Country practice for all animals: big, small
Anna Manning has brought her young English ambition to the High Country
THERE are many Mansfield farmers who owe the quality of their stock to the work of Anna Manning.
They must be very happy that she decided at a very early age to become a vet.
Anna was born in 1983 in Halifax, England, giving her strong Yorkshire roots.
At 18 months her family moved to Cleeve in Somerset where she lived till she was 18.
“I went t o Bristol Grammar School where my career ambition was to be a vet,” she recounted.
“Since I was about six years of age I knew what I wanted to be and I never wavered.
“I still remember my pets when I was four or five, Spot and Paws.”
Having finished her A Levels, Anna spent her gap year in Australia.
“I played hockey at school and after sixth form the school had a hockey tour to Australia,” she explained.
“Having already turned 18, I was able to stay after the tour, taking a campervan trip around New Zealand.
“I worked a bit as a waitress in Auckland but then came back to Australia, where I had a friend working for Chris Stoney.”
Anna spent the next seven months on trail rides and doing farm work.
“After my year off I returned to the UK and spent the next five years at the Royal Veterinary College in London, completing my B.Vet. Med.,” she said.
“I enjoyed working with the animals, the science that went with it and getting to work outdoors.
“From my t i me at college, I wanted to work with large breeds - help the individual animal but also help the herd as a whole.”
Anna then headed to Australia to begin her career.
“I worked at the Ballarat Vet Clinic in the equine area for some four years,” she said.
“Then I moved to the Benalla Vet clinic for eight months in a mixed animal role.
“I got married in 2011 to Rod ( junior), came to Mansfield and set up Delatite Veterinary Ser- vices the same year.”
Anna began her practice looking after cattle and horses out of the back of a ute.
“In 2014 I set up a base for the business in Chenery Street, which allowed me to back off the 24/7 work style,” she said.
“We did the fit out after hours as it was just a shell.
“There are now three vets in the practice with a 50/50 large/small mixed clientele.”
Anna still spends a lot of her time out on the local farms, working hand in hand with the farmers.
“Half the time is ‘fire brigade’ work - calving being the main activity,” she said.
“Luckily famers check their cattle evening and morning so there are very few 2am callouts.
“The other half is herd health, pregnancy and bull testing.”
Civilised hours are now very important to Anna after the birth of son Alex five months ago.
“I now try to balance being a vet, being a mother, keeping up my sport and designing a house we are going to build in September,” she said.
Despite a busy working life, Anna has always been involved in sport.
“I played hockey at school, because the South West of England was a hockey area,” she explained
“At uni I stuck with hockey, but changed to netball at Ballarat.
“Hockey was on Saturday morning when I had to work and netball had a night league.”
Anna got back into it when she arrived in Mansfield.
“My first year with the Eagles was B Reserve, my second was B Grade and in year three it was A grade,” she said.
“This year I am filling in with Bonnie Doon because I can play without having to train.
“There is also Russell my horse, but I do not get to be with him much.”
Anna has a deep love of Mansfield and being a vet.
“The people here are fantastic and very supportive – I will continue to enjoy family and vet life in the High Country,” she said.
“There is so much going on in this town, I will be around for quite a while.”
Anna Manning will probably be that grey haired woman you will see walking the paddocks in many years to come.
ALL ANIMALS: Anna Manning might prefer large animals but she is very much at home with small ones as well.