This Is How Horses Made Their Long Journey To The Rio Olympics

Equestrian - Olympics: Day 10Getty

Team GB’s Charlotte Dujardin successfully defended her Olympic title in the individual horse dressage event, with the help of her noble steed Valegro. 

So as you’d expect for a gold medal winning horse, he took a very special journey to Rio.

In what can only be described as business class for horses, he was loaded into a stall at Stansted Airport earlier this summer, Radio Times reports.

Okay, so it wasn’t this fancy:

But it was definitely as comfortable as it could be, with two horses fitted to every stall. They were accompanied by 11 grooms and vets to cater to their every need, acting as an equine cabin crew.

To combat dehydration – a horse’s main issue when they’re flying – they are kept in a temperature controlled atmosphere and given regular drinks of water.

They’re all given Haylage, which is essentially hay with a higher moisture content to help curb dehydration.

But probably the biggest difference between a horsey flight and our bog-standard ones is the take-off and landing.

Pilots opt for a longer and more gradual take off and slower landing, so they don’t spook the horses too much.

Eventing team vet, Liz Brown, said:

When you’re on a passenger plane you will experience what they control a positive landing where they brake quite hard but with the horses they do a longer landing and they don’t brake as hard and so the horses don’t feel that sudden deceleration.

And the best part? They don’t even get pesky jet lag – not like us useless humans. So they can just walk of the plane like nothing happened.

A fitting journey for the unsung heroes of Team GB.