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Morpeth Equine: 

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John Macfarlane BVM&S, MRCVS

John is the son of a third generation dairy farmer and was brought up on a 165 acre rented dairy farm in Perthshire.  Having started milking cows at 4 years of age (!), it was, perhaps, inevitable that livestock would feature in his future. John duly qualified from the Dick Vet in Edinburgh in 1984, came straight to Alnwick to work for Curry, Clark, Malone and Young in 1984, and was invited to join the partnership in 1988.  He developed a broad interest in mixed practice and still enjoys treating companion animals and horses as well farm species.  On the farm side, he says he’s game for anything.  The motto is “If I don’t know, I’ll find out!” His areas of responsibility within Alnorthumbria Vet Group are medicines, finance and the Wagonway Road Alnwick branch. John’s input to veterinary politics/business includes BVA council, North of England Veterinary Association council, Society of Practicing Veterinary Surgeons council and XL Vets founder director.  In all of these forums John tries to represent the interests of his farm clients.  He has published articles for British Cattle Veterinary Association and the BVA’s educational journal as well as the occasional article in the farming press. Away from work, time is spent on the hill, on the sea or on his bike.


Andrew Sawyer MRCVS

Originally from an East Yorkshire Farming family, Andrew moved to Alnwick in 1989 via Bristol University and a job in Zimbabwe.  He joined the partnership at the merger of Hampden and Simonside Veterinary practices in 1991.  Since then his work has been almost totally with farmstock and is a founder member of The North Northumberland Suckler cow discussion group.  He has a particular interest in disease prevention and fertility.  He also participates in vaccine trial work and the picture shows him with his tip over cattle crush, particularly useful for lame bulls.



Joe joined us as a mixed veterinary practitioner from Glasgow University in 1998. He soon became a predominantly farm vet with a particular interest in disease prevention and health planning. In 2001 he spent a year working in New Zealand which gave him an insight into farming and vetting without subsidies. Joe became a Director in 2005 and has a particular interest in developing physical production targets for farmers as a way to objectively measure their animal's health allowing the comparison of stock performance year-on-year and with similar farms. Joe gained his RCVS Certificate in Sheep Health and Production in 2011 and was invited onto the executive board of the Sheep Veterinary Society in 2012.  With Andrew Saywer, Joe has undertaken training of other vets from all over the country on Beef and Sheep vetting which is, in some areas, seen as the poor relation to dairy work. He was involved with the Coquet Valley BVD eradication - the largest single area of England which has managed it. He also lectures and regular speaks at the national Beef Expo, Nottingham Vet School, SVS meetings, borders clinical clubs and local farmer meetings. Joe works mainly from our Rothbury and Alnwick surgeries and in his spare time he and his wife run a 150 acre farm with flocks of Hampshire Down and Romney sheep and Luing cows all outwintered.

Steven Carragher BSc, BVM&S, MRCVS

Steve first came to the Practice (then known as Hampden & Simonside) in 1995 as a student and is now a Director, running the Wooler branch.  Steve and his wife Fiona, who also works as a vet with us, have two young children, James and Beth, who try to keep Steve away from his other passion of water-sports. His main veterinary interests are in herd and flock health and productivity.  He has a special interest in bull fertility, spending a lot of his time evaluating bulls for fertility before the breeding season and he holds a European Certificate in Beef Cattle Production.

Stephen Bradley BVMS, MRCVS

Stephen Bradley grew up on a farm in Northern Ireland and qualified from Glasgow University in 1999.  He worked for three years in mixed practice in Durham before moving to the Aln Veterinary Group in 2003 to concentrate on large animal work.  He enjoys all aspects of farm veterinary practice and is particularly interested in bovine fertility and mastitis, along with herd and flock health planning. His hobbies outside of work include cycling, running, swimming and playing squash. Steven works mainly from our Morpeth and Ponteland surgeries and can be seen here with young son Aidan who is obviously also interested in sheep.  

Simon Caple BA, BSc, VetMB, MRCVS

Simon joined Hampden & Simonside Vets in 2002 and was previously involved in gamebird work for Hy-Fly Hatchery, Lancs.  Since 2002 he has spent most of his time developing the small animal facilities at Alnwick but also enjoys occasional farm visits.
Since the retirement of Jo Gidlow, Simon Caple and Joe Henry have taken over the main responsibility for Game Birds in the new group.


Pam Brown BVetMed, MRCVS

Pam graduated in 2005 from the Royal Veterinary
College, London and joined Northumbria Veterinary Partnership after enjoying seeing practice there for three years.  Pam enjoys all aspects of mixed practice and is now based at the Wooler branch.
In her free time, Pam helps out on her husband's farm, follows the West Percy Hounds and enjoys endurance walking, fell running, cycling and swimming.


Claire Riddell BVM&S, MRCVS

Claire is an Alnwick lass, born and bred, and is based at the Wagonway surgery. She qualified from Edinburgh in 2004, and since then has been working as a mixed vet here in Northumberland, and enjoys (most of the time!!) all aspects of working in a rural practice. 
Her areas of clinical interest include cattle reproduction and health planning.  Out of work her activities include skiing, horse riding, going to the gym and trampolining.

Jenny Hull BVetMed, MRCVS 


Jenny grew up on a beef and sheep farm in North Yorkshire and joined the practice after graduating from the Royal Veterinary College in 2007 and is still here!  Jenny is based at our Rothbury branch and is predominantly a farm vet although she still enjoys carrying out the occasional small animal consultation.  Jenny recently co-ordinated the Coquet Valley BVD eradication programme which was a collaborative project involving 30 local farms.  She is a regular speaker at the National Sheep Expo, borders clinical clubs and local farmer meetings.  Out of work, she plays rugby for Morpeth ladies and the Northumberland county teams and also enjoys shooting, horse riding, jogging and walking her dog.




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