Shaila’s Weblog

Vitamin Killed 21 horses: Polo Captain

Posted on: April 27, 2009

The 21 polo ponies that died Sunday in Wellington were all injected before the game with a government-banned vitamin supplement called Biodyl — and team members believe a tainted dose caused their deaths, the team’s captain said.

horse
Juan Martin Nero, captain of the Lechuza Caracas polo team, told La Nacion newspaper of Buenos Aires that all of the horses had received Biodyl injections before the game.

”We don’t have any doubts about the origin of the problem,” Nero said. “There were five horses that weren’t given the vitamin, and they are the only ones that are fine.”

Biodyl, a French-made supplement, is banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and its sale or use in the United States is illegal, an FDA spokeswoman said.

Biodyl contains vitamin B-12, selenium, potassium asparate and magnesium asparate. Last year, a shipment imported into the United States was rejected by FDA officials because it was deemed ”a new animal drug which is unsafe,” FDA records show.

polohorse

As the investigation into the horses’ deaths continues, speculation is surrounding the team’s Argentine veterinarian.

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Felix Crespo, a former competitive polo player, was in charge of the horses’ health, and he would have been the one to oversee their diet and any supplements or injections they may have received, people familiar with the team say.

A call to Crespo’s cellphone in Argentina was answered by his daughter, who said he was still in Palm Beach County.

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