Our Sport and Leisure vets provide a high quality and personalised service to the whole equine community from high end competition horses to your much-loved horses, ponies or donkeys. We also provide on-site veterinary cover for a wide range of equestrian competitions and events.
We routinely cover a wide area of East Anglia and travel throughout the UK and abroad on request. Please give us a call to discuss your individual veterinary requirements whether it is for an individual, group or yard of horses or ponies.
General Health & Wellbeing
Prevention is better than cure for all aspects of veterinary medicine. Routine dentistry, health checks and vaccination will allow issues to be identified early before a more serious problem develops.
There are a number of diseases against which horses can be vaccinated. The most common being tetanus, influenza and herpes virus.
Tetanus is a painful and life-threatening condition and its prevention via vaccination is extremely important. Following an initial 2-dose course, given 6 weeks apart, further vaccinations are given every other year. All horses and ponies should be vaccinated against tetanus, whether or not they compete or mix frequently with other horses.
As seen in 2019 during the outbreak of equine influenza in the UK, routine vaccination prevented significant illness in a lot of horses and also helped to reduce the spread of the virus. The influenza vaccination requirements for each discipline or organisation varies and it is best to check what those requirements are with the relevant organising bodies. Vaccination for flu and tetanus are often given as a combined vaccine.
Equine Herpes Virus (EHV)
EHV can manifest in a variety of ways from respiratory disease, abortion or neurological signs. We would strongly recommend that pregnant mares are vaccinated in months 5, 7 and 9 of gestation against EHV. Vaccination of non-pregnant horses may have some benefit against respiratory and neurological disease although the vaccination is not 100% effective and it is sometimes not recommended if there has been recent exposure to the virus. Please contact us to discuss your horse’s EHV vaccination requirements.
Prevention is always better than cure and routine examination of your horse’s teeth can prevent more serious problems from developing at a later stage.
Our experienced clinicians use a combination of hand rasps and motorised equipment to achieve the best possible results. Sedation often facilitates a more relaxed dentistry experience for you and your horse and allows a more thorough examination to be made. If more complex diagnostic and treatment facilities are required such as diagnostic imaging, overgrowth reductions, tooth extractions or diastema widening, this can all be accommodated within our hospital.
The first step in lameness investigation is to determine the seat of the lameness. This may be evident at walk but often the horse will need to be trotted and sometimes flexed, lunged or ridden. Some causes of lameness will be indicated by careful examination and palpation of the limbs and body, although follow up radiographs or scans may be required to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes it is necessary to use a combination of nerve blocks and diagnostic imaging to localise the site of pain and visualise the specific structures involved. This is vital to the provision of appropriate treatments and a realistic prognosis.
Initial lameness evaluation can be performed at the client’s premises. If more advanced diagnostic procedures are required, referral to the hospital may be recommended.
Whether you have noticed a subtle change in the way your horse is going, or you are bringing your horse back into work after a break, picking up the early warning signs of an injury can be vital to avoid long-term issues.
As with any change in exercise level and training, bringing horses back into work is a tricky time for injuries, as enthusiasm and exuberance can rapidly surpass fitness and conditioning. Its also a time when changes in body weight and muscle tone mean that issues with saddle fit and back soreness can be highlighted. If you have noticed changes in your horse's attitude to work, have worries about soundness or just want some advice on how best to develop a fitness program, getting your horse checked over sooner rather than later can often help avoid major problems in the future. Getting fit is always much harder than losing that fitness and a degree of stiffness can be normal, especially after a long break.
Our Sports Medicine expert, Fran James, has a wealth of experience in diagnosing and treating lameness along with other problems that can limit the horse’s performance (e.g. back soreness and core strength, problems with saddle fit, gastric ulcers). In addition, her rehabilitation knowledge and expertise can be uniquely beneficial in targeting certain problem areas e.g. if you are struggling to develop your horse’s topline or muscling over the neck or rump, as well as resolving questions on how to get horses fit. Fran is available to provide support and advice either by seeing your horse at the yard or at the hospital if you have any concerns or issues with getting your horse back on track and into work.
David Dugdale MA VetMB CertEP CertESM MRCVS is on the list of approved measurers for the Joint Measurement Board. Please call the practice in you require an official measurement.
