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 before joining the team at Minster in 2008. Gemma is experienced in all aspects of equine work, however her main interests lie in equine stud medicine. She is responsible for the Thoroughbred breeding, Artificial Insemination, Embryo Transfer, foaling, and infertility investigations at the clinic. She also enjoys investigating and treating mares with hormonal behavioral problems. In 2011, Gemma gained an RCVS Certificate in Equine Practice and became Clinical Director in September 2015. Gemma is the Senior Veterinary Surgeon at York racecourse, is a FEI permitted treating veterinarian and a riding school inspector. Outside of work she spends most of her time chasing around after her two children and enjoys yoga.

Matthew Swarbrick BVSc(Hons) CertAVP MRCVS

Clinical Director and Veterinary Surgeon

Matthew graduated with honours from Liverpool in 2010 and subsequently undertook a two-year internship at Newmarket Equine Hospital where he developed an interest in Orthopaedics and Diagnostic Imaging. Following a brief spell as a locum vet 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.

Matthew moved to Minster in 2016 and is mainly involved in horses-in-training work, pre-purchase examinations, lameness investigations and diagnostic imaging. Alongside Gemma, he is one of our Clinical Directors. Matthew is an Advanced Practitioner and is currently studying for a RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in Diagnostic Imaging as well as a Masters in Business Administration. He has published peer-reviewed literature and veterinary journals. When not working Matthew enjoys keeping fit, fishing, walking his lurchers and occasionally riding out for racehorse trainers and hunting.

Pol Abril-Casellas LV CertAVP(ESO) 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 moved to Dubai for a few months, focusing mainly on the lameness of endurance horses. He moved to the UK in 2014 and worked in Lambourn, Berkshire for a year focusing on racehorse and sport horse work.

Pol joined the Minster Equine Veterinary Practice in May 2015. His main interests are racing, surgery and sports medicine, including lameness, gait analysis and diagnostic imaging. In 2020 he became an RCVS Certificate holder in Advanced Veterinary Practice in Equine Surgery (Orthopaedics). Outside of work, you can find Pol hiking, rock climbing or walking his beloved Border Collie, Anek.

Katherine Hall BVSc CertAVP 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 the Minster Equine Veterinary Clinic in 2015 as part of our twelve month Internship Programme, working with our hospital caseload alongside our experienced vets, consisting largely of advanced lameness and orthopaedic surgery as well as medicine cases. Katherine has broad experience of all types of medical and surgical patient care, anaesthesia and pain management. Katherine joined the team as an Ambulatory Vet upon finishing a successful internship and is responsible for a large volume of cases. In addition Katherine is an official measurer for the JMB, and is qualified to carry out riding school inspections. Katherine has a particular interest in medicine cases, and has completed the RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice. She hopes to sit the Equine Internal Medicine exam in the future. Outside of work Katherine enjoys riding her horse Minstral and spending time walking her two dogs, Hetty and Percy.

Anna Szkutnik DVM CertAVP MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Anna graduated in 2010 from Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland. Thereafter Anna worked in Poland doing mainly emergency and night shifts in a 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 joined the team at Minster as an intern in 2016 and after a successful internship became part of the ambulatory team. Anna has a keen interest in equine dentistry and has recently achieved an RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in Dentistry.

Cameron Roberts BSc(Hons), B.Vet.Med. MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Cameron graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2016. Before joining the team at Minster he worked in the Scottish Borders as an equine vet on the road. His main interests lie in racing, sport horse and lameness work and he will be focusing on these areas at the Minster Equine Practice.

Cameron owns a warmblood mare called Bonnie. He competes occasionally in showjumping classes and enjoys beach rides, so a lot of his free time is spent around horses. He also owns a miniature Dachshund called Juniper who he brought home from work one day (she had a congenital swallowing issue when she was born).

Tessa Heuver DVM MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Tessa graduated in 2020 from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. During her study, she went to Australia and New Zealand to obtain more experience. After graduating, Tessa undertook a rotating internship at a large equine hospital in Germany. In March 2022 she joined our team as part of our New Graduate Programme. Tessa's main interests lie in reproductive medicine, medical cases, foals and dentistry. Outside of work Tessa enjoys hiking, travelling and salsa dancing.

Abbie Pickles

Practice Manager

Abbie joined the team as practice manager in November 2020. Prior to joining Minster Equine, Abbie worked in educational publishing as lead designer and more recently running the office and stud at an international show jumping and breeding facility. Abbie ensures the practice runs smoothly and continues to grow and develop.

Outside of work Abbie enjoys competing her coloured show horses Daisy, Darcey and Phoenix, and judging at local shows.

Trainee Nursing Consultant
Evie O’Brien

Senior Nursing Assistant

Evie joined the practice in December 2016. 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. Evie has recently been enrolled on an equine Veterinary Nursing Diploma, and spends a few weeks each year at the Vet Partners nursing school based at Liphook Equine Hospital, in addition to studying on the job!  In her spare time Evie has two of her own horses that she competes with locally in ROR classes and dressage, as well as a tiny Shetland pony called Barry who she nursed back to health after he was admitted into the Minster Equine Clinic close to death.

Amy Souter

Nursing Assistant

Amy joined the team in August 2021. Amy spent two years studying at Askham Bryan College where she was awarded a qualification in Animal Management and an Animal Nursing Assistant qualification. She spent three years volunteering at the RDA Leeds before moving to York. Throughout the two years she spent at college, she worked at a small animal practice as part of her work experience alongside her Animal Nursing Assistant study. Amy aims to study for her Level 3 Diploma in Equine Veterinary Nursing in the future.

Sarah Robinson

Nursing Assistant

Sarah joined as an Equine Veterinary Nursing Assistant in August 2021. Sarah has a BSc (hons) degree in Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation and qualifications in equine management, care and sports coaching. Sarah has previously worked as an equine bitting specialist, as well as an equine therapy and rehabilitation practitioner, and maintains an interest in equine biomechanics and exercise physiology. Sarah has 4 horses; Fillie, Peter, Tiarmo and new addition Marvin who is homebred.

Abbie Knowlson
Abbie Knowlson

Nursing Assistant

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 been the Branch Manager at Malton.

Outside of work Abbie is kept busy looking after her daughter Matilda and walking Teabag, her Cocker x Lab, who is full of energy. Abbie and her fiancé also have a flock of pedigree Suffolk sheep which they successfully show in the summer at the country shows.

Since returning from maternity leave, Abbie is working 2 days a week out on the road assisting our vets.

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

Office 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 Office Manager. She assumes responsibility for the day-to-day organisation and administration of the Equine Department, and also works at the Malton 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 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.

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 can still be found on duty at York Races, and several competitions throughout Yorkshire.

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.