Boycott polo match until changes made
December 29, 2011
The World Snow Polo Championship held in Aspen recently was the first polo event of any description that I have attended. I was not impressed.
The event director Barry Stout is reported in The Aspen Times, Dec. 28, to have said that the U.S. Polo Association-sanctioned plan was followed to the letter when one of the horses was seriously injured. I witnessed the accident and saw said plan put into action.
It appeared to me the top priority was to get the injured horse removed as quickly as possible from the field of play so that the chukkar could quickly be resumed with minimum disruption. The top priority should surely have been to ensure the horse suffered minimum pain and trauma following what was very obviously a serious accident.
Since the horse was later euthanized, the injury clearly was as severe as it looked. The horse appeared to suffer very significantly when being coaxed aggressively on to the horse box, falling and trying to stand repeatedly, presumably with the use of only three legs, and distressingly again within the horse box as it left the field. It is incomprehensible to me that a vet was not on hand to euthanize the horse immediately if that was the correct decision – which it later proved to be.
I shall not be attending another polo event until I am assured that these U.S. Polo Association-sanctioned rules have been changed to ensure that an equine vet is always on the spot to give the horses the treatment they deserve and that their care in the event of serious injury becomes the top priority for all concerned.
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I urge others, and the sponsors, to do the same.