Despite the accidental poisoning of the horses earlier this year, polo isn’t necessarily bad for horses. Many polo players love and bond with their horses. Nonetheless, the sport does inherently exploit them. Horses in polo become “equipment” such as a baseball bat or hockey skates. Players who reduce a living creature to the status of sports equipment can overwork or maltreat their horses.
Polo is a demanding sport for horses, but under usual circumstances and humane treatment, polo horses lead long healthy lives. However, Biodyl is widely used supplement (although illegal in the U.S.) that helps horses to rebound from strenuous activity.
Although routinely administered to Polo horses, Biodyl contains Selenium which is lethal in high doses. 21 prize polo horses were killed in April after being given an improperly mixed dose of the supplement. Like many other sports, performance enhancing supplements have become a mainstay in the sport of Polo, which is cause for concern.
I don’t think polo, itself, is bad for horses like horse racing is. However, there are many risks that occur to horses because they are involved in the game. They have a higher chance of getting into an accident. Recently 21 polo horses died after they were given a supplement in conjunction with an upcoming polo competition. Odds are if they hadn’t been polo horses, they wouldn’t have been given this supplement that took their lives.
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