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Posted by Christine Armishaw on 28/01/2021.
A humble country vet who has left his mark on the hearts of the veterinary industry, nationally and internationally

Vale Dr Brian Sheahan

The Australian Equestrian community is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr Brian Sheahan. 

On Monday, 25 January, Brian passed away peacefully, with his children by his side.    

Brian was a fearless and talented veterinarian, developing his skills at a time when the only teacher was himself.  

Brian and his wife, Christeen built the Samford Valley Veterinary Hospital, Queensland in 1976. It is now a renowned Veterinary Hospital. Retiring in 2015, after 41 years in Practice, Brian’s drive, skills, leadership and ethics are carried forward by today’s talented and dedicated veterinary team.  

Brian served the FEI for many years and most recently as the Chair of the FEI’s International Endurance Committee

Brian was a very successful and popular Australian Veterinary Assoc. (AVA) Queensland Division President, in addition to being a tireless worker for Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA). He served as EVA Queensland State Representative, Committee Office Bearer and as the Bain Fallon Conference convenor for several highly successful conferences held in Queensland. Brian was a wonderful contributor to the life and success of EVA on all levels. An inspiration and mentor to many young equine veterinarians.

Brian began officiating as a veterinarian at Endurance events in 1975 and was six times Head Veterinarian for the Tom Quilty Gold Cup 160km Championship in Australia. He was an FEI Treating Veterinarian for Endurance, Jumping, Eventing and Dressage, and was a Course Director, both for the FEI and the Australian Endurance Riders Association.

As Chef d’Equipe for the Australian Endurance squad, Dr Sheahan led the bronze medal-winning team at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Jerez (ESP) 2002.

Brian joined the FEI Endurance Committee as a member in 2008, taking over the Chair in 2012 until 2018, during which time he was a member of the FEI Board. He was highly respected for his work with the Endurance Strategic Planning Group and the Endurance Task Force. He was instrumental in creating the FEI Endurance Forum and Conferences, which provided a platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas and voice their opinions.

The FEI family and the international veterinary community have lost, not just a passionate advocate for Endurance, but also a unique man and a real friend,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. (source: FEI)

Brian worked extremely hard to improve endurance horse welfare in the Middle East. This was a tough job and although there are still some improvements to be made in that part of the world for endurance sport, the progress that has been made is due to Brian’s leadership and undaunting effort.

EA Endurance Committee members provided the following tributes to Brian:

“Brian was the ultimate professional in and outside the Vet ring. As a rider, I can remember he was always approachable, considered and offered constructive advice even under difficult circumstances. Brian's contribution to the sport of Endurance here in Australia and Internationally was immeasurable. He will be missed.”

“This is such sad news, but what an incredible contribution one man made to endurance and horse welfare. From a veterinary perspective, I have not had the personal working experiences that many others have had with Brian, only the benefit of attending the endurance veterinary conference in Brisbane 10 years ago.”

“He was a real character and such a gentleman.”

Brian leaves a legacy of a beautiful wife, children and grandchildren; a vast network of friends; countless undergraduate students who are now exceptional veterinarians and memories of his irrepressible wit and blarney.

The funeral will take place on Tuesday, 2nd February 10:30am and numbers are limited due to COVID-19 space restrictions, so please all requests to attend should be submitted to:    

•    [email protected] (Judy Law)

It will be livestreamed for all others, so if you would like to be sent these details please email Sue Crampton [email protected].  

Brian touched so many of our lives personally and professionally. The Sheahan Family welcome your special memories and messages which can be shared here

Equestrian Australia extends sincere condolences to Dr Sheahan’s wife Christeen, children and grandchildren.

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