Cotterel Polo Farms is using FormaHoof applications to provide extra comfort and protection to a number of horses on the farm. Working closely together with FCA David Andrade from Diamond C Farrier Service, a long-term partnership was found with the mission to give maximum comfort to the ponies.
Owned and managed by polo couple Jennifer “Jenny” Luttrell Benardoni and husband Francisco Benardoni, Cotterel Polo Farms is a year-round competitive tournament Polo organisation. A medium-goal season is run over the summer where players enjoy well-nourished, pristine pitches, thanks to the region’s ‘semi-arid’ climate.
After the summer season, the horses travel to compete in the competitive winter season in Indio, CA where the Cotterel team has had a long standing presence on the California circuit. The Cotterel team also operate their own breeding and training program and in recent years has developed an exciting collaboration with the Valiente Polo organization in Argentina, led by Adolfo Cambaiso and managed by Roberto Zedda.
In recent years, the Benardoni’s have further developed the Cotterel facilities into one of the most secluded polo ranch destinations in the USA, offering on site lodging for both human and horse. Three brand new polo fields, 160 stall stabling, exercise track and a breath-taking onsite, 25 room luxury lodge which has been expertly renovated from the original two story barn historically used for working draft horses in the 1920s, welcome teams and players alike for the summer months to train and compete, with the facilities and support to achieve their best polo season yet.
Jenny and Francisco are meticulous in the preparation for the sport. Nothing is left to chance and no stone is left unturned to ensure the best preparation of the horses on the farm and recently Jenny and Francisco have implemented a new solution to common hoof issues to improve horse performance from the ground up: FormaHoof.
We are all familiar with the unfortunate but sadly accurate phrase, ‘No foot, no horse’. Foot welfare is so important across all equine disciplines, including Polo.
To focus on this pivotal area we caught up with Formahoof and Cotterel Polo to see how problem feet might be treated. FormaHoof is a liquid-fit, reusable Mould system that offers a highly effective and easy to apply solution to every hoof care challenge, from laminitis and white line disease to thin soles, collapsed heels or developmental conformation and poor hoof performance issues.
Cotterel’s ranch manager, Francisco discovered FormaHoof when looking for a solution to the many hoof-related issues the farm faced on a weekly basis. Francisco comments, “We utilise mainly thoroughbred-type horses, many of which experience on-going hoof-related issues and we were constantly looking for something to try to keep them comfortable.
I found FormaHoof and I immediately reached out to find a farrier in our area who used the products. We met David from Diamond C Farrier Services, showed him some of the hoof issues we were dealing with and he was confident that our horses would thrive with FormaHoof. He was right. Horses that walked up lame, walked out sound almost immediately!”
“The first Cotterel ponies to receive the FormaHoof were mainly those that had serious, diagnosed hoof issues,” said owner/ player Jenny Luttrell Benardoni. “One of our homebreds, Panamera, suffered a laminitic event that left her with excessive damage in the right hoof when she was three-years-old.
We turned her out for a year and a half with no training or riding because she was not sound until we found FormaHoof. With the first application, she was sound and we were able to put her right back into work.
Within a period of 10 months we were able to finish breaking and training her to play polo. She is now in her first competitive polo season here in Indio.” Although Cotterel found success with more serious hoof issues, the advantages were also evident when using the product on more common hoof problems.
“It seems to us that by putting the horses at the correct hoof angles, plus the increased blood flow in the hoof leads to faster recovery times,” said Francisco. “We also put one of our homebreds, Moonshine, in FormaHoof to help heal a tendon issue. Within 12 weeks not only did we see an improvement in the tendon, but we noticed she developed bigger shoulder muscles than she had prior to her injury.”
The Cotterel team continued to see great results in their competitive tournaments in California last Winter and expect the same in their summer polo operation in southern Idaho.