Bizwatch: Silvia Stocker, equine vet
Vail, CO, Colorado
Business name: Stocker Equine Veterinary Services, LLC
Owner: Silvia M. Stocker Gulden, DVM
Date started: Oct. 4, 2006
Contact info: Phone, 471-4635, mail, P.O. Box 788, Eagle, 81631, or e-mail, silvia@stockerDVM.com;
What services do you provide? Equine Ambulatory (Mobile) Veterinary Services with 24-hour emergency service, preventative and general health care, including x-rays, ultrasound, dentistry, pre-purchase exams, and lameness exams to mention just a few.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? I wouldn’t say that I do something to differentiate my services from others. But I am convinced that my services are a great addition to the equine veterinary services already present. My equine ambulatory practice is currently my main focus in life. I enjoyed an outstanding veterinary education and training rather recently. I am interested in new and upcoming diagnostic tools. I consider myself open-minded toward complementary veterinary medicine and my background as a horse trainer and riding teacher and having worked with several “exotic horse breeds” taught me to use different points of view when evaluating problems. I also worked in different countries and with people from diverse backgrounds, which lets me look at things from different angles again and additionally, taught me varied people skills.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your clients? What can your clients expect from you? I am always striving to do the best thing possible for the horse I am looking at or examining. The horse and its needs come first. I will discuss the situation with the client and try to find a solution that works for all involved. I would like to use a team approach, and I will consult with other veterinarians and specialists if there is a need and/or request for it or purely out of curiosity from my side.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: I was born and raised in Switzerland (born at the foot of the Alps with the love for snow and skiing put into my cradle). After high school I went through a three-year training as a horse trainer at one of the biggest riding schools in Switzerland, earned a “Swiss Federal Certificate of Proficiency as a Horse Trainer.” and ended up working for Knie’s Swiss National Circus as a horse trainer and stable manager for four years.
To get away from the circus and the lifestyle that I enjoyed there, I worked for a short period of time as a flight attendant for a small European airline.
After that I decided to go back to school and pursue a career in veterinary medicine, a dream that I had kept in the back of my mind for a long time.
I first graduated from CSU with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences before actually starting vet school. After graduation from vet school I spent a year in Florida. Missing the beautiful mountains as well as the snow, I returned to Colorado and found my way to the valley, where I was lucky to be able to take over Dr. Courtney Diehl’s practice.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? Most likely when my dogs, shortly after I acquired my truck, locked me out of it when I went to pick up some equipment on my way to the next appointment. Of course, when I tried to encourage my dog to jump on the switch again, she was well behaved, sitting on the middle console as if she would never do anything wrong in her life! Luckily, my friend and mentor George Platt’s wife, at whose house this happened, was “irritating” enough to my crazy dog to make the dog jump on the unlock switch, and she could open the door before my dog locked it again. The only set of keys I had were of course sticking in the ignition of the running truck. I learned my lesson: Never leave the keys with the dogs in the truck, no matter how fast you think you will be back!