Dr RICHARD CHAPMAN BVSc qualified as a Veterinary Surgeon in 1958 obtaining his degree from Bristol University in England. Sadly, he died in May this year, having stopped practising only a couple of months earlier.


Of his 57 years in practice, he spent nine in England and forty-eight in Australia, most of the latter in the Canberra region. For well over thirty years he was the official Veterinary Surgeon to the Canberra Racecourse. 


Dr. Chapman practised Veterinary Medicine in the old fashioned way: feeling with his fingertips, using his eyes, ears, sense of smell and a large dose of intuition. He mixed experience with wisdom, combining old and new practices, the holistic with the allopathic, and bush techniques with technology.




Dr. Chapman enjoyed participating in many equine modalities including pleasure, sporting and stud work.


In particular, he worked very closely with endurance riding from its commencement in Australia, helping to establish the sport from 1975 onwards, and holding the post of its ACT senior equine veterinary surgeon from 1975 until 1998.


He held the following posts:

  • Official Veterinarian of ACT Racing Club 1975 — 2007

  • Official Veterinarian of Canberra Harness Racing Club 1979 —2011

  • Official Veterinarian of Queanbeyan Racing Club 1983 — 2000

  • Member of the ACT Veterinary Surgeons Board 1993—2004 of which he was chair for two years.

  • Chief Veterinarian Royal National Capital Agricultural Society (Canberra Show) 1986 — 2006

  • Chief Veterinarian Royal Agricultural Show (Sydney Royal Easter Show) 1987 —2004

  • ACT  District Endurance Riders Association Honorary Veterinarian 1982—2000 

  • Veterinary Team Member Quilty 160 Km Endurance Ride 1982—2000


In 2007 he was awarded the Canberra Racing Club Trophy for Services to Horse Racing and the Australian Veterinary Association Meritorious Award. 


Positions within the Australian Veterinary Association:

  • Committee Member and Past President of the ACT Division of the Australian Veterinary Association 

  • Deputy Convenor of the ACT Division of the Australian Veterinary Association Conference 

  • Council Member of the ACT Division of the Australian Veterinary Association


Former memberships 

  • Council Member of the Australian and New Zealand Veterinary Council

  • The Australian Equine Veterinary Association 

  • The British Equine Veterinary Association

  • The Australian Holistic Veterinary Association and 

  • The Australian Veterinary Acupuncturist Association.


At his death, Dr Chapman was a member of the Australian Veterinary Association.



© 2015 by Touchworks Ltd for R H Chapman