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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Equine vets to be commended for doing all they could

Twenty-one polo horses died suddenly in Wellington, Fla., this weekend at a championship event, apparently of heart failure caused by a toxin in their feed, vitamins or supplements, veterinarians told the AP.

The horses were all part of the Venezuelan-owned team Lechuza Caracas, and fell ill shortly before a Sunday tournament match in the U.S. Open Polo Championship, the AP reported.

International Polo Club President John Wash called the deaths "devastating" and "heartbreaking, to see that many horses get sick all at once." But this has been labeled an isolated incident, and the games will resume Wednesday.

I'm not familiar with the everyday treatment of polo horses. In regards to other equine sports my feelings are hopelessly mixed on the Kentucky Derby -- an awesome event, but don't even get me started on Eight Belles. One of these days I'll also blog about donkeyball, recently featured in the New York Times, which for all intents and purposes may not even be mentionable in the same breath. My research is pending.

What I do know, though, is that Sunday's polo veterinarians snapped to action with intravenous lines, fans and water hoping to rescue the ill -- which for most vets is a passion. The loss of these horses is tremendously sad, but my thoughts now are with those who struggled to care for the animals and ultimately found themselves unable to save even one life.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,


Blogger News-Herald Blogs said...

Update: Looks like the vitamins are to blame, according to this story at

April 23, 2009 at 10:56 AM 
Blogger News-Herald Blogs said...

Update: A Florida pharmacy admits to incorrectly preparing medication, according to this story at A memorial service for the 21 ponies was to be held today before the polo matches resume.

April 23, 2009 at 3:53 PM 

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