Gillam begins job as second MJC veterinarian

The Stronach Group (1/ST RACING) has hired a second veterinarian who will be based at the Maryland Jockey Club racetracks.

Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Gillam, who has served as Associate Commission Veterinarian for the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission at Delaware Park, will begin her new job as MJC Association Veterinarian Nov. 10. She will work alongside Dr. Heidi Thomas, who was hired as MJC Senior Veterinarian in August 2020.

Gillam, who at Delaware Park was one of two vets who supported DTRC Chief Veterinarian Dr. Susan Botts, will primarily be observing horses in training and during live racing, and having follow-up discussions with horsemen as needed. She will also assist in doing spot-check examinations on horses.

“We are there (during training hours), and if we see something that concerns us during training, we go to the barn and check on the horse,” Gillam said. “The same thing happens during racing. We’re also trying to keep a resource of any exams on a regular basis. When it’s entered in the InCompass system, the (regulatory) vets can see those exams.”

Gillam served an internship at the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine before entering private practice. She primarily worked with broodmares on various farms and also with steeplechase horses and fox hunters. At the racetrack, Gillam administered race-day Lasix, first as a private practitioner in Delaware and Maryland, and then as a third-party vet when the Lasix regulations were changed.

About five years ago she began subbing for regulatory vets during training and racing at Delaware Park, and her responsibilities increased over time.

“I really did like it,” Gillam said. “I really think the job suits me. It all kind of fell into place.”

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