Schoolkids React to Horse Deaths - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Schoolkids React to Horse Deaths

By Al Pefley email

Wellington, FL (WFLX)

The deaths of all those polo horses Sunday stunned adults and children alike,  including kids at an elementary school in Wellington not far from the scene of the weekend's tragedy.

In Sandra Hruska's 4th grade language arts class, most of the time they don't talk about horses. But right now, horses are a hot topic.

"Apparently what happened was right before they went out to the match, they just started dropping dead and they didn't know why," Ms. Hruska explained to all the children in her classroom.

These kids go to school at Panther Run Elementary, a school of about 800 youngsters, pre-K through 5th grade.

Their school is within a mile or two of the polo grounds where 21 polo ponies collapsed and died Sunday.

And it has this class buzzing.  She called on the students one by one to offer their thoughts.

"Cameron? Well I think they just got tired and they got unconscious somehow. Oh yeah? Yeah," said one of her students.

"I think that it got poisoned by someone or something," said another boy.

"When I heard about this I mean I just didn't want to believe it cause horses are a great animal," another student said.

Each year, the 4th graders from Panther Run Elementary go on a school field trip to watch a polo match in Wellington and some of the polo players have even visited their school to discuss the sport and the horses.

"I feel so, I feel so bad for these little horses that just died," said one girl in the classroom.

"When all the horses like died, like not all of them, I felt pretty sad. Because my mom likes horses and the first time I rode a horse I loved it," said another boy who raised his hand.

Ms. Hruska has photos of polo players on the bulletin board in her room, and there's an autographed polo ball on her desk.

She knows the kids have plenty of questions about an incident right in their own backyard, that's now making headlines all over the world.  Ms. Hruska says there was a lot of speculation and rumors at school about how the horses died,  that they were poisoned or intentionally hurt.

She hopes this incident will teach the children about the importance of having all the facts first before reaching any conclusions.

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