Fantasy Farm Thursday: An Olympic Barn Tour in Rio

In honor of the Rio Olympic Games, we’re doing something just a little different for Fantasy Farm Thursday, and taking you on a complete tour of the venue where all our heroes are residing these few marvelous weeks.

The Area:

The venue was originally constructed to host the 2007 Pan American Games, and was significantly expanded for the games in Rio. The one million-square-meter facility was built on spare government land that’s all part of a highly militarized area, as there is a Brazilian Air Force base and military housing adjacent to the facilities.

The equestrian venue in relation to the military base. Screenshot via Google Maps.

The equestrian venue in relation to the military base. Screenshot via Google Maps.

The surrounding landscape — like much of Rio — is absolutely stunning, with rich green vegetation covering soaring hills and mountains in nearly all directions.

The Deodoro Olympic Park is in fact home to several of the Olympic events, which makes this equestrian center one of the most centrally located venues in recent years (remember that time in Beijing when it was basically not even in the same country? Me too.)


The Exercise Pool:

(Just kidding, that’s the kayaking pool down the street. No ponies allowed. But it’s pretty, am I right?)

Tudo QUASE pronto! Que venha as olimpíadas… ???? #parqueolimpicodedeodoro #parqueolimpico #rio2016 #deusnocomando

A photo posted by vergniaudmendes (@vergniaudmendes) on


The Barns:

Rather than make every horse go through a lengthy quarantine process for the game, the venue itself is a completely quarantined area. In order to enter the barns you must be a credentialed participant, and you must THOROUGHLY wash with soap and water when entering and exiting the barns.  The Rio water is being filtered with great sophistication for the horses, the hay is imported, and they’re employing several tactics to keep mosquitos and other insects at bay. 

The barns themselves are nothing elaborately fancy, but they are workmanlike, clean, and importantly, very easily sanitized. The painted cinder block allows the crew to fully spray out and disinfect every stall before the Olympic resident moves in. And as you can see, they didn’t scrimp on shavings to keep everyone happy. (And the nation decor is so festive! What a place to be!) 

The whole fourlegged Swedish Dressage Team. #delaosdrömmen @sweolympic @svenska_ridsportforbundet A photo posted by Segersta Equestrian (@segerstaequestrian) on

Still treating humans as well #rio2016

A photo posted by dd-physio (@dd_physio) on

A photo posted by dd-physio (@dd_physio) on

A Arquitetura Equestre também esta nas olimpíadas ! ?❤️??? A vila Olímpica dos cavalos tem ruas de areia fofa para conforto do impacto da circulação dos cavalos . Só pode adentrar nesse espaço se você higienizar mãos e pés ( procedimento obrigatório ). Ao todo são 270 cavalos hospedados no local .0s estábulos estão divididos pelos países e ficam frente à frente uns as outros. Muitos estábulos foram escolhidos pelas delegações, que analisaram, por exemplo , a incidência de vento e sol para fazer a escolha. Os boxes são individuais com o nome do animal na frente . Estamos na torcida pelo nosso Brasil . Fonte : revista momento equestre ?????????? #estábulos #vilaolimpica #complexodeodoro #meubrasil #hipismo #cce #a#dressage #olimpiadasrio2016 #arquiteturaequestre_jl A photo posted by Arquitetura Equestre JL (@arquiteturaequestre_jl) on

The Grazing Zone:

There are fields set aside exclusively for hand grazing, and while some of the horses have not particularly cared for the Rio grass, many others are not complaining. And the views are choice.


The Arenas:

From what we can tell, there is the main competition arena (which riders have said has provided ideal, world class footing) and three warm-up zones. There is also a turf warm-up area adjacent to the cross country course. The grandstands offer a press area, a VIP zone, and loads of additional shaded seating.   

Galope da vitória. De arrepiar!! ?? #theolympics A video posted by Letícia (@lelealencar) on


The Miscellaneous Amenities: 

There are plenty of other wonderful bits and pieces to putting on a world class event, like the jogging strip for inspections, cool-out areas, an on-site veterinary clinic, and of course, lots and lots of beer. 

At the vet clinic #olympics A photo posted by dd-physio (@dd_physio) on

Olympic sized stack of beer! A photo posted by Team Mercian (@mercianhockey) on


Video Tour:

You can also see a beautiful tour of the facilities here, courtesy of Emerson Oliveira:

Go Olympics, and Go Riding!