|Black Caviar’s Compression Suit|
ABC.net reports that champion 21-time winning mare Black Caviar donned a custom-made spandex body suit when she flew to London in her quest to prove she is the world’s fastest horse.
The mare’s patronage is a coup for the fledgling New South Wales company that designed the compression suit. Black Caviar modelled the latest thing in equine fashion at Caulfield race course on Tuesday. Her trainer, Peter Moody, is hoping the suit will help the champion sprinter arrive at Heathrow in good shape. “I believe it’s just a compression suit that helps generate blood flow,” he said. “When we’re travelling we get the option of getting up and going for a walk around – she’s going to be stuck in a box for 30 odd hours. So she’s not going to have that opportunity to exercise so anything that can aid her in the travel, we’re throwing at her.Nothing but the best for the best.”
The suit was made by a company set up by former chimney sweep, Matt Spice, at Windsor in NSW. He did not have any experience with horses and says the idea of the equine body suits came to him in his sleep. “Just through dreaming at night time in bed actually,” he told PM. “My wife was having our first baby at the time. She was looking for these pants to help support her through pregnancy and they were Lycra. They were similar to a pair of pants [worn by] Rhys Wesser, one of my mates and an ex-NRL player.”
He says the suit is designed to manage moisture. “It’s actually a breathable fabric,” Mr Spice said. “It’s very similar to the stuff that our elite footballers wear, rugby league players, under their jerseys when they’re running.”
For the last three years Mr Spice has been working on the suit’s design with vets and horse riders including Olympic gold medallist, Stuart Tinney. Some of the horses on Australia’s Olympic equestrian team will wear the suits in London. Not one suit has been sold as yet and the official product launch is not until July.
“[Black Caviar] has been trialling the suit for a few weeks,” Mr Spice said. “She’s actually been sleeping in the suit. She’s using it at night times. She’s had it on for periods of 30 hours, I think even longer. I think a couple of days at a time. “We actually measured virtually every muscle in her body and limb and we’ve actually custom-fit this suit to her.” Mr Spice says the mare was the ideal client to deal with. “She is the champion, the most beautiful horse to work with,” he said.
“Not many horses have actually had these suits on them but every horse that has it on actually loves the suit on. Of course at first when they’ve got something covering their legs and that they stretch out a little bit at first. I’ve never had a horse try and bite it off.” Despite its complex fitting process, he says the suit is quite easy to put on. “It zips on in about a minute-and-a-half,” he said. “You just throw it over like a normal rug and then zip it down the legs and down the belly.” One of the hardest parts of his involvement with Black Caviar has been keeping his partnership under wraps. “It’s been very difficult, very, very difficult,” Mr Spice said. “I’m the youngest child of 11 so not to be able to tell all of my family even what’s been going on because word can get out and someone can steal the patent idea.”
Mr Spice plans to head overseas to start on a design for camels.
Story courtesy www.abc.net.au