Day At The Track

Brodie lands a winner in dream Vet job

07:03 AM 28 Dec 2020 NZDT
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Brodie Webster, harness racing
Brodie Webster competing at Port Pirie earlier this year
Walter Bulyga Photo

Not everyone who is part of a passionate harness racing family is destined to become a driver or a trainer - but South Australian horse lover Brodie Webster reckons he's about to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Webster, who until this season was balancing his veterinary science studies with part-time commitments as a reinsman, recently graduated from university after six years of study.

Harness racing is taking a back seat for the time, as Webster counts down to starting his "dream job" at the HorseMed Clinic at Echunga in the Adelaide Hills in mid-January.

"It's absolutely a dream come true - I couldn't have written it better! I always thought it would be nice to work in the Adelaide Hills, and of course all I have always wanted to do is work with horses," Webster said.

"HorseMed is 100 percent horses, no small animal work, and as well, I'll have the opportunity to work at the sister clinic at Morphetville doing surgery cases that we don't see at the Hills clinic. So all the stars aligned for me, and I just can't wait.

"But it will be a steep learning curve for me over the next few years in particular - this is where it all starts really. I've finished the degree, but I have amazing vets and surgeons around me at the clinic and I'll keep learning from them - it's forever learning in vet science, because things change so quickly."

Brodie gained his junior driver's licence in 2015 and developed into a more than competent reinsman, piloting 29 winners in his most successful season.

"I was lucky to get picked for a six-week scholarship by Harness Racing SA to visit Belgium, Sweden, France and Dubai a couple of years ago," Webster said.

"I got the opportunity to visit some of the leading veterinary clinics in Europe and that was amazing - the whole thing was just the trip of a lifetime. I was then also involved with HRA's Young Ambassador Program, which also opened up a whole lot more contacts and friendships.

"I've been very fortunate and I'm very grateful to those bodies for their support, as well as the backing of my family the whole time."

The 25-year-old son of Ron and Liz Webster grew up in the sport, and still has plenty of family involvement, including his brother Jake who is a trainer, driver and bloodstock/syndication manager with Summit Bloodstock.

"I'd always been around horses and I'd love to have been able to make a living of it," Webster said.

"But I could see in money, reliability and longevity wise, the sport puts too much pressure on to be a permanent thing, so I started vet science when I finished school," he said.

With the increasing demands in his final year of Veterinary Science, he relinquished his driver's licence earlier this year to focus on his studies.

Brodie Webster and his partner Bec Cooper

"It was getting pretty tight study wise when the time came around to renew my licence, and at the time, I could drive this week and I couldn't the next," he said.

"I felt that it wasn't really right for everyone involved, and I was better off to leave it to the drivers who can be consistent, follow the form and do things properly. I really miss it, though, I will say that. But I have some exciting times ahead with work, and I really just want to give that my all for the next few years."

Undoubtedly what the veterinary science world has gained is harness racing's loss...but perhaps only for the time being.

"We still have one horse, Simon (a recent winner), that Jake is training. He's just a bit of an interest, and someone for dad and me to muck around with and pretend we're still trainers in our downtime!" he laughed.

"I think I've got the best of both worlds really - I still get to muck around with a race horse or two but I get to be involved in a whole new dimension to racing and harness racing.

"And perhaps in five- or ten-years' time when I am levelled out in my professional work, I might be able to balance things up and train a couple on the side as well!"

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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