Teenager fatally injured in polo match

  • The polo world is in mourning following the death of a teenager in a polo accident in the US.

    Donovan William Stratemann died on 16 February from injuries sustained in a polo match held that day at Santa Clara Polo Club in Florida.

    A statement from the United States Polo Association (USPA) said the 17-year-old was a “reflection of the best parts of each of his parents” and a “friend to all”.

    “Donovan was a quality kid, with an infectious smile and a quiet determination and perseverance,” said a USPA spokesman.

    “The USPA along with the entire polo community extend our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the Stratemann family and friends.

    “It is our hope that solace can be found in the endless outpouring of support from our beloved polo community during this difficult time.

    “Our ability to come together in times of grief is a tribute to the incredible sport we all cherish. Donovan will forever be in our hearts.”

    Donovan is the son of US Open Championship Orchard Hill polo team manager Chris Stratemann and his wife Sonia, and a brother to Alexandra and Maya.

    The Ylvisaker Cup final on Sunday (19 February) at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida, was held in his honour.

    Polo player Julio Arellano, a family friend who played on the winning Coca-Cola side in the Ylvisaker Cup final, was among those to pay tribute to the teenager.

    “Donovan wanted to live in Hawaii one day and everyone who met him, loved him,” he said.

    “Mature for his age, he spent months in Aiken, South Carolina, with his grandfather and namesake, Don Healy, learning the art of horse training.

    “Donovan was homeschooled in order to take care of his horses, play polo and spend time with his family.

    “He rose before 6am every day to care for his string and accompanied his twin sister Maya on daily night checks.

    “He loved animals and never complained when asked to help with chores.”

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