By: Shane Anderson
Dr Brian Stewart, a key player in the battle against the prohibited use of cobalt in Australian racing, has resigned from Racing Victoria (RV) to take up a similar role with the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC).
As RV Head of Equine Welfare and Veterinary Services, Stewart was instrumental in raising awareness of the use of cobalt in thoroughbred racing, which led to the introduction by racing authorities of a nationwide threshold of the naturally occurring substance.
That threshold was originally 200 micrograms per litre of urine, before being lowered by Racing Australia to 100 micrograms per litre of urine on July 8 this year.
Stewart has also led many equine welfare initiatives employed by RV.
He will take on the role as HKJC’s Head of Veterinary Regulation and Biosecurity, with his responsibilities including the management of movement of horses between Hong Kong and the HKJC’s Conghua Training Centre in China.
Bernard Saundry, outgoing RV Chief Executive, praised Stewart’s role with the industry regulator.
“We are disappointed to lose someone of Brian’s international experience and standing, however, we understand it is a great opportunity for him to play an important role for the Hong Kong Jockey Club in the expansion of thoroughbred training into China,” Saundry said.
“I wish to thank Brian for his commitment to furthering the welfare of the thoroughbred, strengthening drug controls and improving veterinary regulation which has been truly valued by the organisation.”
Stewart, who will finish his five-year stint with RV at the end of Melbourne Cup week on November 5, appreciated the support that he received in his role.
“I am grateful for my time at Racing Victoria and want to thank all of my colleagues and the network of veterinary surgeons who service racing across the state for their great support and commitment to making Victorian thoroughbred racing the best it can be,” Stewart said.