Royal Turf Club to set up new equine hospital in Nuwara Eliya

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 00:03 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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 an Equine veterinary hospital on the Nuwara 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 the RTC, 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.

DFT-27-03Deepthika Jayakody donating her prize money of the season of  Rs 3 million to the new Equine Hospital. In the photo are Dr Hasneyn Mirza, Consultant for the hospital and CEO and Chief Stipendery steward of RTC Wayne Wood

The hospital will consist of an operating theatre, recovery room, x-ray, endyoscoping, and treatment rooms. Dr Mirza is advising the RTC regarding which state of the art equipment they should purchase to ensure that the welfare of the horses is met to those of international standards.

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 manage the needs of sick and injured horses. Further, as 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.


Dr Mirza, Wayne Wood and Professor Neville De Silva from the Peradeniya University 

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 vary 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 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 T Raman, the Chief Stipendiary Steward of the 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 racehorses to compete in the next season this will save the main track for the additional race meetings which commence on 6 August 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  Dr Mirza will be a frequent visitor to Sri Lanka as he will be supervising the setting up of the new Equine Hospital.

DFT-27-01Deepthika Jayakody and Dr Mirza with Deepthika’s horse Roswald - the horse that won the Governor’s Cup