Dr. Karen Beste joined the Palm Beach Equine Clinic team in January 2023. Dr. Beste is a board-certified large animal surgeon. Keep reading to learn more about Dr. Beste and her background as a veterinarian.
Where did you grow up and what is your background with horses?
I grew up in a small town in north Texas called Double Oak. My father loved horses. His parents had a small property with several horses and a Shetland pony that I learned to ride on. We were involved with the Lewisville Saddle Club and went to “playdays” together throughout my childhood where I learned how to barrel race and compete in speed events. During this time I started to train my own horse named Buck. I joined the Marcus Rodeo Team and competed in high school rodeo for four years with Buck who took me to the finals for pole bending my senior year. In college I switched gears and joined the Texas A&M University polo club my freshman year. I quickly fell in love with the game, and through a lot of hard work I made the polo team my sophomore year. During my senior year I went on to be the team captain.
When and why did you decide you wanted to become a veterinarian?
I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian at a very young age. When one of our horses became injured and ultimately had to be euthanized despite surgical intervention efforts I knew I wanted to be able to help horses as a career. In third grade I wrote a book describing how I wanted to go to Texas A&M University in order to become a veterinarian, and I followed my dream.
What is some advice you would give someone who wants to become a veterinarian?
I would recommend they spend as much time as they can with a veterinarian. It is important to understand the commitment that is required and how rewarding it can be working on animals that people not only compete on but truly love as members of their family.
What aspects of equine medicine interest you most, and what types of cases do you find most rewarding?
As a surgeon, I am obviously interested in being in the operating room and helping horses in emergency situations or with routine surgery. I find the most joy in watching a horse I have been involved with have a good outcome in the show ring following surgical intervention.
What is something interesting people may not know about you?
The most exciting animal I have done surgery on was a baby bongo!