Apr 30, 2009 | 5
The 21 polo ponies that dropped dead at the U.S. Open Polo Championship in Wellington, Fla., eleven days ago most likely succumbed to an overdose of selenium, used to help muscles recover after strenuous exercise, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has reported.
The source of the toxic overdose appears to be supplement injections the horses received a few hours before they began falling to the ground. Franck's Pharmacy in Ocala, which filled the prescription for the supplement—a cocktail of selenium, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium -- has owned up to the mistake: "The strength of an ingredient in a medication Franck’s Pharmacy prepared for the 21 horses on the Lechuza Polo team was incorrect," Jennifer Beckett, the pharmacy's chief operations officer, said in a statement. "We can confirm that the ingredient was selenium."
Apr 24, 2009 | 2
The bizarre deaths of 21 polo ponies at last weekend's U.S. Open Polo Championship in Wellington, Fla., might have been caused by something in vitamin injections the horses received, the captain of the ponies' team has told reporters. Experts suspect that contamination or improper dosing of the cocktail are blame, but they say it's impossible to say just what killed the horses before the results of toxicology studies are released.
If you're just tuning in now, here is a recap of Sunday's events as told by the Argentine newspaper La Nacion: Venezuela's Lechuza Caracas team was getting ready to compete in the quarterfinals at the International Polo Club Palm Beach when spectators noticed a few of its ponies crumpling to the ground. As veterinarians rushed to care for them, other ponies on the team began collapsing. The animals "fell like domino pieces," a witness told the paper, and within a couple of hours, 21 of them were dead.
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