Equestrian · Olympics · Rio 2016

O-Minus 4: Athletic Travel–of the Four-Legged Variety

Olympic athletes are converging on Rio ahead of the Games. While some athletes have it somewhat easy (hey, I’ll just throw some swimsuits, goggles and towels in a bag, and I’m good to go), others have to do a little more preparation in order to get to South America, particularly if you’re an equestrian because you don’t just have to get yourself and your gear on a plane, you have to get a horse there too.

How do they do it? The Wall Street Journal‘s Jeff Bush looked at the journey from the U.S. in this video:

The BBC also has an interesting article detailing the 5,791 mile journey 34 horses are taking from the UK. It discusses, among other things, horse passports, how horses sleep and the health risks involved with horse travel.

A press release from the International Equestrian Federation details that journey a bit further, discussing baggage allowances (yep, horses have them too–but I bet they say neigh to extra baggage fees), on-board meals and in-flight entertainment.

I can only imagine the costs of maintaining a horse, let alone flying a horse around the world to competitions. While I’m only speculating here, equestrian does seem to be one of the sports where you need a lot of money not just to compete, but also just to ride in the first place. It’s a subject to delve into in the future. If you’ve got comments, we’d love to hear ’em.