Meet the team
I guess I have been around horses all my life. My grandmother in Cornwall had a profound influence on me as a youngster. She owned and bred a string of warmblood horses in over 20 years and I helped bring on and sell the majority of them. They helped me gain the respect and love I have of horses today, allowing me to compete nationally at show-jumping – although this was a few years ago now! Since then I have always kept my hand in, through a fairly long spell at the university, firstly Exeter and then Cambridge for my veterinary degree. During the last 5 years I have worked in mixed practice in Norfolk (a lovely place – I would recommend a visit) and Somerset, realising my interest to work with just the large animal species.
Getting the opportunity to help develop the equine services offered at Evolution is pretty much my ideal job. To be able to work in beautiful Somerset is definitely a plus point, along with this I hope to offer a down-to-earth, friendly approach to equine vet work, keeping alive the Evolution ethos.
My fascination with horses stems from my dad’s long-term interest in National Hunt Racing, which figures prominently in even my earliest memories. Over the years, we have been lucky to have owned some great horses and to have had some brilliant wins, which contributed to the love of working with horses that I have today.
I left university in 2012 and worked first of all in Devon, where I developed my veterinary skills in both farm animal and equine work, necessarily concentrating mostly on the former during my first year before making the decision to move into solely equine work thereafter. I enjoy working up challenging medical cases, but also put a lot of pride and effort into my equine dentistry – something I know some vets shy away from but about which I am very passionate.
When, towards the end of 2015, I got the chance to join the great team at Evolution to help them to further develop their equine services, it seemed very made-to-measure. It also meant that I could stay in the West Country, which I have grown to love, making the future look very bright!
My Mum always says that, if it hadn’t been for horses, I would never have become a vet. When I was 15, I had a bad riding accident which kept me off school for a term and put an end to riding for a whole 12 months So, instead of schooling my horse for one-day events, I bred a foal from her . . and did lots of studying, meaning that I got the grades to go to vet school! I still have the ‘foal’ (see above) - though through lack of time she is now out on loan, having a great time in a very good home.
I still dream that I will eventually own a hunter and do a bit of hunting, maybe when my son starts school. . . In the meantime, I will content myself with treating other people’s horses!
After a year in NZ, Tom decided to come back home to his favourite part of the world– The Quantocks-and joined us in March 2020. He has a fierce work ethic but is also becoming renowned for his calmness and relaxed attitude which is popular amongst horses and owners alike!
My first experience of riding horses was being hoist aboard an Australian Stock Horse to muster cattle and sheep in the outback. I quickly appreciated the calmer response amongst the animals being gathered, compared to using motorbikes and helicopters. There were helmets, but no training, technique or style, so I got on with it. I graduated from mustering to drafting and tried some quarter horse work, although this was a bit terrifying for my liking! Since then Heidi, my wife, has kept me in touch with equines, including overseeing my return to the saddle for some much less frenzied riding around Somerset.