Official Veterinarians of the World Polo Championship

After five years working with the Sydney Polo Club, the University of Sydney’s Camden Equine Centre was the obvious choice to become the Official Veterinarians for the World Polo Championship being held this year from 21-29 October in Sydney.

The Camden Equine Centre team performing pregnancy checks on a herd of Sydney Polo Club broodmares

The Camden Equine Centre team performing pregnancy checks on a herd of Sydney Polo Club broodmares

The relationship between the Sydney Polo Club, who successfully won the bid to host the event in late 2015, and Camden Equine Centre started back in 2012 when the Club required the expertise of Equine Specialist Surgeon, Dr Marta Wereszka.

After conducting a number of successful surgeries on the Club’s horses, Marta and the Camden team became the regular veterinarians for the Club’s stable of approximately 80 polo horses, mares and foals.

The Sydney Polo Club did not hesitate in contacting Marta with the request to become the Official Veterinarians for this prestigious event, which has only been held in Australia once before back in 2001 in Werribee Victoria.

Marta and Juan, pictured here with their young daughter Valetina

Marta and Juan, pictured with their young daughter Valentina at the Palermo open in Argentina, are avid polo fans. Juan is from Argentina and grew up riding horses and playing stick and ball for fun.

Marta together with her husband, Dr Juan Manuel Podadera a specialist radiologist at the University of Sydney, will lead a team of veterinarians and 45 final (fifth) year University of Sydney student vet assistants. The team will be responsible for the health and welfare of the 280 participating horses, all of which are Australian polo horses lent for use by their respective owners.

The team will be undertaking pre-match health assessments to ensure that all animals are fit to compete, and will utilise fully equipped ambulatory vehicles to treat any routine issues or injuries that may occur. A veterinary clinic will also be set up on site to facilitate monitoring and treatment.

The event also offers the final year students a fantastic learning opportunity. All students will be under the direct supervision of highly qualified vets, and will assist with basic duties such as daily health checks, hosing down post-match and applying bandages, when required.

Marta, who has a long held interest in polo, even trying the sport non-competitively at the Windsor Polo Club, said she has a special love for polo horses. She describes them as having an ideal temperament.

Riders and their polo ponies at a game between Ellerstina and La las Monjitas at Palermo Open in Argentina. The annual Palermo Open is one of the oldest and most important international championships at club level boasting the world’s highest goal players.

“Polo horses are generally very laid back and calm, and wonderful to work with. But don’t let that fool you. Once on the field they are all ‘business’, knowing exactly what their job is. They keep their eye and direction on the ball, whilst simultaneously galloping across the field after it”, said Marta.

“Polo is a really great sport. In Australia it is a fun and welcoming sport that doesn’t have the exclusivity it might have in other countries.

“It’s an especially great learning experience for kids, being a team sport and one that requires hand eye coordination, and the development of communications skills both with your animal and team mates. You don’t even have to own a polo horse to get involved. There are horses available to rent.”

The XI FIP World Polo Championship 2017 will be held at the Sydney Polo Club, 100 Ridges Lane, Richmond in the Hawkesbury District, only an hours drive from Camden.

This is a great family event with entry for children 15 years and under free. There will be a range of other activities happening in conjunction with the polo matches including live music, petting zoo, jumping castle, face painting, pony rides and market stalls. Visit to learn more.