FLORIDA: Polo player ties horse deaths to supplement
Posted: April 23rd, 2009 - 10:55am
Reporting from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- Twenty-one horses that died mysteriously before a U.S. Open polo match received a supplement that probably caused their deaths, a top player for a Venezuelan-owned team told a newspaper, prompting the Food and Drug Administration to join the investigation Wednesday.
Lechuza Caracas team captain Juan Martin Nero told an Argentine newspaper, La Nacion, that the horses were given a weekly vitamin compound called Biodyl. The mixture, a combination of vitamins and minerals, is illegal to possess or use in the United States, the FDA said.
Nero said five horses did not receive the injection, and all of them are healthy.
Biodyl by itself is unlikely to have killed the prized horses, veterinary experts say, but it could have been part of a deadly, home-brew concoction whose legality could also be in question.
The horses went into distress Sunday afternoon at the International Polo Club Palm Beach fields. Fourteen died Sunday, the others Monday.
Nero told La Nacion that the horses were given Biodyl on Sunday to help them recover from wear and tear.