Gemma Dransfield MA VetMB CertEP MRCVS

Clinical Director and Veterinary Surgeon

Gemma graduated from Cambridge University in 2005. She worked in equine ambulatory practice in Sussex for 2 years before joining the team at Minster. Gemma’s main interests lie in equine and stud medicine and in 2009 she spent a 6-month stud sabbatical in Western Australia. On her return she gained an RCVS certificate in Equine Practice in 2011 and became Clinical Director in September 2015. Outside of work Gemma spends most of her time chasing around her young toddler or her greedy Labrador, Bruce.

Matthew Swarbrick BVSc(Hons) MRCVS

Clinical Director and Veterinary Surgeon

After graduating with honours from Liverpool in 2010, Matthew undertook a two-year internship at Newmarket Equine Hospital where he developed an interest in Orthopaedics and Diagnostic Imaging. Following a brief spell locuming in Cheshire he returned to Newmarket as the Diagnostic Imaging Assistant at Rossdales where he focused his attention on advanced imaging modalities (MRI and CT) and furthered his knowledge of Equine Orthopaedics. He then worked for a year in Melbourne, Australia undertaking horses-in-training work and diagnostic lameness investigations. He moved to Minster in 2016 and is mainly involved in horses-in-training work, pre-purchase examinations, lameness investigations and diagnostic imaging. He is currently studying to become an Advanced Practitioner, specialising in Diagnostic Imaging, and has published peer-reviewed literature in a veterinary journal. Along with Gemma and Emma, he is one of our Clinical Directors When not working Matthew enjoys keeping fit, fishing, walking his lurchers and occasionally riding out for his trainers and hunting.

Katie Brickman B.Vet.Med(Hons) MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Katie graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2013. She completed the internship programme here at The Minster Equine Clinic before accepting a permanent position. Katie has a keen interest in sport horse poor performance and orthopaedics and spends the majority of her time treating lame horses or those with gastric ulcers. She has completed her Certificate in Advanced Equine Practice and will undertake her exams in 2019 in equine orthopaedics. Outside of work Katie enjoys eventing her two horses Mary and Flash and walking her crossbreed dog Sammy.

Pol Abril-Casellas LV MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

After graduation from Barcelona University in 2009 Pol travelled to North America for a few months visiting renowned equine hospitals. He then undertook a one year internship at a surgical referral hospital in Canada. After this, he then moved to the Dubai for few months, focusing mainly on lameness of endurance horses. He moved to UK in 2014 and worked in Lambourn, Berkshire for a year focusing mainly on racehorses and sport horse work.

Pol joined Minster Equine Vets in May 2015. His main interests are racing and sports medicine, including lameness, gait analysis and diagnostic imaging, which led him to enrol in a Certificate in Equine Orthopaedics.

Outside work you can find Pol hiking, rock climbing or walking his beloved Border Collie, Anek.

Katherine Hall BVSc MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

After graduating Katherine spent some time volunteering as a vet in the Cook Islands, treating a huge variety of animals. Katherine joined Minster Equine Clinic in 2015 as part of our twelve month Internship Programme, working entirely with our hospital caseload alongside our experienced vets, consisting largely of advanced lameness and orthopaedic surgery as well as medicine cases. This has given Katherine a broad experience of all types of medical and surgical patient care, anaesthesia and pain management. Katherine was then offered a position as an Ambulatory Vet and is now responsible for her own large volume of cases, both on the road all over North Yorkshire, and in our clinic at Poppleton where she is based. She has a particular interest in medicine cases, and has recently enrolled on a Certificate in Equine Internal Medicine.

Outside of work Katherine enjoys riding her horse Minstral and spending time walking her dog Hetty.

Anna Szkutnik DVM MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Anna Szkutnik started as an Intern in 2016 but has now become part of the am ambulatory team.

Anna graduated in 2010 from Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland. Thereafter Anna worked in Poland doing mainly emergency and night shifts in busy equine hospital in Warsaw. In 2013 she visited many large equine hospitals in Belgium, Austria and the UK, gaining experience in varying equine veterinary environments. In 2015 Anna worked for a small but busy equine practice in Lambourn, Berkshire.

Anna has a keen interest in equine dentistry and is studying for her CRCVS Certificate in Dentistry

Christina Chionidou DVM MRCVS

Equine Intern

Christina graduated from University of Thessaly, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, in March 2018 and has spent the last 3 months working as a small animal vet back home in Greece. She now wishes to pursue a career in equine practice, and so joins us as an intern to further develop her skills. During her studies she completed a number of externships in Portugal, Sweden and Hungary. As well as also spending 6 months volunteering at an equine assisted therapies centre in Spain, and participating in castrations clinics for stray animals in Greece.

Christina is particularly interested in reproduction, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery. In her spare time she enjoys running, spending time with her friends and family, and is also a keen photographer!


Equine Intern

Ana graduated from University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal in December 2017 and has spent the last 5 months working in a Reproduction Centre in Ireland. During her studies she completed a number of externships in the UK, Finland, Belgium and Brazil. Ana is particularly interested in internal medicine, neonatal care and sports medicine. In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, traveling and spending time with her friends, family and pets.

Graham Munroe
Graham Munroe BVSc.(Hons), PhD, DESM, Cert EO, DECVS, FRCVS


Graham has been a consultant to the clinic for many years and is our principal orthopaedic surgeon. He is an RCVS specialist in Equine Surgery, and his huge wealth of knowledge and experience is a big asset to the team. His skills cover a wide area, including orthopaedics, ophthalmology, stud work and dental surgery. Graham has been team vet to both the GB Driving Trials team and the Dressage team in the past, and is the author of several publications.

