Thursday, 21 July 2016

Meet vet Nikki from Farr&Pursey Equine Veterinary Services

Rick and Nikki at their practice in Aldbury
Farr & Pursey Equine Veterinary Services have only been in business just over a year and already they are building an excellent reputation. Set up in February 2015 by Nikki Pursey and her colleague, Rick Farr, they are gaining a great client base thanks to their dedicated and personalised service. Here we find out more about Nikki and what her ambitions are for the practice.

"As a child I was completely pony mad and knew I wanted to be around them, but I also loved science and discovering how things work." Becoming a vet seemed the perfect way to combine Nikki's two passions in life. "I did my first work experience at 13 as I was not quite sure how I'd handle the more gory aspects of the job!" She loved it and from then on was totally focused on what she wanted to do. Her determination paid off when, in 2007, she  qualified from Cambridge University.

Having gained valuable experience working at other veterinary practices, Nikki, along with her veterinary colleague, Rick, decided to launch their own equine business, and Farr & Pursey was opened in February 2015. "We set up Farr &Pursey because we wanted to deliver a much more personal service tailored to our clients' need," explains Nikki. Knowing that many horse owners don't want to travel their horses to receive veterinary care, Farr &Pursey have invested in the most up-to-date diagnostic equipment so they can provide a mobile service without their customers having to travel anywhere. "Having more control over the diagnostic tests we can perform and which drugs/treatment protocols we can use is really important to us so we can give the best care we can to our patients and maximise the changes of a successful outcome."  Farr &Pursey is now 16 months old and Nikki cannot believe how far they have come in such a short time. "I would like to see us cementing ourselves as one of the leading practices in the area; providing top class veterinary care whilst maintaining a personal touch with our clients."

Despite the long hours and challenges of running a business, Nikki is as enthusiastic as ever about being a vet. "There are a few things that make this the best job in the world. No two days are the same and you never stop learning because there is always a new drug coming out or a new diagnostic test to get to grips with; it keeps you on your toes! I love the contact I have with my clients and getting to know them and their horses. Lots of people enter the profession without ever really considering that an animal is unlikely to walk through your door without an owner attached but I really enjoy that human interaction - especially when they provide tea and cake!"

Nikki and her beloved Satch
And, as a fellow horse owner, Nikki can apply her own experiences and empathise with clients when their horses are ill. "I started riding when I was 4 and had my first pony, Mouse, on loan at 10. Satch was the first pony I owned and we spent many a weekend at Pony Club camp and competitions. Over the years, Satch amassed a few ailments such as colic and Cushing's disease, which means I've been on the other side of the vet/client relationship. We sadly lost him last month so I also know what it is like to make that final agonising decision and just how important it is that we handle it sensitively as the vet."

So, what does the future look like for Farr & Pursey? "We already have some of the best diagnostic equipment in the area and I would like to see this expand further. We also hope to take on a couple of other vets in due course to make out-of-hours cover a little less draining for the two of us, but we don't want to become a big practice and lose the personal touch. In time we may build a clinic base, but I never want to lose our ability to bring the service to our clients' yards."  As a client of Farr & Pursey myself, I can highly recommend them as a veterinary practice - Nikki and Rick are personable and knowledgeable veterinary professionals who really do care about both the animals and their owners.

Next time: Nikki shares her experience of what ailments seem to be on the rise, and what owners can do ensure their horse receive the best veterinary care.

 Kathryn White is owner and director of Cathean Ltd Medical and Copy Writing Services. She is a published medical, copy and equestrian writer with a passion for creating compelling text in collaboration with her clients. Her customers include pharmaceutical, healthcare and equestrian businesses across the world.