THORNLAND’S David Lovell is marking his 20th year as the RNA Equine Vet at the Queensland Royal Show.
The family tradition of attending the event to compete, show horses and lend a hand while he works near the ring has continued with this year being no exception.
When the previous vet retired, Mr Lovell was approached by RNA knowing of his expertise with his Redlands Veterinary Clinic and work with vet hospitals and Albion and Beaudesert race tracks.
Mr Lovell said his first taste of the show was when he worked with cattle before he met his wife who competed there as a child.
“I used to come here as a groom with the cattle back when I was at university about 50 years,” he said.
“I loved the show and I still do.”
Mr Lovell said his duties involved vet management from tending to sick and injured horses to biosecurity.
“I’m here to work with the stewards – we swabble horses to test for drugs and make sure the general policy and biosecurity is under control,” he said.
“The biggest responsibility is if there happens to be a disaster or horse injury in the main ring, particularly at night when there’s thousands of people packed in the ring.
“If a horse happens to come down or be injured we have to deal with that efficiently and quickly to avoid the spectacle of upsetting the crowd and making sure the health of the horse is taken care of.”
Daughter Kat Lovell said she and her sister Abbey could remember the time their father began helping at the show while they competed as young girls.
“It was so exciting to hear his stories when we were little,” she said.
“Now to think 20 years later we still go in as a family only because of the job that dad’s done.
“He’s done such a good job for so many years that has kept him in that position and it’s good to know that he will leave a legacy behind at the show.”
Mr Lovell said he would continue the role he had enjoyed until he reaches his next milestone.
“I enjoy every minute of it with the family,” he said.
“The Ekka is the most incredible place here for two weeks with a continual stream of people and you meet up with people you haven’t seen for a long time.
“I would like to hopefully keep going for another two years to mark 50 years been in vet practice, which is the milestone I’m hoping to achieve.”