The world’s best equine athletes at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro have access to a hi-tech veterinary facility. The 1,000 square metre horse clinic features everything needed to keep over 200 horses from 43 countries fit and healthy, whilst at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
There are 130 veterinary surgeons, anaesthetists, imaging specialists and medical professionals from all over the world. The centre includes the most up-to-date pathology, endoscopy, radiography and ultrasonography technology, as well as a dispensary, emergency surgery facility with padded recovery boxes, and specialist treatment stables.
As well as offering routine veterinary care the clinic is there for any emergency first-aid should it be required. Nine specially equipped horse ambulances will also be on site if any horses need to be transported to the clinic. There is also a team of physiotherapists on hand to keep the horses in top physical form, while the horses’ temperatures, weight, food and water intake are constantly monitored by their grooms and veterinary specialists.
“The health and wellbeing of our horses is the top priority during these Games,” said Brazil’s Dr Thomas Wolff, President of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Veterinary Commission.
Keeping the horses cool is perhaps the biggest challenge faced in terms of the care of the horses in Rio. Every day, over 46,000 litres of water and 400kg of ice to chill the water is utilised across the Olympic Equestrian Centre just for washing down horses. Also there are tents with cooling fans for both human and equine athletes at the finish of the cross-country stage and next to the warm-up arenas for the dressage and show jumping athletes.