The trio that turned the first sod Tinks Pottinger, John Booth and Mike Allen. PHOTO/DAVE LINOTT

DON FARMER

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The sod was turned on a $1.5 million development in Carterton on Friday which will see a purpose-built veterinary clinic specialising in equine care established.

South Wairarapa Veterinary Services got consent in June to build on land on the main road immediately south of the old Taratahi Hotel and work on the building is expected to start on Monday.

A company director Adrian Evans said the new clinic would cater for the growth in the equine and large animal business but would not be exclusively for that purpose.

Three Companion Animal vets would work alongside the large animal team, he said.

The project was managed by Gary Percy with the building designed by Palmerston North architect Matt Argyle and the building contract was let to Rigg-Zschokke.

South Wairarapa Vets had searched for a suitable site for two years before deciding on the block of land sold to them by Nev and Beth Taylor.

Mr Evans said all existing branches of the company will remain in business with the overall administration being housed in the new complex, along with bulk storage facilities and the veterinary staff who will work out of the building.

A plus for the company is that it will now become a seven-day operation.

He said the equine business in Wairarapa was strong from both a sporting perspective and racing.

Racing centres at Opaki and Tauherenikau along with equestrian sports events, A & P shows and the generally high population of horses throughout the valley combined to ensure steady equine needs.

The new complex should be open by early in the new year, Mr Evans said.

At the sod turning ceremony company chairman Mike Allen said there had been “a burst in the growth of the equine business lately.”

“This is an exciting day and it is only going to get more exciting over the next six months,” he said.

After the turning of the sod the site was blessed by Aunty Lou Cook, who belongs to Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu, and among the special guests at the function was Olympics bronze medallist Tinks Pottinger and Carterton mayor John Booth.



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