NewsLocal NewsGrand Rapids


Miniature service horse successfully navigates GR airport

Posted at 11:08 AM, Feb 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-15 16:28:47-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Croton woman and her miniature service horse completed an air trip around the United States successfully this week, including departing from and then returning to the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

It marked the first time ever flying for the horse named Freckle Butt Fred.

Ronica Froese of Croton tweeted out a picture and thanks not only to the Grand Rapids airport, but also to American Airlines, the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas and the Ontario International Airport in California.

The trip began Feb. 7 at the Ford Airport, went to Ontario, Calif., via the Dallas airport, and the two then returned the same way to Grand Rapids on Thursday.

Froese called the trip teaming up with Freckle Butt Fred “an amazing first time experience flying.”

“Thank you to all the flight crews, TSA and airport employees for your kindness towards us,” she tweeted.

"He was an angel," Froese told FOX 17 about Freckle Butt Fred's first flight. "Nothing bothers him."

She said the horse had no problems with riding on planes, trams or in her own vehicle.

“Service animals are allowed in the airport and on planes,” explained Tara Hernandez, the marketing and communications director at the Ford airport.

Froese operates an organization called Little Horses Big Smiles in Croton.

Watch "FOX 17 News at 10 and 11" tonight for much more on this story.