Yesterday, a rep from Purina came to visit with the editors of the Equine Network's publications. In a side conversation, she mentioned getting feed to London for the horses used by the America Olympic riders that the brand sponsors. Talk about a logistical nightmare!
First of all, Europeans don't rely on feeding baled hay as much as Americans do, and shipping baled hay (and getting it approved for import) is nearly impossible. This means that many of the horses will be put on hay stretchers before departing for their grand Olympic journey, so they're accustomed to the new ration.
Furthermore, all feed shipped for the American horses had to be packaged on special pallets, and it underwent rigorous testing, all to ensure that no bugs, weeds, or other undesirable factors would stowaway for a free trip to Merry Ol' England, where they could do serious damage to the country's agricultural balance.
I think it's safe to say that the Olympic Equestrian Team probably has the highest shipping bill of all the Olympic competitors, thanks to horses, feed, and tack!