The Death of Prince Harry’s Polo Pony Is Not an Isolated Incident

Posted by on May 12, 2010 | Permalink

The death of Drizzle, a pony Prince William and Prince Harry used for polo, has been in the news recently. According to media reports, Prince Harry was taking part in the second half of a charity match when he realised that Drizzle was struggling. Within minutes of being retired from the match, Drizzle suffered a heart attack and died.

The media are reporting Drizzle’s death as little more than an unfortunate incident. A guest at the match told The Mail on Sunday that “[i]t was very lucky that Harry rode her off because we were spared the gruesome spectacle of watching the pony die”.

Whilst the cruelty involved in horse racing is attracting more and more criticism, little attention has been paid to the plight of ponies used for polo, but the death of Drizzle is by no means an isolated incident.

Polo is very gruelling for the ponies – who are forced to constantly stop and start and make sharp turns. Ankle injuries are common. The whip is used extensively. Sudden deaths – either during a match or shortly after a match – are not uncommon.

Yet again this shows that whenever animals are exploited for “sport“, their welfare comes in a distant third behind winning and making money.