The Value Of A Good Vet

October 30, 2008

By Jane DeGeorge – Central Virginia Weekly Group

It was about 8 p.m. when Madison County-based equine veterinarian Chris Robertson’s phone rang. It was a frantic client.  After breaking through a fence and running loose on her mountainous Madison County property, her horse had climbed atop a beaver dam. Its hooves were caught. Once the veterinarian arrived on the scene, he got into the water and started digging a hole in the dam. “It was 40 degrees out, the water was freezing,” he recalled. Eventually Robertson was able to tie the horse’s legs to a tractor in order to pull it out from the dam.

After dragging the horse for almost 150 yards, the mammal’s survival seemed bleak. “It didn’t look good. She was really cold and she was an older horse, so I didn’t think she would make it,” Robertson said. But as soon as the veterinarian removed all of the ropes and chains, the horse took off up a hill, “She ended up being absolutely fine, I think she’s still alive to this day,” he said. Dealing with unpredictable behavior is a necessary aspect of Robertson’s Madison County-based business, Blue Mountain Equine.

“You really have to improvise – obviously there’s no course on how to deal with that situation in vet school,” the Madison County native said. Besides providing clients with on-call emergency care 24 hours a day, Robertson offers a wide range of services including dental work, lameness evaluation treatment, pre-purchase exams, minor surgery, sports medicine, reproductive care and wellness and preventative medicine.

The “mobile” veterinarian service – which has a portable ultrasound and digital X-ray machine – serves customers in Madison, Culpeper, Orange, Greene and Rappahannock counties and parts of Spotsylvania and Fauquier counties. Robertson has always wanted to be a horse doctor, even when he was a child. “I guess what really inspired me was when Secretariat won the Triple Crown,” he said of the famed 1973 race. “I just thought that was great.” Three decades later – with two degrees under his belt – Robertson finally “got up the  courage” to start his own business, which has flourished during its seven – year existence.

Blue Mountain Equine serves about 1,500 different clients and during the business’ busiest season – March-October – Robertson sees between 30-40 horses a day, he said. Despite his wide range of clients, all of his customers receive top treatment. “Everyone gets treated the same, whether you have one horse and I don’t see you very much or you have more than 30 and I see you all the time,” he said.

For information about Blue Mountain Equine, call (540) 948-3293