An Attempt To Avoid a Polo Match

 Horse Revolution representative of Switzerland Natascha Smargiassi write the story of her attempt to cancel a polo match event in her country.

The sad fact is that in our region, in Ascona, a rich people and VIP touristic place, there will be a polo tournament in July. Very rich lobbies have organized it and are even gathering sponsorship for it. They want to make out of that a very exclusive VIP event to attract rich people and enhance the direction of tourism showing Ascona as a very exclusive place to come.

Since two months I stress the Veterinario Cantonale (Highest Authority of the Department for the Animal Welfare of Canton Ticino, the southern Switzerland Italian speaking Region) sending him a file in which on one side we could clearly see with pictures and newspaper articles and scientific studies,to demonstrate that the riders are in danger too. The answer I got from the Veterinario Cantonale is that as some polo tournaments have already taken place in Switzerland  in the past, he cannot simply avoid it and he has to study how to make the right controls.

I think that he was having the pressure at a highest level as the money is the King and comes above all.

So I asked him to tell which will be the control and who is going to make them. I have to met him again this month to discuss how to go further. He wants to stress about the anti doping controls and maybe so he can show a beginning and demonstrate the harm of polo. Before no controls at all have been done.

The result of my action is not as conclusive as I hoped, but at least I have done something. I decided to go there and make sure the right controls are going to be done. I’ve asked that some authority is being there, with me to see the whole tournament and I’ll photograph the event in order after to demonstrate how painful it is for the horses.


We have to balance the diplomacy and the temper with which we are going into the Horse Revolution if we want to have results. We have to act, continuously, seriously and be happy with little results at the time, but never loose the inner contact with the final goal, The Abolition of Equestrian Sport.