12:30pm Thursday 26th July 2012
By Richard Prime
FOUR familiar faces from the Herefordshire equine world are set for key roles at the Olympics.
The quartet of partners from the Three Counties Equine Hospital are well-known in Herefordshire as the vets at Hereford Racecourse and for providing veterinary services at Venetia Williams’ Aramstone yard and for the Michael Scudamore stable at Upton Bishop.
But it’s now going to be all-change for the foursome who will be at the heart of the action as the world’s gaze turns to London.
Graham Potts will be the head vet for the Australian Equestrian team.
And his three colleagues, Mark Georgetti, Ross -on-Wye-based Liam Kearns and Chris Rea are all set to be part of the team of volunteer vets for the cross-country day of the Games’ three-day event on Monday. They will be hoping not to be called too regularly into the action held over the beautiful but tough course in Greenwich Park, containing up to 45 jumps.
“We are used to covering the equestrian world across Herefordshire as far as Hay-on-Wye, but this will be something quite different,” said Potts, who is an old hand at international events.
“I went to work in Australia in the 1980s and I worked with some of their top event riders,” he said.
“When I came back to this country in early 1990, I kept up my contacts up and they needed a vet in the Northern Hemisphere.
“A lot of the top riders from Australia are resident in Europe for large parts of the year because that it is where the big competitions are and where the other top riders are.
“This will be my fourth Olympics and I am really looking forward to it.
“I shall be involved throughout the Games but my colleagues will just be there as volunteers for the cross-country day next Monday.”
While the veterinary quartet are back-up rather than principal figures, they are following in a great tradition of regional involvement, and success, in the Games.
Hereford-born Leslie Law took time out from his Eardisley base to land the individual gold medal in the eventing competition on Sheer L’eau at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
And David Broome, who was educated just across the border at Monmouth School, took bronze twice in the individual showjumping championships on Sunsalve at Rome in 1960 and on his famous horse Mr Softee at Mexico in 1968.
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