Anyone crossing the Cambie Street Bridge recently will have noticed the large white tent now fully raised on the south shore of False Creek. It is home to Cavalia’s Odysseo for the next month.

Here are ten things about Odysseo you probably did not know:

1. The stars

Photo by Dominick Gravel

The stars of the show, the 65 horses that make up the Odysseo cast, consists of 11 breeds including Arabian, Lusitano, Paint Horse, Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred and Spanish Purebred.

2. First class tickets

Photo courtesy Cavalia

After the last performance in Los Angeles, the four-legged stars flew into Vancouver International Airport aboard a charted 747 aircraft equipped with air stalls.

3. Leisure time

Photo courtesy Cavalia

Prior to arriving at their new home near the Olympic Village, the horses traveled with a dedicated team of Cavalia’s equine specialists to a local farm in Delta for fifteen days of leisure. At their retreat, the four-legged stars were able to play, bathe in the sun or roll in the mud.

4. 110 trailers

Photo courtesy Cavalia

The trailers transporting the horses to their stable tent, adjacent to Odysseo’s big top, were the last to arrive of the 110 semi-trailer trucks necessary to move the touring show from its last stop in Southern California.

5. The human caregivers

Photo courtesy Cavalia

Before, during and after transport, a 20-person stables team – including trainers, veterinarian, health technicians and grooms – provide the horses with daily health care, grooming and activities.

6. Creature comforts

Photo courtesy Cavalia

Every day the horses receive showers, grooming, massages, workshops with their riders, and outings to the paddocks where they roam and play.

7. Show homes

Photo courtesy Cavalia

The stable tent is a massive 1,600 square metres, providing each horse with its own designated box with space to stretch, lie down, sprawl out, roll and relax. They always have the same neighbors to ensure a familiar and comforting environment in each city.

8. Plenty of free time

Photo by Jak Wonderly

The performance aspect for each horse lasts roughly 12 minutes. The rest of their daily activities include warm-up, recouping, grooming and free time. 

9. 80 tons

Photo by Dan Harper

Overhanging the performance area is a technical grid that can support 80 tons of equipment, including a full-sized merry-go-round.

10. 10,000 tons

Photo courtesy Cavalia

It takes 10,000 tons of stone, earth and sand to create the stage for Odysseo.