Q & A with Dr Percy Sykes
1st November 2005
Gratefully acknowledge Mandy Logan & Dr Michael Robinson
Featured Image: Racing vet Dr Percy Sykes examines Golden Slipper hopeful Nassau at Rosehill in 1980. CREDIT: JOHN O’GREADY
Q & A WITH DR PERCY SYKES
Courtesy of Racetrack Magazine and Dr Michael Robinson of Randwick Equine Centre
Few people have had as far-reaching influence on horse racing in this country as Dr Percy Sykes. The 85-year-old veterinarian began practice in Sydney in 1951, establishing P.E. Sykes & Partners (now the Randwick Equine Centre) out of his house near Canterbury Racetrack. Over the past fifty years Sykes has been associated with most of the leading trainers and champion racehorses. His career-spanning association with trainers such as the late T.J. Smith, and his daughter Gai Waterhouse, and Bart Cummings is legendary.
Dr Sykes has been responsible for many of the major advancements in equine veterinary racetrack practice of the modern era; including the feeding of “high octane” feed rations, the introduction of feed supplements, blood counts, standing castrations and even the use of penicillin in the horse.
Dr Sykes was the founder, and is still the principal technical advisor, of Ranvet, the first company to manufacture nutraceuticals and other medications specifically for the performance horse. He maintains his consultancy to the Randwick Equine Centre and is still to be seen at the Centre on most days. In addition, he is associated with the highly successful Arrowfield Stud. Sykes was awarded an Order of Australia in 2003 for his contribution to racing.