Caring for the health of horses at the National Western Stock Show is the job of a team of veterinarians based in Littleton.
They go to every rodeo and horse show to inspect animals from across the country.
Although it sounds like a big job, the owner of Littleton Equine Medical Center says it's work his team enjoys.
“I think as a whole our country still has a great love affair with the horse and the west,” Dr. Kelly Tisher said. “And that lifestyle – I don’t think it’s ever going away.”
Tisher is originally from South Dakota and remembers making trips to Denver for the Stock Show decades ago.
He moved to Colorado in 1994 and has been an equine veterinarian at the Littleton Equine Medical Center ever since.
“Like my dad says – the only real job I’ve ever had,” Tisher said. “It’s a group practice. We have 20 veterinarian here and we all work just on horses.”
Littleton Equine Medical Center’s physicians have been the official veterinarians of the Stock Show since 1970.
Their primary focus is on the horse shows and rodeos.
“On the horse show side we stay busy once in a while as people are trying to make their horses perform the best they can, or buying and selling horses – the occasional sick horses,” Tisher said. “Just like in people, there are different colds and flu-type viruses that can be passed amongst horses.”
Although the Stock Show means work for Dr. Tisher and his staff, he admits it’s also a lot of fun.
“Oh, I’m just a sucker for them I guess,” Tisher said. “I love the smell. I love being around them. I love their personalities and their different personalities. I enjoy when I have the time to ride and just hang out with them. I guess it’s just a passion.”
Dr. Tisher says there is a little money involved in having his veterinarians on duty at every stock show rodeo and horse show.
But he says they mainly do it because they love it.