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HSUS Statement on Death of 21 Ponies at Polo Champsionship

The Humane Society of the United States

Keith Dane, director of Equine Protection for The Humane Society of the United States, made the following statement in response to the death of 21 ponies at the U.S. Open Polo Championship:

"While we still await conclusive results of toxicology tests, The Humane Society of the United States extends its condolences to those affected by the tragic deaths of the Polo ponies of the Lechuza Caracas team at the U.S. Open Polo Championship in Wellington, Fla. last Sunday. While news reports suggest that this may have been a case of accidental overdose of a toxic substance, this does not lessen the grief of those who cared for and loved these animals, and the American public. 

"This tragedy has brought to light the absence of drug policies and regulation within the sport of polo. There are no prohibitions or testing requirements for the use of drugs or other performance-enhancing substances. The HSUS calls on the authorities involved to continue to vigorously pursue this investigation and for the polo industry to use this tragedy as a catalyst to begin implementing reforms to ensure that policies are enacted and enforced that will ensure better protection for the horses in its care."


The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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