Julian Rishworth B.Vet.Med MRCVS


Julian joined the practice in August 1993 and became a Practice partner in March 2000. Julian has recently retired from clinical practice, and moved on to a role within VetPartners.

Julian’s main areas of interest were Equine Dentistry, Stud work and conditions of the sports horse. In his own time, Julian used to breed potential event horses and Flat-coated retrievers. Snowboarding and scuba diving are his favourite non-horsey activities.

Emma Tolliday REVN

Head Nurse and Clinical Director

Emma joined the practice in 2009 and qualified as an Equine Veterinary Nurse in 2013. On returning from maternity leave in 2017 she was made Head Nurse and in 2018 became a Clinical Director Emma enjoys seeing everyone working well together in the clinic to give patients the care that they need. She has a particular fondness for racehorses and has an interest in all lameness and poor performance cases. Outside of work Emma enjoys taking advantage of parenthood and playing at trampoline parks or adventure play grounds with her family. She also likes to spend time with her horse, who she has owned for over 20 years and competed in endurance with.

Trainee Nursing Consultant
Evie O’Brien

Student Veterinary Nurse

Evie joined the practice in December 2016 and is currently studying for her Level 3 Diploma in Equine Veterinary Nursing. Her main interests are in surgical cases and she thoroughly enjoys the peri-operative care and sense of fulfillment she gets from working with those patients. In her spare time Evie has two of her own horses that she competes with locally in ROR classes and dressage.

Rachel Livsey

Nursing Assistant

Rachel has previously worked within our small animal department, and now joins the nursing team following eight months as receptionist at our Poppleton branch. Outside of work Rachel enjoys spending time with her 4 year old horse Dougie, and is hoping to take him out eventing next year! While out competing with Doug, Rachel often takes family dog Ruby with her for moral support!

Mandy Deighton


Mandy has been our groom at the Poppleton clinic for almost two decades! She arrives at 7am everyday on her bike and is responsible for all of the yard and husbandry duties of the in-patients. This includes mucking out, grooming, yard maintenance and cleaning. Mandy is a crucial part of the team. If you're passing in the mornings, you may have heard her crazy laugh which is sure to get our interns out of bed!

Before coming to Minster, Mandy worked at a large thoroughbred stud as a groom and handler. Outside of work she has a large collection of pets and can usually be found looking after her 9 horses, 2 ferrets and a neurotic oriental cat. She used to compete successfully in endurance racing, but now enjoys a more relaxed pace hacking around Poppleton.

Helen Jackson

Clinic Manager

Helen joined the practice in June 1994 when it was still a mixed practice at Salisbury Road. As the decision was made to develop the Equine Department further, Helen moved to Poppleton and took up the position as Manager. She assumes responsibility for the day-to-day organisation and administration of the Equine Department, and works closely with her colleagues Maddie and Julia at Poppleton, Jen at Ripon and Abbie at Malton. She also works at the Ripon branch to offer cover as and when needed. Helen used to hunt regularly with the York and Ainsty South, and still regularly follows the Middleton hounds. She is a keen skier, has recently taken up cycling and also loves spending time in her garden.

Madeline King J-SQP


Maddie joined the practice in 2006 having completed BHS Stages 1 and 2 and NVQ’s in Business Administration and Customer Service. Initially our main receptionist at the Poppleton facility, she gained her SQP qualification in 2010, allowing her to dispense various medicines. She now works closely with our Clients, Vets and Nurses, alongside Helen ensuring efficient and professional the day-to-day running of the site.

Outside of work Maddie is an experienced dressage competitor and instructor, having previously represented England as an under 21’s dressage rider in Ireland.

Becky Metcalfe


Becky joined the team in July 2019 as a receptionist at our Poppleton branch

Jennifer Fawbert

Branch Manager - Ripon

Jenny worked in the fast paced motor industry for 11 years prior to joining the Minster team in 2015. Jenny works at the Ripon branch where she is Office Manager. Her main role includes organising the busy schedule of bookings at Ripon and helping clients with advice, especially with regards to worming - there is never a dull moment at Ripon in this busy equestrian environment!

Outside work Jenny lives on a busy working stock farm with her husband and several dogs and spends much of her spare time riding her horse, Ike.

Julia Hardy
Julia Hardy


Julia works at the Ripon branch as a part time receptionist. Julia is a bubbly character and is often making everyone laugh in the office!

In her spare time Julia is kept busy with her dog Leonard and her horse Stanley, whom she successfully competes at show jumping events.

Abbie Knowlson
Abbie Knowlson

Branch Manager - Malton

Abbie has been part of the team here at Minster since 2011. She is well known in the Malton area, having worked in racing and is currently the Branch Manager at Malton.

Outside of work Abbie likes to look after her horse Yogi, whom she rode in point-to-points for 3 seasons, winning one memorable race. She also spends time walking Teabag, her Cocker x Lab, who is full of energy.

Abbie and her fiancé have a flock of pedigree Suffolk sheep of which they show in the summer at the country shows.

Abbie is currently away on maternity leave, and is sorely missed during her temporary absence!

Helen Cooper

Receptionist and Nursing assistant

Helen is based at our Malton branch, and has been covering Abbie's maternity leave since April 2018. In addition to her morning reception duties, Helen spends the afternoons as a nursing assisting at Poppleton. Helen has previously worked in hunt, racing and eventing yards. She is joined at work everyday by her golden labrador Pete. Outside of work Helen enjoys walking her dog and riding.