News article from The Aiken Standard on Dr. Atherton:

New Aiken vet has equine emphasis
9/16/2010 8:51 PM

By BEN BAUGH

Staff writer


Veterinarian Harvey Atherton grew up on his parents exotic zoo farm, has driven a team of 12 horses at Yellowstone National Park and studied veterinary medicine in the Caribbean.

He has relocated to Aiken, found his dream home and is now in practice for himself.

Atherton always knew what he wanted to do.

"It had a huge influence," said Atherton. "When I was a kid, I had an opportunity to watch the veterinarians. I kind of geared my life toward that."

Atherton's family had a number of horses, and he developed a predilection for all horses but has a special interest in draft horses.

"Horses have always been a passion of mine," he said. "I always wanted to be a farm vet, and I know this sounds a bit cliche, I've read all of those James Harriot books. It was something that I was always fascinated with. I want people to know that I'm going to be the fastest response to an emergency that you could possibly find. I'm going to be reliable and not be limited to a certain discipline."

He has recently gone out on his own after having worked for Dr. Leslie Kinchen's practice in Ridge Spring when he first came to Aiken County. He was one of two full-time equine veterinarians offering ambulatory services and emergency care. Prior to coming to Aiken, he worked for Tri-County Veterinary Clinic in Fostoria, Ohio, as a mixed animal veterinarian.

"I'm the new vet in town," said Atherton. "I'm going to do large animal medicine with an equine emphasis. That's my primary passion in my profession."

Atherton's practice won't be limited to just horses. He will also treat cows, goats, sheep and alpacas. His compassion for animals is palpable. He wants his clients to be educated.

One unique position Atherton held was the head stage coach driver at Yellowstone National Park. He groomed, harnessed and drove 10 to 12 teams of draft horses.

"It's something that I wish I could still do now on a daily basis," said Atherton. "It's an awesome place one of the best places on earth."

He did his undergraduate work at Michigan State University, where he joined several agricultural clubs, and thoroughly enjoyed the Big Ten experience.

Atherton attended veterinary school at Ross University in St. Kitts. He arrived in the West Indies from Michigan wearing a stocking hat and mittens. It was the place he also met his fiancee, Mary Tricia, a veterinarian with Aiken Animal Hospital, where she works for Dr. Brown, he said.

An opportunity to spend a year at Ohio State University proved to be a valuable learning resource for Atherton and his fiancee.

"I spent a year at Ohio State University doing clinical rotations at the teaching hospital," said Atherton. "Mary Tricia and I spent a year doing clinical rotations with different doctors at the hospital. I spent a lot of time in equine ambulatory units, internal medicine and equine surgery."

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