April 20, 2009
Dear Friends, Partners and Fellow Members of the Capitol Polo Club,
With the rapidly approaching start of another exciting Polo season at the Capitol Polo Club, and as our management team is readying our Club to host esciting events such as the America's Polo Cup and the Green Cup of Polo this summer, we are suddenly hit with the tragic news from Wellington, Florida where 21 horses belonging to the Lechuza Caracas polo team fell ill and died mysteriously at the start of their match yesterday.
As news item after news item flashed on CNN and other news services, it is clear that this is rapidly becoming one of the biggest horse related tragedies ever associated with polo. As part of the polo world, we will all be asked about this incident and what happened. Our first response should be that this has never ever happened before in polo, and that we as a community are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic event. We have uploaded on our website the official press release of the United States Polo Association (USPA) including its position regarding this incident. You can read it by clicking here. As a member club of the USPA, the Capitol Polo Club reaffirms that we will follow and support the USPA on its mission to investigate the cause of this unprecedented and tragic accident.
According to Jim Burton, Eastern Circuit Governor of the USPA: " the USPA has always taken a strong stand on Polo pony welfare. We have a standing committee, the Equine Welfare Committee, headed by Clint Nangle, a USPA Governor at Large. This committee's focus is to channel the USPA's commitment to our horses well being."
Additionally, the Capitol Polo Club and its management has also established special committee to advise members on equine health and well being, as well as having our vetenarians conduct clinics on horse care to ensure their safety.
As one of the main polo and equestrian facilities in the Washington metropolitan area, we will continue to be the key source for information on equine health and well being, and we will closely track the investigations currently being conducted in Florida by the USPA and state animal health officials on this incident, and will post any updates on our website. At this stage, there is no official word but Florida State officials are stating that symptoms are consistent with an adverse drug reaction or toxicity, and that results of the testing may come as early as this Friday the 24th of April.
Until we have official word, please rest assured that the Capitol Polo Club and the USPA will endeavor to understand the cause of this unprecedented event, and that we will continue to always act in the best interests of our horses before all else.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns on this matter.
Dr. Robert T. Do, M.D.
CAPITOL POLO CLUB
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