Security at this weekend’s Rolex Kentucky three-day event is to be stepped up following the sudden death of at least 21 polo ponies in Florida.

A spokesman for the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) told H&H this afternoon that organisers for the four-star event (23-26 April) are increasing security measures after the dramatic events at International Polo Club Palm Beach on Sunday.

Details of measures being put in place for the event have not yet been revealed.

The deaths of ponies from the Lechuza Caracas team is under investigation by both the United States Polo Association (USPA) and the Florida state veterinary authority. Autopsies are being performed on the horses and are expected by the end of this week.

The FEI recently signed an “accord” with the International Polo Federation (FIP), paving the way for polo to work more closely with other horse sports.

A spokesman said the FEI is not getting directly involved with the investigations, but is monitoring the situation in Florida “very closely”.

We are taking it very seriously, and speaking to the FIP on a continual basis,” she said. “We are waiting for the results of the investigation before we can express any opinion of any kind — there is no indication at all at this stage of what may have happened.”

For more information on the Rolex Kentucky three-day event, visit www.rk3de.org