How Do The Horses Get To The Olympics?
As I was watching Bruce Springsteen's daughter, Jessica, attempt to qualify for the equestrian individual jumping finals, I had a question pop up in my head. Obviously, these aren't just rental horses from Jimmy's Mountain Horse Tours. These are horses that are trained to be Olympic level athletes.
With some of the Olympics, it's easy to just figure they're being driven to the event in a trailer by the countries that can, but for most, they'd have to fly. It turns out, there's a company that specializes in "Horse Transportation and Logistics."
Peden Bloodstock operated their first horse transport in 1947, and now they're the leading transportation source for horses.
The animals get loaded into stalls, and are moved into large, air-conditioned planes.
Once boarded, they're given their in-flight meal, haylage, a higher water content hay, as well as buckets of water to ensure they aren't dehydrated upon landing.
Horses do get to bring a carry-on, including water buckets, tag bags and rugs.
Being they're travelling internationally, the horses also have to have their passports. The passports have information of where they were born, where they've travelled, and which vaccinations they've had.
British Eventing Team member Liz Brown told The Radio Times, "The pilots will control a more gradual take off and a slower landing to a typical flight. When you’re on a passenger plane you’ll experience a positive landing where they brake quite hard, but with horses they do a longer landing so they don’t feel that sudden deceleration.”
This year, with the pandemic, the horses are kept in a bubble (similar to the NBA) at a venue where they're brought to their events by a truck that's air-conditioned, to eliminate any discomfort.
The cost for a round trip ticket for a horse to get to the Olympics from the US, is about $50,000. Luckily for the equestrians, the US Olympic Committee pays for the trip.
Read more at Forbes