Behind the Scenes with Tim Beauregard – Part One
Tim Beauregard joined the renowned equine veterinary practice, Summerhill Equine Vets, set up by Buffy Shirley–Beavan, back in 2004. Based in Gloucestershire and with a team of four highly experienced performance horse vets, they offer an ambulatory equine service to many professional racing and sports horse yards in the area. Their focus is management of the equine athlete, dealing with preventative management and treatment of the variety of problems that performance horses experience. Tim has a young family and his early morning routine usually means bottle-feeding his baby son – if he hasn’t had a panic call out from a local National Hunt yard!
As part of a series of exclusive interviews with equestrian professionals, Tim Beauregard gives Dengie an insight into his work and how he got started.
How did you get started as veterinarian?
A love of animals and a lengthy vocational questionnaire! I grew up in rural New Zealand, surrounded by pets, milking goats and cows, and there was an expectation on the part of my parents that I would go to university.
What college did you attend?
Massey University, New Zealand. This started as an agricultural college but developed into one of the key tertiary institutions of that country and boasts its only vet school. I was one of 77 in my class, which is an incredibly small number of graduates considering that there were 5 million cattle, 60 million sheep and about 50,000 horses at the time.
What kind of experience did you have around horses before you became a veterinarian?
Casual riding with friends, which basically means riding around the wild countryside of New Zealand, doing yearling sales prep at Trelawney Stud in Cambridge (NZ), which is a prominent thoroughbred breeding establishment, and spending time with excellent equine vet mentors back home.
What is most challenging about what you do?
Keeping to a schedule – these days I avoid schedules. Instead I try to work around the clients’ days and use modern technology to liaise.
What is most rewarding about being a veterinarian?
Solving the problems and getting to know the great people in our industry.
How much time off do you get/take?
It should be 4 weeks but usually is less. Taking time off means having to work doubly hard before and after, so it’s actually less stressful just to keep working every day.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
That I wear a rubber glove all day long, and that I have great tips for the big races!
What is the most valuable thing being an equine veterinarian has taught you?
You can’t always control things that you face, animal or inanimate.