The pre-purchase vetting provides purchasers with a veterinary opinion of the horse’s suitability for its intended use. The certificate issued can also be used when obtaining insurance cover. All pre-purchase examinations comply to the standards issued by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Equine Veterinary Association.
A full 5-stage vetting is recommended. This involves a preliminary examination, trot up, strenuous exercise, period of rest and a further trot up. A limited 2-stage alternative (comprising of a preliminary examination and trot up only) is also offered.
Additional procedures such as radiographs, ultrasound scans, endoscopy and blood testing may be performed at the request of the purchaser. We recommend that a blood sample is taken at the time of the vetting to detect any undeclared drugs that the horse may have in its system.
We are able to perform a pre-purchase examination on a horse or pony that is an existing patient of ours if there is no conflict of interest and if the vendor agrees to allow the horses' details to be made available to the purchaser.
In October 2020 it became law that all horses, ponies and donkeys are required to be microchipped. We can check for a microchip and insert one if needed. If the horse needs a new passport, markings can be taken at the same time and documentation sent to the passport provider of your choice.
Our vets often provide veterinary cover at a wide range of events including those run under the direction of the FEI, British Eventing and Pony Club. Please give us a call to discuss your requirements if you would like veterinary cover at your event.
Our Sport & Leisure
Flora graduated from Liverpool University as a mature student following an international corporate career. After a year at a busy equine practice in Cheshire, Flora returned to Liverpool as an Intern in Equine Surgery and Medicine where she became passionate about student teaching and elected to extend her stay.
Flora joined the Sports and Leisure team at NEH in 2017 and is predominantly responsible for routine work on the free visit days, as well as responding to emergencies. Her special interests are gastrointestinal disease, lameness investigations and care of the geriatric horse.
Having ridden out for a number of Newmarket and Cheshire trainers over the years, Flora looks forward to finding the perfect ex-racer to continue her other passion: hunting side-saddle!
Rachael qualified from the University of Bristol in 2013. Upon graduation, she spent 6 months in the Equine Hospital at the University before completing an internship in practice in Wiltshire.
In 2015, Rachael moved to Hong Kong to work for the Hong Kong Jockey Club with retired racehorses, sports horses and riding school ponies where she developed an interest in lameness investigations and diagnostic imaging. She returned to the UK in September 2018 and joined NEH as part of the Sports and Leisure Team.
BSc Vet MB MRCVS
Jeremy qualified in 1998 from the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge having taken a degree in Animal Science.
He enjoys all aspects of equine practice and often finds his work takes him to clients with general riding horses. He has a particular interest in equine dentistry and also covers anaesthesia in theatre when required.
He is a keen polo player who particularly enjoys breeding and training young ponies – often local thoroughbred ex-racehorses!
Specialist in Surgery and Sports Horse Medicine
MA VetMB DipACVS DipECVS DipACVSMR MRCVS
- Degree: Cambridge University – 2001
- Internship: University of Pennsylvania – 2001-02
- Surgical Residency: University of Pennsylvania – 2002-5
- Lecturer in Equine Sports Medicine – 2005-08
- American College of Veterinary Surgeons Diploma in Equine Surgery – 2007
- RCVS Specialist in Equine Surgery – 2010
- American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine – 2016
DrMedVet CertEP MRCVS
Benoit qualified in 1986 from the University of Liege.
He undertook his military service, attached to the cavalry, prior to joining the practice in 1988. He obtained his Certificate in Equine Practice in 1993 and became a partner in 1995.
He specialises in racehorse lameness and medicine and has a strong interest in competition horses. He also carries out many pre-purchase examinations for private sales and at all major yearling and horses in training sales.
Head of Sports and Leisure Department
BVetMed (Hons) MRCVS
Mark qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 2004.
He spent two years as an intern at Greenwood Ellis and Partners where he was involved with the referral and surgery teams. He then spent six months working on New Zealand’s South Island, Christchurch doing mixed first opinion and referral work.
In 2007 he returned to Newmarket Equine Hospital, joining the ambulatory team, where he works extensively with Thoroughbreds in pre-training, training and rehoming as well as sport and leisure horses. Mark holds a particular interest in the investigation and management of lameness.
He spent 5 years on the committee of the Association of Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons.
Mark joined the partnership in January 2018.