Mass horse deaths hit US polo tournament

Vets were today trying to find out why 14 polo horses died suddenly before their match at a Florida tournament.

The horses from the Venezuela-based Lechuza Caracas team were being unloaded from their trailers on Sunday afternoon when two of them collapsed and others acted dizzy and disoriented, the International Polo Club Palm Beach said.

“They started getting dizzy,” a club spokesman said. “They dropped down right onto the grass.”

Vets tried treating the horses, inserting intravenous drips and trying to cool them down with fans and water.

Seven of the horses died on the polo club’s grounds and the rest died after they were taken elsewhere.

The match in the US Open Polo Championship was postponed and an exhibition game with a substitute team was held in its place.

The carcasses of 14 horses were taken to a state agricultural laboratory.

“It could be the water, hay, bedding. We just don’t know. When we find out what it is, we will take all the necessary actions,” John Wash, the polo club’s president of club operations, told the newspaper.

The polo grounds in Wellington, a wealthy equestrian and golfing community in central Palm Beach County, hosts the US Open every year.


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