Spectators at the Adelaide four-star event did a double take when they saw winner Panamera being walked round in a wetsuit.

But the AU$900 ( £600) garment is, in fact, a compression suit, designed to help overcome muscle fatigue.

“Sport horses are athletes and need the same treatments as human athletes,” said Matthew Spice, who invented the Hidez suit.

The suit uses compression to boost circulation, increasing blood flow and speeding up the removal of lactic acid.

They are designed to be worn during transit or before and after exercise.

And riders who have struggled into a wetsuit will be relieved to hear that horses do not have to go through the same contortions.

“There are five zippers in total on each suit – it takes about 90 seconds to fit on to a horse and about 30 to take it off,” Matthew told H&H.

The Hidez suits are currently only available in Australia, but Matthew hopes to find a distributor in Europe.

For more information contact matt@hidez.com.au.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (22 March 2012)