise.

This is our top-of-the line, 102” wide, 16-horse van, with a 4’ California legal spread axle, that’s built for long-haul punishment.

If you’re looking for a horse van that doesn’t sacrifice when it comes to quality, safety, design or good looks, you’re looking for the Royal Van.

All steel components, including door and wall posts are galvanized for corrosion protection. Stainless steel rear panels and rear frame deliver a good looking solution to the effects of rain, road salt and more. And since those panels are up against galvanized posts, there won’t be any hidden rust eating your van from the inside out. Read the rest of this entry »

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