Last Sunday, in the Argentine Open match where Las Monjitas beat Ellerstina, Santi Toccalino played a mare, Vasca Intratable, that was fitted with an eye protector. This was due to a clash between brothers Ignacio and Santiago Toccalino in the previous Las Monjitas vs La Albertina Abu Dhabi match, which injured the mare’s eye.
“Cubi and I clashed and the mare’s eye was a bit swollen after the game,” shares Santi Toccalino. “We were worried about the consequences of another potential bump. Ruso came up with the idea of getting eye protectors, and Benjamín Amaya gave me this one. They actually work pretty well, and the mare went very well for me, so it was a success. She is a great mare and with the protectors she was on point.”
Eduardo Heguy, who is coaching Las Monjitas and owns Vasca Intratable, says: “I saw Vasca Intratable the day after the bang and her eye was closed and swollen, especially above the eye, and I remembered images I had seen of umpire ponies and some playing horses, but I couldn’t remember where I had seen them. I spoke to Santi Toccalino, and with the people in the Las Monjitas organisation, and they remembered. That’s when we got in touch with the company that makes the protectors [Foxpro Line], and I thought it was a good idea to try them out. We gave them a go out riding and we tried different models. I think the model we used for the match was the best for the day. Most players wear goggles, and I don’t see why we should not protect our horses, too. Maybe this will now lead more people to protect their horses’ eyes.”
“From the first day I rode her to see whether she would react to the protectors, I could tell that they didn’t bother her at all,” he concludes. “She played a practice, then the match, and it never seemed to be a problem.”
Foxpro, the company that manufactures these eye protectors, states: “We invented and developed the first and only equine eye protector, designed by specialised engineers and built using top quality materials. They combine elegance, innovation, and durability to protect a horse’s vision.”
Foxpro has four models of eye protectors:
1. Sports: Designed to protect the horse from any external element that might affect its vision.
2. Transport: To prevent injury when a horse is travelling from one place to another.
3. Veterinary: To facilitate post operative procedures.
4. UV Protection: Perfect for horses that suffer from photosensitivity, they absorb 100% of ultraviolet rays, CE Standard. Also ideal for activities in the snow.
“There is no doubt that polo is a high risk sport, both for the player and for the horse,” continue Foxpro. “In today’s game, the player rides onto the field with the best protection possible, and it is vital that the horse be protected, too. Their eyes are constantly exposed to risk, since the horse is unable to avoid potential injury during a match. The consequences, which are avoidable, can be tragic, leaving the animal permanently damaged and unable to perform. That is why it is essential that players start to provide eye protection for their horses.”
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