YOU don’t meet people like Dr Rachel Atherton every day, unless you’re a horse, that is.
She’s lives at Idsworth and she’s an equine vet – a horse doctor to you and me.
She’s a highly-qualified expert with a string of letters behind her name to prove it.
Rachel has always loved horses and has ridden since being a girl.
Always determined to be a vet, she studied hard at Guildford High School, Merrist Wood Agricultural College in Worplesdon and gained a veterinary degree in Bristol.
She also has a masters’ in biomedical sciences.
Widely travelled, she spent four months in Thailand on conservation work for wild animals like gibbons and elephants.
Later, she gained experience treating and working with horses in Virginia, USA, where riding horses is extremely popular.
Whole families go to dude ranches for trail riding.
Pony trekking, hacking, dressage and show jumping and are as big in the Eastern states as they are way out West.
Trotting and horse racing are major businesses in neighbouring Maryland.
Rachel also rode in cattle round-ups in Canada.
At the Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Centre in Virginia, Rachel provided cutting edge 24/7 medical care to foals and horses with state of the art equipment and facilities including CT and MRI scanners.
All of this gathered know-how is put into practice at Lingfield Equine Vets.
As director, Rachel leads the team at Chester Lodge on the A22 near the border of Surrey and Sussex.
Horses get the best possible care because the practice is fully-equipped with modern veterinary facilities.
Vets carry out a wide range of diagnostic and surgical procedures supported by caring nurses and office staff.
Rachel knows the horse population in the south of England where huge numbers live within the circle of the M25.
Riding schools and pony clubs are scattered throughout the greater London area.
Rachel gets called out to treat animals in odd places like Clapham Junction railway station and suburbs like Bromley and Dartford.
Horses loose on roads or the M25 can be a great danger to traffic so Rachel is called out to capture or tranquillise them.
She’s also the senior vet at Lingfield races.
It’s all in her day’s work. At leisure, Rachel keeps fit at the gym.
She’s a busy mum with a wife and two children at home.
There’s nothing humdrum about Rachel.