With 22 wins out of 22 starts in her racing career, Australian mare Black Caviar is widely considered to be the fastest horse in the world at this time โ and she’s heading to the Royal Ascot Race track in England to compete in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on June 23. With an impressive entourage, Black Caviar will make a 30-hour journey to her destination, most of which will be by air, being a first for the championship horse. Accompanying her on the flight will be a vet and two attendants charged with the task of monitoring her health and wellbeing all along the way. She will also be clad in a lycra compression suit designed to protect against air pressure changes which can result in conditions such as swollen ankles, leading to stress-related injuries.
While shipping horses around the world for races has become more commonplace, there are still risks that must be considered. Horses have been known to lose two to three-kilograms in weight during a flight, and can easily become dehydrated. Chief executive of the Animal Health Trust, and former senior vet for theJockey Club, Peter Webbon, noted in an interview that the horse racing industry is much more aware of the dangers of long-distance travel and how to prevent horses from becoming vulnerable. Monitoring by highly experienced caretakers during the journey is part of the process to protect the wellbeing of these valuable equine athletes.
As England’s most famous and prestigious race meeting, the Royal Ascot is a high profile platform for Black Caviar to show the racing world what she can do. With the Golden Jubilee being renamed the Diamond Jubilee to commemorate the 60 year reign of Queen Elizabeth II, this is a race that promises to be a highlight in horse racing history for all competitors, but most especially for the winner. Trainer Peter Moody has every confidence in the mare, saying “She is as fit as I’ve had her at this stage of a preparation.” He also noted that “the facts and figures tell you, there’s not a horse out there who can beat her.” No doubt there are many that will try โ making for an exciting Royal Ascot race day on June 23, 2012.