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How Are Horses Transported To The Olympics?

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How Are Horses Transported To The Olympics?

While watching equestrian sports in the Olympics over the years, many have been left wondering how the horses get to the Games.

Evidently, the course and distance to Tokyo is no easy feat, with horses embarking on the adventure of a lifetime - a staggering 5,713 miles to be exact.

For those wondering how the majestic creatures make their trip overseas, US Equestrian Federation Director of Sport, Will Connell, has revealed its shockingly simple process.

More than 300 horses were transported to Tokyo for the Olympic Games this summer
More than 300 horses were transported to Tokyo for the Olympic Games this summer

"What you do is you take the horse, and you put two horses in a box, and you put the box on the plane."

Well, Will, when you put it like that it seems simple enough.

Believe it or not, horses travelling to the Olympics also need passports and official documentation to venture over the ocean.


British Eventing Team veterinarian Liz Brown told Radio Times that horses travelling via plane are under a lot of stress, but measures are taken to make the flight easier for them.

"The pilots will control a more gradual take off and a slower landing to a typical flight," she said.

These specialist flights for horses do not come cheap, with a round-trip to Tokyo from America costing an eye-watering $55,000 (£39,700) per horse. Ouch.


Why is dressage an Olympic sport?

Historically, dressage is one of the purest forms of equestrian sports.

In short, its goal about demonstrating perfect synchronisation between the rider and the horse.

While it may take an expert eye to really appreciate it, the fact of the matter is that it takes an enormous amount of training and a huge amount of talent to perform at grand prix level.


Great Britain emphatically won the contest at the 2012 Olympics on home soil with some beautifully choreographed routines, which you can watch below.

Featured Image Credit: Racing Post

Topics: olympics

Robert Mann
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