Horse’s Collapse During Polo Match Ends With a Fractured Skull

A cheerful Sunday afternoon turned tragic and devastating for the members of the Roseland Polo Club after a horse collapsed on the field. With a massive crowd turnout for the game, the collapse and eventual death of the horse left people in shock.

People present at the time of the accident called it unfortunate, unpredictable and a “freak incident”. The teenage horse fell to the ground within seconds of making it on to the field.

Polo match takes an unfortunate pause

According to the trainers and officials present there, Fortuna, the teenage horse was completely healthy before the match and showed no signs of concern. The horse though, did have a pre-existing condition that made her aorta swell up. Ali King, a trainer at the King Family Vineyards spoke to the media about the fatal incident and said, “Fortuna was in good health as far as we know. “It is so unfortunate.” 

“She had a preexisting condition where her aorta would swell to a larger-than-normal size. A teenage horse is plenty young enough to be doing what she was doing. Plenty of horses play into their 20s.”

Unfortunately, there was a rider on top at the time of the accident and the Jamaican suffered a minor fracture in her skull. She was transferred to the hospital immediately and was cleared of any danger. The rider was released the following day and is expected to make a full recovery within the next few weeks.

The rider was part of the Jamaican contingent that visits the club annually for a match with the professional players and it attracts a large section of the city.

Vineyard mourns the loss of Fortuna

Based on the medical examination, the Fortuna experienced an aortic aneurysm, an unpredictable and freak incident. The condition leaves the horse with a ruptured aorta and a subsequent collapse of the heart, resulting in fatal demise. With temperatures almost soaring to a 100 degrees on the day, the media wondered if it played a role in the death of the young horse and questioned King about it.

He said, “Even though there were high temperatures and humidity, there was still a good breeze and we reduced the playing times to keep the riders and animals safe.

The turnout for the game of polo was huge with it being a Sunday afternoon and a highly anticipated match. Keeping the conditions and well-being of the players and horses, conditions were revised for the day. They reduced chukker periods to 6 minutes from the original 7.5  minutes each to give more time for rest and recovery in between.

Animal safety and well being is of utmost importance at Roseland Polo Club and they take great pride in it as well, according to resident trainer Ali King. Each horse is treated like a family member and they also released a heartfelt note on the passing away of young Fortuna.

“Horses, to us, are not just participants but our closest companions and teammates. Safeguarding their well-being, along with the rider, is our priority,” the company wrote. “We have a dedicated, caring team that looks after our horses around the clock, and it is devastating to us that this event has occurred. Fortuna was a sweet, beloved member of our teaching program and will be greatly missed.” 

The game continued after a brief stop and moment of silence observed for the beloved animal.

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