Behind the Scenes at the Olympic Farriery Forge

British and Brazilian farriers are working around the clock to keep the equine athletes well-shod in Rio de Janiero.

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The most recognizable brand of shoes at the Olympics are not on the track and field athletes in Rio 2016. They’re the shoes on the only four-legged athletes at the Games: the horses!

Whether it’s heels up in Europe to keep the good luck in, or heels down in Asia to stop the bad luck dropping in, the horseshoe is a universal sign of good luck. And the hardest working shoe fitters in Rio are the team of British and Brazilian farriers working around the clock to keep the well-heeled equine athletes well-shod at the Olympic Equestrian Center in Deodoro.

Just like their human counterparts, the equine athletes have the choice of hand-made shoes and off-the-shelf versions, but the Olympic horses here in Rio have bespoke shoes to help them perform at the very highest level.

These are shoes with a variety of styles: flat shoes, tapered shoes, heart-bar shoes, and shoes with studs for grip. And some even come with gel pads for cushioned comfort

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