When it comes to consistently ensuring each and every horse is transported safely and in comfort, the Equitrans team draws on a diverse wealth of experience and knowledge. Regardless of whether the team is dealing with really large consignments, vulnerable retirement horses and/or moving horses into and out of, incredibly tough destinations, their focus never wavers from best practice in horse care, seamless logistical support, and of course, truly great communication.
There must be very few across the UAE’s equine industry, that do not personally know Equitran’s co-founder and managing director, David Robson. Highly regarded for both for his 20-plus-year passion and involvement in the country’s horse scene, and of course, his hands-on and personal service when it comes to moving horses.
Since Stround Deavall has joined the Equitrans team as operations, he has spent the months learning the ropes and easing into the diverse complexities of the unique position.
Stroud’s main task is to oversee the entirety of each horses’ journey. He says, “this includes coordinating and ensuring all health requirements are met, sourcing the best foreign agents to work with and stitching together a seamless and comfortable travel experience for the horses. As an animal lover the horse’s wellbeing is at the centre of every decision I make.”
A keen horse rider and current leaser of Centurion, an ex-endurance Anglo-Arab at Emirates Equestrian Centre, in Dubai, Stroud says, “my horse knowledge has grown exponentially since joining Equitrans. Of course, riding and caring for horses helps in understanding many aspects of how to transport them, yet there is so much more information to be learnt when ensuring a truly seamless journey.
Of his horse riding experience, Stroud says, “I am what many might call “a happy hacker”. I will never profess to be the best rider and have many bad habits that I am working on eliminating. I am however finding that as I improve, I increase the list of corrections I realise there is still to work on. I love riding and am particularly enjoying the process of working with and learning together with the beautiful chestnut boy that I lease.”
Today I ride at EEC, although before this I hadn’t ridden for 16 years and only got back in the saddle relatively recently. At this point I am working on improving my seat and Centurion is working on bending, he was a hack horse, so corners and circles are not his forte. Together we are slowly getting better and learning.”
Arriving in the UAE back in 2008, Stroud started as cabin crew before moving into an Instructional Safety role for both pilots and cabin crew. He says, “joining Equitrans has been a total shift away from my professional experience and more towards my passion for animals and in particular, horses. Prior to Equitrans I worked for almost 13 years at Emirates Airline.”
“However, I have realised since joining Equitrans that a vast array of learned skills are indeed transferrable to my current role and I am loving the process of melding my abilities with my passion. The day-to-day duties at Equitrans are incredibly interesting,” he says. “No two days are ever the same, and of course no horse, no client and no journey are ever the same either!”
“This varied nature means we have a very capable team who can work through just about any moment. There are many laughs had in the office and everyone is supportive and helpful, we have the common goal of consistently providing our customers and of course, their horses with the premium travel experience that the name Equitrans as become so synonymous with.”
When it comes to the highlights of working with Equitrans, Stroud says, “in honesty, there are so many, in particular, I relish developing a close relationship with my clients and like to be their one-point of call for any questions or queries. Through this personalised communication, I develop a genuine affinity for their horses and am fully invested in their safe and comfortable transportation.”
And what is still on his wishlist, when it comes to work? Of course, it’s surely what anyone working in the international horse transport industry must want, (and us too!), to travel on a flight with horses!
“I’m most looking forward to accompanying a consignment of horses from their origin stable right through to destination. This would involve all the aspects of organisation and coordination as well as the flight itself. At Equitrans, we have highly professional and experienced grooms that fly with our horses and I would really like to see them in action.”