Senior Still In Critical Condition

Ariel E.F. Shaker ’10 was injured during polo accident in Ipswich, Mass. Thursday

Cabot House senior Ariel E.F. Shaker ’10 remains in critical condition, according to Boston Medical Center’s communications office, after she was injured last Thursday when she was thrown from a horse that then fell on her.

Shaker was injured while she and another student were practicing at Pony Express in Ipswich, Mass., according to The Salem News. Police told the newspaper that Shaker was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Shaker was taken by helicopter to Boston Medical Center with extensive internal bleeding in her head, according to an e-mail sent to Harvard Polo Club members by coach Crocker Snow Jr. ’61 early Friday morning.

Cabot House Master Jay M. Harris informed Shaker’s Housemates of her injury in an e-mail sent to Cabot House residents late Thursday night.Most of the Harvard Polo Club was practicing at the Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton, Mass. at the time of the accident, though two other team members were with Shaker at Pony Express, Snow told The Salem News.

Massachusetts General Hospital doctor Leslie W. Milne, a specialist in emergency and sports medicine, organized the emergency response to Shaker’s injury. Along with Milne, patrolman Joe Perna, Action Ambulance personnel Warren Mayhew and Marc Haigh, and Ipswich firefighter Jeff Stone performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Shaker before she was taken to Boston Medical Center by emergency helicopter.


“She’s a good rider. She’s an experienced rider,” Snow told The Salem News. “Obviously, something highly unusual happened.”

Snow declined to speak with The Crimson about the accident.

A group of Shaker’s family, friends, roommates, and teammates have been with Shaker at the hospital since her accident.

“Her friends have been amazingly strong—spending a lot of time at the hospital, supporting one another, and supporting Ariel’s family,” wrote Cabot House Resident Dean Jill Constantino in an e-mailed statement.

Women’s Polo Club captain Alexandra “Za” C. Tilt ’10 said that, in keeping with the wishes of Ariel’s mother, the men’s team went through with today’s planned game against Yale, which Harvard won 13-11.

A Visual and Environmental Studies concentrator with a secondary field in English from Palo Alto, Calif., Shaker only recently joined the Polo Club, though she has long been a fan of riding horses.

Shaker also serves as the Resource Efficiency Program representative for Cabot House.

Prior to joining the Polo Club, Shaker was a member of the women’s Heavyweight Crew team.

Tilt wrote in an e-mail that the Harvard administration has been “amazingly supportive of Ariel, her family, her friends, and the members of the polo team throughout this tough situation, which has been greatly appreciated by all.”

“The thoughts of our community are with the student, as well as her friends and family,” wrote FAS spokesman Jeff A. Neal in an e-mailed statement.

—Staff writer Lauren D. Kiel can be reached at