On The Road Again
~ CH Staff
When you start out in the horse business things can be tough and developing a loyal clientele takes time. Ryan Chiappone, owner of Eastern Equine Transport has shared his advice on how to safely transport horses and how to select the best commercial carrier for your needs. We checked in with him again to see how his business is doing today and find out what has changed.
CH: When we last spoke to you Eastern Equine Transport was a new business starting out. How have things changed in the last year?
Ryan: A lot has changed since we last spoke. This October will mark our 3rd anniversary. Our experience has continued to grow, our reputation has exploded and our network of safe, reliable layover barns has grown. We continuously hear from people in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and even a few from Colorado about how we were recommended by a past client or come highly recommended. What we are most proud of, though, are the horses and people we have met and places we have gotten to see.
CH: Are you still running the same equipment? Can you remind us what that is?
Ryan: Yes, we are still running with the same equipment, which we hope will last for a long time. Knock on wood. We run with a heavy-duty Chevy Silverado, towing a 6 horse head to head trailer. This allows us to offer more flexible routes with multiple hauling configurations inside the trailer. The trailer is equipped with an air ride system that allows for a smoother ride for the horses. It has a rear ramp and side ramp so horses can walk on and walk off, for efficiency.
CH: Has you changed anything as far as service area/rates as you have developed the business?
Ryan: Our service area has stayed the same, we have ventured a little outside of it on occasion, for a full run. We have geared our services more to the client who appreciates the fact that we layover. Most often it’s a client who has had an unpleasant experience with previous shippers. For example; horses being on the trailer for 32-36 hours straight.
Rates are very difficult to nail down as we have learned that shipping horses is very competitive market. Not only are we competing with other very reputable and honest shippers, but we are also competing with all the backyard shippers. It’s impossible to price competitively with shippers who don’t pay for proper permits or insurance and can offer extremely low rates.
CH: After a year in the saddle so to speak, is there any advice you’d like to give to potential clients as far as shopping for price and services in horse transport?
Ryan: Not sure its new advice but ask a lot of questions and remember that picking the cheapest price isn’t always the best choice. Make sure you horse is being handled by horse professionals with experience and not just a driver going from point a A to point B.
CH: Is Eastern Equine part of any of the hauling Apps programs? If so, which ones?
Ryan: We currently utilize UShip on occasion but we have found that social media like Facebook to advertise our runs works better then apps.
CH: What is the most fun trip you have experienced to date?
Ryan: There is usually something fun about each of our trips but one of my most favorites was a pick spot in Tennessee. The pick-up was at an equine veterinary/surgical clinic where they were bottling feeding 3 baby goats, which were about 5-6 weeks old. Talk about cute and fun!
The people were also celebrating someone’s birthday so they shared cake with us and we got to play with baby goats. We almost brought one home.
CH: What is the most unexpected moment you’ve experienced while hauling?
Ryan: We had a guy on a motorcycle not stop and look both ways before pulling out of his driveway. He pushed us across 2 lanes of traffic and into the median to avoid hitting him. At one point, he was so close to the truck that he disappeared from my field of vision. I thought for sure he had gone underneath the truck. Just as the truck and trailer were coming to a stop he accelerated and shot off down the street. The cops were able to locate him but without evidence or witnesses there was nothing we could do but be thankful. Ironically the police officer we spoke with about the incident was a horse back rider and often trailered to compete.
CH: Do you offer hauling to shows? And can people show out of your trailer for the day?
Ryan: Yes, we do offer trailering to horse shows and people can show off the trailer for the day if they want to. Fees do vary and a security deposit is required to show from the trailer. Most of the hauling we have done to horse shows though are overnight, weekend or week-long shows where a stall is necessary versus showing from the horse trailer.
CH: We just visited the ARK facility at JFK and it is pretty amazing. We covered details on our news page recently. Have you had the opportunity to pick up or drop off horses there yet? If so what did you think of the new facility versus the old one?
Ryan: We have not had the opportunity to visit the new facility.
CH: Are there any new requirements documentation wise that clients need to be aware about?
Ryan: The shipping documentation remains the same to our knowledge; a current Coggins, proof of vaccinations and current health certificate. There is additional paperwork when traveling across the US/Canadian border and when importing horses into the US. Clients should always check with USDA and AgriMarkets when importing horses, to ensure all the proper paperwork has been filed. We are always available to help if needed.
CH: What are your most popular destinations/runs? How often are services on these routes available?
Ryan: Florida remains the most popular destination but Tennessee and Kentucky have gotten popular for us this year. We usually don’t set up routine routes but heading south typically happens every month and heading west every other month.
Fall is just around the corner and with the cooler temperatures comes the annual exodus from the North East to Florida for many competition riders and their horses. If you would like more information on the services available from Eastern Equine Transport please contact them at 585 704 9461 or visit their website at www.EasternEquineTransport.com