Officials Call Off Delhi Polo Season Due to EIA

The Delhi, India, polo season has been cancelled after two ponies were diagnosed as carrying equine infectious anemia (EIA), according to a Feb. 7 report from New Delhi Television Ltd. (

The NDTV story reads, "To prevent the disease from spreading, the infected area has to be quarantined for 90 days and the infected horses have to be put down."

Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease that attacks the horse's immune system and is most commonly detected with the Coggins test. The virus is transmitted by the exchange of body fluids from an infected to a non-infected animal, often by blood-feeding insects such as horseflies. Once an animal is infected with EIA, it is infected for life and can be a reservoir for the spread of disease. Obvious clinical signs of the disease include progressive loss of condition along with muscle weakness and poor stamina. An affected horse also could show fever, depression, and anemia.

A ProMED moderator commentary on the NDTV report says that according to the Office Internationale Epizooties, India's last detection of EIA was in 1996. 

"Until recently, EIA belonged to OIE's list B diseases and had to be included in member-countries' annual reports," said the commentator. "Following the recent amalgamation of lists A and B, it will have to be reported at least twice a year."

Three polo tournaments were scheduled for February, "But despite the disappointment of missing the Delhi season, players are thrilled that three tournaments will be held at Jaipur as compensation," noted the story. Since the Rambagh Polo grounds in Jaipur was pounded by 25 matches in January, significant management is underway to get the ground in shape for the extra tournaments.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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