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Mini-horses will appear at this Kentucky airport just in time for Derby Day

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Miniature therapy horses rove Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to keep fliers calm.
(Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport)

Young fillies will compete Friday at the Kentucky Oaks, a run-up to the Kentucky Derby. Little horses also will strut their stuff Friday — off the track at a Kentucky airport.

Miniature therapy horses at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) in Hebron, Ky., are the only horses in America to greet travelers, allay their anxiety and pose for photos (do they have a choice?)

The airport started the animal program a year ago to help anxious fliers relax a bit.

“We did a test visit with one or two horses, and passengers loved it,” airport spokeswoman Mindy Kershner said.

https://twitter.com/ittybittyhorses/status/852136783844454400

The mini-horses are certified therapy animals from the nonprofit Seven Oaks Farm in Ross, Ohio. (That’s the organization’s Lisa Moad in the photo above.) They appear twice a month at the airport, usually before the security area, for a few hours in the afternoon.

https://twitter.com/ittybittyhorses/status/860090941314609153

“The point is to release anxiety and stress for travelers,” Kershner said. “And that’s heightened right before screening.”

https://twitter.com/kelseypnorman/status/855116307624206336

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 2013 started a Pets Unstressing Passengers program, or PUP for short, in which handlers bring therapy dogs around gate areas as a stress-buster for travelers.

Airports in Miami, Oklahoma City and San Jose also have therapy dog programs, and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has a pot-bellied pig who hangs out with nervous fliers.

ALSO

This little piggy is cheering up passengers at San Francisco's airport

LAX dog-greeter program marks its first year of keeping fliers calm

Where's my gate? Where's my flight? Here’s how to handle the major airline swap at LAX

travel@latimes.com

@latimestravel


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