RTC to build Equine Hospital
Dr Hasneyn Mirza, a leading veterinarian from India has been in Sri Lanka for the last two days advising the Royal Turf Club on the construction of a veterinary hospital on Nurwara Eliya racecourse. Also present was Professor Neville de Silva from the Equine Faculty at the Kandy University who had officiated at all the race days conducted by assisting and supervising the sampling of racehorses. Several sites were considered for the Equine Hospital with the final decision being the current saddling area. Dr Mirza has his own equine hospital and has advised on the design of several others in India.
The hospital will consist of an operating theatre, recovery room, x-ray, endyoscoping, and treatment rooms. Dr Mirza is advising of which state of the art equipment to purchase to ensure that the welfare of the horses is met to an international standard.
Once completed the Royal Turf Club intends to have a full time equine veterinarian on course as well as a trained veterinary nurse who will then be able to educate a number of Sri Lankans in Equine care and managing the needs of sick and injured horses. Further there are local small businesses giving pony rides at the front entrance to the course, the hospital will be a tremendous asset in helping their owners whenever required.
Plans are also underway for an equine swimming pool which will assist any horse to maintain their fitness without being galloped and this is an excellent way to very the training pattern of a horse.
Dr Mirza stated “I was last here in 2002 and the transformation to the stands and the surrounds is most impressive. The racing surface that I saw is in great shape. It is clear the the Royal Turf Club has the welfare of the horse in mind as they are stepping up the veterinary aspect and constructing an equine hospital.”
Dr Mirza, along with Mr. T Raman, the Chief Stipendiary Steward of Mysore Race Club, advised the club on an inside sand track which has already been surveyed. An inside sand track will give the trainers the option of exercising their horses prior to when they are ready for a fast gallop on the grass track. With the influx of more racehorse to compete in the next season this will save the main track for the additional race meetings which commence on August 6th and will continue mainly every second week until early May 2017
Dr. Hasneyn Mirza’s family's connection with horses goes back for at least 6 generations. His great- great- grandfather Ali Asker I, came to India in 1824, from Shiraz bringing a consignment of 200 horses to sell. Racing became a natural extension of his business. Hasneyn’s Grandfather, Ali Asker II trained horses and even took his string to race in Colombo. So Sri Lanka is a reunion of sorts for Dr. Hasneyn Mirza.
As a Horseman, he has ridden close to 30 winners as an Amateur over flat races (Gymkhana Races as they were called) in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai and he was Champion Amateur Rider twice in Bangalore. Polo has always been his first love and with a Scratch Handicap he is an accomplished player. This coupled with his passion for Eventing and Dressage at a National level, made him a Horseman to the core and it therefore, came as no surprise whatsoever when he became a Vet. A decision that he felt was made when he was barely 12 years old. He graduated from the Mysore Veterinary College in 1982 and since then he has matured into one of the most experience and respected Race Horse Vets in India.
He has been called out for professional services to almost every Stud Farm in India whenever needed and although based in Bangalore he has worked for almost all the leading racehorse trainers in India. He has been a Veterinary Consultant to the Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC since 2005 and helped put in place their new Veterinary Hospital. He has also served as a Consultant with the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC). He has served as a member of the Managing Committee of the Bangalore Turf Club, in 2007/08 and as a Steward of the Indian Polo Association.
The family’s connection with horses is not limited to Dr. Mirza alone. His brother Zeyn has been in charge of Mr. Vijay Mallya's racing and breeding interests since 2004.Today it is one of the most professional Racing and Breeding establishments in India.