TWO talented vets have brought their skills back home by taking roles at a leading Cumbrian practice.

Freya Wood, from Lowry Hill in Carlisle, has joined Paragon Veterinary Group’s Equine department, based at Newbiggin.

She is joined by Sarah Wallace from Moorhouse, who has joined the small animal department based at Dalston.

For Freya, it is the perfect job for her after years of hard work and determination.

She said: “I decided I wanted to be a vet when I was seven. Throughout school I was focussed on that ambition.

“But veterinary medicine is very competitive to get into, you need three A grades at A levels and to be one of the high-fliers.”

Freya attended Trinity School in Carlisle and helped out at a riding school every weekend from the age of 10 - but narrowly missed out on the grades she needed.

But thanks to her persistence, she was eventually accepted onto a five-year course with the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science, passing out as a fully qualified vet in July.

She then landed her job with Paragon.

“I have always loved Cumbria so much and I wanted to come back,” she continued. “I have landed the perfect job for me.

“I just want to be able to do a really good job for the clients and horses that are under my care.”

Sarah, 33, attended Caldew School and was also determined to be a vet from a very young age.

“Growing up I just always wanted to be a vet. My grandad used to take me to the farmers’ mart at Carlisle and Longtown. I also had lots of pets growing up” says Sarah.

After narrowly missing a grade at A level Sarah went to Leeds university and took a degree in Animal Science, before applying to vet school as a post-graduate.

“I was offered places at Glasgow and Liverpool but didn’t realise the cost. It wasn’t feasible,” says Sarah.

Determined not to give up, she went to Slovakia to take her veterinary degree at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Kosice.

“I was 22 and I had never lived in a different country before,” says Sarah. “But I was so determined to be a vet. It is an amazing course, recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and taught in English and cost the same as one year in the UK.”

Sarah qualified in 2012 and then worked at a mixed practice in Wales and a 24-hour animal hospital in Shrewsbury, but was thrilled to get the job at Paragon. She added: “I had always had it in my sights to come back home.

“Paragon has a really good team and the Paragon principles are fantastic.”