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    Name: Polo

    Type: Westphalian Horse

    Color: Bay

      Markings: Star, 4 socks

    Sex: Gelding

    Birthday: 1/1/1997


Polo is that horse that dreams are made of. Despite his name, he was trained for the sport of dressage, not polo, and he did his job! In California, Polo was the sports partner of a devoted owner. Due to an illness that left her disabled and unable to ride or care for Polo, she leased him to a dressage rider who needed a new partner. His new rider loved him devotedly, but – as happens to all of us – Polo was getting older and was no longer up to the rigorous demands of dressage, an equine discipline that demands a high level of physical fitness from its equine participants. 

However, Polo had a legion of fans; former owners who heard of his plight and were determined that after his years of service, Polo would have the retirement he deserved! Polo is one of the lucky ones – the people who owned him from first to last stepped up and made sure that he didn’t end up shuffled from home to home. Horses like Polo who are at the end of their careers with the resulting arthritis and age-related issues, can and do end up in less-than-ideal situations and are sold off from place to place. Polo, who had done his job well for his owners throughout his life, didn’t suffer this fate, but he still needed a place to go. His owner, now completely disabled, was very worried about him. That’s where Red Bell Run stepped in. A woman who had owned Polo in his youth contacted Red Bell Run, explained the predicament of Polo’s owner and asked if it would be possible for Polo to be brought from California to North Carolina.

Polo did his job – now it was time for us to do ours. Polo’s fan club donated the funds needed for him to be flown from California to Kentucky and then vanned to Red Bell Run. Polo, it turned out, had a few quirks which made the choice of Red Bell Run his best option since we specialize in special needs equines. He had EOTRH, a dental disease where teeth are reabsorbed into the bone. In his pictures you’ll see his tongue hangs out of his mouth. He’s not being rude – since the disease is sometimes painful, his front teeth were removed to make him comfortable. EOTRH (Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis) is more common than you might think which is why it’s so important for equines to have dental exams each year. Amazingly, Polo had no trouble grazing, eating his hay or his special mashes.

However, it turned out that our Polo also suffered from some neurotic behaviors which became evident shortly after he arrived. Puzzled, because there seemed to be no reason for this, our vet consulted a veterinary behavioral specialist at Cornell, who diagnosed him and prescribed a medication to help. As long as his schedule remains stable, Polo is a very happy camper, lazing his days away in his private paddock, stall and dry lot being cosseted by our staff. He is quite the character too! The video of Polo below was viewed over 100,000 times on TikTok. Polo, with all of his quirks, his adorable face with that tongue permanently on view, will always be a Star at Red Bell Run! 


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