The Equine Sports Medicine Clinic
After nearly 12 years in a North Yorkshire Equine Veterinary Practice, Phillip moved north to Durham in February 2010 to open his own equine veterinary practice. Phillip qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 1997 and has subsequently spent his entire career working with horses, attaining the RCVS Certificate in Equine Practice after further examinations in 2004. Phillip's previous job was in a predominantly performance horse practice which included flat and national hunt race yards (mainly in and around Middleham, North Yorkshire), event yards, dressage horses and hunters among its clients. He has developed particular expertise in the areas of lameness investigation, diagnostic imaging (radiography, ultrasonography and endoscopy), investigation of poor performance, wound management and prior-to-purchase examination.
Along the way Phillip has accumulated extensive experience in anaesthesia, general surgery and all other aspects of equine general practice such as dentistry, geriatrics and studfarm management. His current main interest is the management of the thoroughbred racehorse in training and, in particular, gait optimisation to prevent future lameness and improve welfare.
Horses under his care in the past have included top class international three day eventers including two Badminton winners, British Dressage national finalists, big race winners, including Scottish and Irish Nationals, Ebor Handicap, Northumberland Plate, and numerous Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown Festival winners, and many horses owned and hunted by various Masters of local foxhound packs. 2013 saw one of the horses in his care, Libertarian trained by Mrs K. Burke, winning the Dante Stakes at York and subsequently placed second in the Epsom Derby, before 2018 brought the first classic winner under his care when Laurens won the Prix Diane (French Oaks) at Longchamp, again for Karl Burke and the team at Spigot Lodge.
Phillip has always been involved in competitive sport, both at school and university, and with his own horses. Through this he is able to empathise with some of the pressures that his clients feel on a day to day basis, as well as gaining an insight into the physical and mental demands placed on athletes, whether human or equine. He has always felt that excellent two-way communication with clients is one of the most important aspects of veterinary medicine and that understanding their motives and feelings is an important step to achieving this and building clients’ trust and confidence in their veterinary surgeon.
It is Phillip's firm belief that all horses, by virtue of their anatomy and lifestyles, are athletes, however limited the competitive ambitions of their riders, and require specialist healthcare provision that reflects this. He does not see why private equine clients should not have access to and expect the same level of service from their veterinary surgeon as a professional trainer or rider. This level of service can be surprisingly cost-effective since the specialist practitioner is fully equipped and regularly providing this type of care in a cost-conscious environment where insurance is not often the norm.
Phillip's primary aim in the management of any case is to establish, using his substantial clinical experience and the diagnostic aids available to him, a definitive diagnosis as soon as possible. This allows the correct management of any disease process to be started at the earliest stage, leading to a faster recovery and a quicker return to normal activities.
Phillip has shown his own hunters, qualifying for RIHS on 2 occasions, and continues to show youngstock in-hand, one of which went on to jump at the world young horse championships as a 5 year old following her sale to a local rider. Previously he has competed in affiliated showjumping and dressage, and at Trailblazers National Dressage finals, and hunts when time allows. He has also retrained ex-racehorses, and shown them at open days and parades on behalf of the Retraining of Racehorses charity.
In December 2012 Phillip was appointed to the prestigious role of Team Vet to the Great Britain Junior Eventing team. This involves assisting the selectors through the eventing season and culminates in looking after the team horses at the annual junior European Championships. He attended his first European Championships with the team at Haras de Jardy, Paris in September 2013, before doing a home championship at Bishop Burton in East Yorkshire, and then at Bialy Bor in north western Poland.
Summer 2017 finally saw the relocation of the practice back to Yorkshire and its own permanent premises at The Old Smithy, Halnaby Grange, North Cowton, very near and accessible to the A1 at Scotch Corner. Subsequently in-patient facilities for medical treatment and investigations, as well as long-term livery and rehabilitation, including horse walker and solarium have been developed on site.
Phillip would be happy to discuss your horses's veterinary needs
with you at any time.
Please call or email for any further information you may require or to register your horse.