April 20, 2009

Polo horses mysteriously die

At least 21 champion polo horses have died within two days in Wellington, Fla., said investigators checking for tainted feed, water or bedding.

Fourteen of the horses, worth an estimated $1.5 million, fell ill and died Sunday shortly before competition at the U.S. Open Polo tournament in Wellington, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Monday.

The horses became dizzy, stumbled and dropped onto the grass of the polo fields as veterinarians tried to help them breathe and misted them with cooling water, said polo club spokesman Tim O'Connor.

Another seven polo horses died later Sunday, reported CBS 12, noting unconfirmed reports have put the number of dead horses at more than 30.

The horses belonged to the Venezuelan-based Lechuza Caracas team and had been kept at a stable near the polo stadium in Wellington. Some of the horses died at the polo club and others at the stable, The Palm Beach (Fla.) reported Monday.

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, said John A. Walsh, polo club president.