Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Looking to take the reins on Thoroughbred Racehorse Health and Welfare in Hong Kong

As you may have read in our last blog, staff from the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institue were in Hong Kong last week. Whilst they were there, Thoroughbred racehorse health and welfare education and research opportunities were discussed during a visit with the Hong Kong Jockey Club veterinary clinical services team.


A Racehorse and Jockey at Happy Valley Racetrack
Professor Bruce McGorum, head of the RDSVS equine section at the University of Edinburgh, and Professor Nat Waran, Director of the JMICAWE, were very pleased to have the opportunity to meet with Dr Chris Riggs, head of the veterinary clinical services department of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and his team during a recent visit to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong team of extremely experienced equine vets regularly provide placements for extremely fortunate RDSVS students wishing to learn more about the veterinary management of racing thoroughbreds in Hong Kong.

Prof Bruce McGorum and Dr Chris Riggs outside of the veterinary clinical services department
As well as being given a tour of the impressively equipped veterinary laboratories and equine facilities at the Sha Tin racecourse where over 1,200 Thoroughbred horses are cared for by the team, opportunities for further applied clinical research collaborations in shared areas of interest to enhance equine health and welfare were discussed. The visit ended with a behind the scenes visit to the Happy Valley racetrack where observations of the veterinary team in action, the strict health and welfare checks taking place, as well as seeing the horses race provided an interesting insight into the life of the Hong Kong racehorse, as well as the important role played by the Hong Kong Jockey Club veterinary team.

Behind the scenes at Happy Valley Racetrack

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