EQUUS - - Eq Medicalfro­nt -

Polo ponies are no more likely to be in­jured than horses in the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion, ac­cord­ing to a new Bri­tish study.

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Liver­pool in­ter­viewed 81 playerown­ers of 815 polo ponies to col­lect data on pre­sea­son train­ing prac­tices, per­ceived risks for in­di­vid­ual horses, and in­juries—de­fined as in­ci­dents re­quir­ing vet­eri­nary treat­ment. They found an in­jury rate of 11 per­cent among the ponies, with ten­don in­juries be­ing the most common, fol­lowed by wounds and splints. The only fac­tor that seemed to in­crease a horse’s like­li­hood of in­jury was be­ing sta­bled all sea­son long.

The player-own­ers re­ported tak­ing sev­eral mea­sures to pre­vent in­juries, in­clud­ing ban­dag­ing, check­ing ten­dons, cold hos­ing and ap­ply­ing poul­tices and other coolants to the legs. Not­ing that the in­jury rate among polo ponies was sim­i­lar to that of horses in other sports and oc­cu­pa­tions, the re­searchers call for fur­ther study on the ef­fi­cacy of var­i­ous in­jurypre­ven­tion mea­sures.

Ref­er­ence: “Polo pony in­juries: Player-owner re­ported risk, per­cep­tion, mit­i­ga­tion and risk fac­tors,” Equine Vet­eri­nary Jour­nal, May 2014

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