Last week Frank Stronach, chairman and founder of The Stronach Group, proposed introducing an on-track pharmacy as part of a 10-point plan to control racehorse medication use and abuse at his six racetracks—Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields in California, Gulfstream Park in Florida, Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park in Maryland, and Portland Meadows in Oregon. If implemented, racetrack veterinarians would be prohibited from bringing medications onto those racetrack properties and would be required to obtain any medication needed to treat their clients' horses through the on-track pharmacy. Detailed records about what the horses are receiving would be kept and subject to periodic review.
Tracking medication use in this matter is routine at The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC). The Blood-Horse editorial director Eric Mitchell contacted the HKJC recently about how the on-track pharmacy system works and got answers from Christopher M. Riggs, VSc, PhD, DEO, Dipl. ECVS, MRCVS, HKJC's head of veterinary clinical services.
BloodHorse.com: Does The Hong Kong Jockey Club operate a pharmacy at each racetrack?
Christopher Riggs, VSc, PhD, DEO, Dipl. ECVS, MRCVS: "The HKJC ensures provision of veterinary care to all horses in Hong Kong through the Department of Veterinary Clinical Services (DVCS). Vets within the DVCS, who are all employees of the HKJC, provide sole care for all horses in Hong Kong. The DVCS operates from an equine hospital at the Sha Tin racing comp