Dr Reg Pascoe’s dedication, care and thirst for knowledge led to his unrivalled international reputation in veterinary science.
Story By MaryAnne Leighton
“Send him to Pascoe” has been the catchcry of Australian horsemen since 1968. If your million-dollar thoroughbred mare proved to be a problem breeder, your child’s pony needed surgery or your show horse required specialist care, there was only one place to send them – to Dr Reg Pascoe at Oakey Veterinary Hospital.
More than half a century of trailblazing research combined with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge resulted in Reg becoming a legend in his own working lifetime and ensured him a place in Australian veterinary-science history. He established one of Australia’s first private veterinary hospitals, a place that was soon recognised as one of the world’s best with international vets jumping at the chance to work there. He is acknowledged worldwide for his equine-reproduction research and techniques, his skill and success in equine surgery and his groundbreaking research into equine skin diseases. He made an outstanding contribution to the horse industry through his clinical work and service to the veterinary industry, was a driving force in equine veterinary science, a mentor to many members of the Australian veterinary profession and received the highest awards and accolades his profession and country could bestow.
To achieve so much takes dedication and passion. Reg’s wife, Joy, says, “Whenever anyone asked me what Reg’s hobbies were I usually quipped, ‘veterinary science’ because, apart from 10 years as P&C chairman at Oakey State School and 15 years as a member of Lions Club of Oakey, all his activities outside work were veterinary-related boards and committees.”
Eldest son John is professor and executive dean at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in the US. “In scientific fields, the highest awards generally are given to those who work in research laboratories and universities,” John says. “What makes [my father’s] achievements so unique and so remarkable is that all his research was carried out while he was engaged in his day-to-day work.”
This story excerpt is from Issue #77
Outback Magazine: June/July 2011