Polo team asks millions for poisoned horses

The Int’l Fund for Horses have been tracking the story of the 21 horses who died suddenly at the U.S. Open Polo Championship about this time last year.

Connections were pretty tight-lipped. We began to pick up the scent that litigation was expected, explaining some of the silence.

Ginny Powell, a veterinary technician, administers care to a dying horse at the International Polo Club Palm Beach yesterday. Photograph: Brandon Kruse/AP

It is now revealed that a lawsuit has indeed been filed:

Cross-posted from Courthouse News Service

By IZZY KAPNICK | April 6, 2010

WELLINGTON, Fla. (CN) – A Venezuelan polo team wants at least $4 million from the pharmacy that accidentally poisoned 21 of its prized horses at the U.S. Open Polo Championship last year. The horses collapsed just hours before the Open began, and by the end of the weekend all of the thoroughbreds that received the pharmacy’s tainted nutritional supplement had died.

The horses’ owners, Quorum Management and polo players Juan Martin Nero, Guillermo Caset, and Nicolas Espain, filed a negligence complaint in Palm Beach County Court describing the death of their mounts.

Shortly after [their] polo horses were administered the nutritional supplement … the horses went into cardiac arrest,” the complaint states.

The crowd watched in horror as the horses stumbled and fell. Within minutes, the Palm Beach Polo Club’s carefully tended grass was littered with the bodies of paralyzed horses.

Some of the horses dropped as they were entering the tournament grounds,” the players’ attorney, Alvaro Mejer, said in an interview.

Mejer said the supplement was supposed to contain a balanced mixture of potassium, magnesium and selenium, to help the horses recover from training. But a technician at Franck’s mistakenly added far too much selenium, enough for a deadly dose, he said.

Franck’s Pharmacy admitted in a statement that it had, in fact, mixed the supplement incorrectly. Read full story >>

–> Related reading and video from ABC News, April 20, 2009 >>

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