Equine staff

Support staff

Meet our excellent team of office staff here at Holly Tree.  Confidently led by Office Manager Emily Burnham, the farm and equine reception team consists of Julia Crow, Francesca Davenport, Lisa Powell and Diane Pratico.  Together the team ensure the smooth running of the farm and equine departments, not least the daily organisation and allocation of vet visits.


We all have our own specialist interest within the equine practice.

Mark Tabachnik BSc(hons) BVM&S Cert EP MRCVS BAEDT

Mark is our equine partner. He is responsible for the smooth running of the equine practice and the Somerford Park Clinic. Mark has a particular interest in equine lameness and oversees our complex lameness cases. In September 2004 Mark gained a Certificate in Equine Practice awarded by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Mark has a special interest in equine dentistry and is a fully qualified Equine Dental Technician – one of the first vets to be dual qualified. Mark is a member of the XL Vets Equine Executive committee.

See Mark's Page for further information about Mark's work.

Claire Hodgson BVet Med MRCVS

Claire joined the equine team in 2002 and has a particular interest in equine stud medicine. Claire coordinates all the mare Artificial Insemination protocols and troubleshoots stallion and mare fertility problems. Claire also spearheads the equine anaesthesia team at Somerford Park.

Claire Phillips MA Vet MB MRCVS

Claire originally joined us in September 2002 working as a small animal vet, before joining the equine practice in September 2004. Her main interests include lameness work and care of the performance horse. Claire is our main equine surgeon, with a special interest in soft tissue surgery and orthopaedics.  Claire spends much of her time at Somerford Park in charge of many of our lameness workups, and is rarely seen without an x-ray macine or ultrasound machine in hand.

Vicki Nicholls BSc(hons) BVet Med MRCVS BAEDT

Vicky joined us in March 2008. She has completed a residency in Equine Medicine in the United States and is primarily interested in Equine Medicine and is studying towards her Royal College Certificate in Equine Medicine. Vicky is also involved in the equine anaesthesia at Somerford Park.

Vicky is also a qualified Equine Dental Technician and as such is very involved in equine dentistry. Vicky is a member of the British Equne Veterinary Association council, and on the dental steering committee where she is responsible for national  Equine Veterinary dental policy matters.  In 2012 Vicky became an examiner for the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians examination.


John Yarwood MA Vet MB DBR FRCVS

John qualified from Cambridge University in 1976, and took up a clinical post a Liverpool Vet School for a year before joining Wright & Morten in 1977.  He has been a stalwart of the practice ever since, and led the way for the future ethos of Wright & Morten by being one of the first people to be awarded the Diploma in Bovine Reproduction in 1984. He was then awarded the highly prestigious Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons the following year, and joined the partnership of Wright & Morten in 1989. 

We continue to benefit from John's considerable experience and expertise despite his 'retirement' from the partnership in 2007, as he now works 3 days a week on a consultancy basis.



Claire Sawyer BVet Med MRCVS

 Claire graduated from the Royal Veterinary Collage in 2007, and after a spell in mixed practice became an equine intern at Leahurst in 2008. As an intern she was responsible for inpatient care and assisted the senior clinicans and residents in all aspects of hospital life. Working at Leahurst Claire gained invaluable experience, especially with colic cases and traumatic wounds. Claire joined Wright and Morten in 2010 and has settled into the team focusing her attention on lameness cases. Claire is currently studying for her advanced veterinary practice certificate in equine orthopaedics. As well as lameness Claire enjoys operating, and is constantly expanding her surgical knowledge. She is also one of our equine anaesthetisits. Claire has twice been out to the Gambia, working with a charity looking after working horses and donkeys.

Nic Harries BVMS MRCVS

Nic joined Wright and Morten in the summer of 2010, having worked in a local equine practice for the last 6 years. She graduated from Glasgow University in 1996, and spent 2 years in mixed practice in Northumberland before moving to a hospital based equine practice in Hertfordshire until 2004.

Nic enjoys all aspects of equine practice, but has a special interest in the diagnosis and treatment of lameness, dentistry and donkeys.




Liz Brown BSc BVSc MRCVS

Liz is a local girl who grew up in the pony club around Mottram in Longendale and Glossop. Liz gradualted from the university of Liverpool in 2009, having previously completed a zoology degree at the University of Reading.   Liz spent the first two years of her career in Equine practice in Kent, and has now returned to her home patch. Her work interests are in the fields of equine internal medicine, dermatology and ophthalomolgy.  Liz also has a specialist interest in donkeys, and has been involved in breeding, rearing, showing, riding and driving donkeys for many years.


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