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Most people would be surprised to learn the Olympic’s most pampered athletes are the horses.
While all human athletes live in London’s athletes’ village, the horses are stabled about two hours away at Greenwich Park in Gloucestershire. These stables have been specially constructed for the horses’ utmost comfort and luxury.
The pampering begins with a no expense spared flight to London. The American horses, accompanied by a team of expert caretakers, traveled on a private FedEx jet. The horses arrived two weeks ago so they could recover from jet jag. Yes, horses experience it too.
Once situated at Greenwich Park, the pampering is kicked into high gear. Each horse will have its own team of human attendants who will handle the horses’ nutrition, grooming, exercise and monitor its general comfort and welfare. Farriers and veterinarians are on call to ensure the equines are in top physical shape. Some horses have personal massage therapists and acupuncturists as well.
And I thought I spoiled my horse.
Why are these horses so pampered? They are finely tuned athletes and must be treated with just as much, if not more care, than their human counterparts. For such large animals, horses are delicate creatures. Any disruption in their routine could cause a poor performance and a bad mood. The last thing any rider, especially an Olympic rider, wants is an irritable mount.
In my next life I would like to be an Olympic equine athlete. Mostly so I could have a personal massage therapist.
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