horse show jumping

Every Tuesday, we'll share a few fun animal facts with you from experts all over the country.

Today, we're focusing on the Olympics and pulling some great equestrian facts from Vetstreet's London 2012 coverage.

  • Dressage, the equestrian competition judged on accuracy, athleticism, artistry and, more importantly, how well the horse is trained, did not become a competitive sport until it joined the Olympics in 1912.
  • One of the horses competing in dressage this year, named Rafalca, is co-owned by none other than Ann Romney.
  • Olympic horses compete in one of three disciplines: dressage, show jumping and three-day eventing.
  • Horses who are international travelers have their own equine version of a passport.
  • Surprisingly, traveling by air is easier for many horses than going by land, because they don’t have to deal with things like traffic and stoplights. Eventing team veterinarian Dr. Brendan Furlong says, “They munch their hay while airborne and typically have a good time!”