Hannah’s love affair with equine
BY ALEX TIGANI
Hannah Hopkins admits she has had a satisfying career so far.
On the eve of last Saturday’s Kosciusko, the world’s richest race for country-trained horses, our readers were taken to the inner sanctum of local trainers Brett Cavanough (Scone Race Club) and Todd Howlett (Muswellbrook Race Club).
There we reflected on the background of our local hopes ‘Two Big Fari’, ‘Fender’ and ‘Its Me’ (eventual winner) and their journeys from the stables of the Upper Hunter to the barriers of Randwick.
Nevertheless, throughout these huge occasions we tend to forget about an integral group of people in the industry.
They are the veterinarians who have invested years in studying equine veterinary medicine.
Enter Dr Hannah Hopkins.
“It has been a very satisfying career so far,” she proudly declared to The Hunter River Times earlier this month.
“Whenever you have a horse that you have done any kind of work with and you can see an improvement from race to race it is just the most satisfying thing.
“To be able to really optimise performance by maximising soundness is exciting and that is what really tickles my fancy and racing is one of those things where you can see tangible results, so it is pretty cool.”
After growing up in Sydney, she set sail to Wagga Wagga to study what she described as a long yet rewarding university degree.
She then moved to the Hunter Valley in 2013 and would call Lovedale home in 2018.
“The course down in Wagga has been fantastic because they have you doing work experience from first year,” she explained.
“They have you out there experiencing small animal practises, mixed practises and equine practises and I did quite a few of my practical experiences in equine hospitals.”
It was during her time as a student that she realised equine, lameness and performances horses would be her specialty.
“I think from the last few years of university I thought it was clear I always wanted to specialise in horses and it has been a love affair ever since,” she added.
Finally, we asked for her advice to the next generation of equine veterinarians across the Hunter Valley?
“Work hard at school,” she concluded.
“It is a long university degree and you need to be passionate about it for it to all be worth it.
“But if you are working hard at school and you’re getting grades (and you have really got a passion for animals) then you will make it happen no matter what.”