Like any athlete traveling to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games, about 200 horses that competed in equestrian events had to go through customs, have a passport, submit to equipment inspection, and walk through a bomb detection unit before boarding specially equipped airplanes. Their accommodations could be considered similar to business class, with one to three horses per plane -- and they flew with a team of groomers and veterinarians at their sides.
Tim Dutta, a spokesman for the company that transported the U.S. Olympic equestrian team, estimated the round-trip cost from Miami was about $20,000 USD per horse.
Hay and apple juice, please:
- In-flight dining options for equine Olympians included hay and water with apple juice. It's important that the horses don't get dehydrated.
- To make the trip more enjoyable for the prized horses, pilots make a more gradual take off and a slower landing than on a typical flight.
- Equestrian dressage, eventing and show jumping events were held at the Deodoro Equestrian Centre, roughly 12.4 miles (20 km) from the Olympic Village.