A Goulburn Valley veterinary practice that delivers life-saving surgery to some of the country’s top thoroughbreds has been sold to the University of Melbourne.
The GV Equine Hospital was established 28 years ago with just two vets and a nurse.
Today, the Congupna business employs 14 veterinarians and about 50 full-time, part-time and casual staff.
The hospital’s founders, Angus McKinnon and Jim Vasey, have been contracted to stay on and manage the business, but are also looking forward to a little less pressure and having some time to devote to other things.
Staff members on call 24-7 and holidays and weekends don’t ease the demand for help.
Their clients range from children’s ponies to the nation’s top thoroughbreds.
‘‘It’s been demanding, but rewarding,’’ Dr Vasey said of the experience.
Asked about the successful partnership, Dr Vasey remarked, tongue in cheek: ‘‘We’re not divorced yet!’ — saying they had managed to ‘‘put up with each other’’ over the years.
Dr Vasey said there were a number of other successful facilities operated by universities.
The University of Melbourne already owns and operates an equine centre in Werribee, and said the Goulburn Valley facility would be used to enhance the clinical experience in equine medicine, surgery and reproduction for students completing the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.
University of Melbourne veterinary students will gain experience in all aspects of equine practice by undertaking rotations with specialists and veterinarians at Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital.
This will be in addition to the students training with the specialists at the University of Melbourne Equine Centre in Werribee, which will retain its focus on equine medicine and surgery, performance and lameness management, sports medicine, rehabilitation and emergency and critical care, with access to advanced diagnostic imaging.
University deputy chancellor Ross McPherson said the investment reflected the university’s commitment to strengthening its relationships in the Goulburn Valley, a region of importance for university engagement.
‘‘Our association with the Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital builds on our presence in the region which includes the Dookie agriculture campus, the Rural Health Centre and Academy of Sport, Health and Education, and it will increase our student population within the community,’’ Mr McPherson said.
Dr Vasey said the partnership was approached by the university about two years ago.