Horse Death Toll up to 21 at Florida Polo Club

At least 21 polo horses have died after being struck by a mysterious ailment just before competition at the U.S. Open polo tournament in Wellington.

April 20, 2009 — Scientists and veterinarians are testing samples of food, vitamins, supplements and hay to see what killed 21 polo horses in Wellington during the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the ponies’ corpses have been divided up for necropsies with 15 going to the College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville and the rest going to a state laboratory in Kissimmee. Though identifying a possible cause of death could be days away, state officials are trying to reassure other horse owners that the ailment is unlikely to be contagious or airborne.

“Our vets determined that there is not a great likelihood that there is some sort of infectious disease,” said Terence McElroy, spokesman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services”>Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

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