Equine Centre


Our team

Dr R Chris Whitton

Head of the Equine Centre, Professor of Equine Medicine and Surgery, Specialist in Equine Surgery

Chris coordinates the equine scintigraphy service and works as a specialist equine surgeon in the hospital. He began working at the Equine Centre in November 2004. Chris trained as a specialist at the University of Sydney and completed his PhD before moving to work with Dr Sue Dyson at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, England, a world leader in lameness investigation and imaging. He ran his own referral practice and scintigraphy unit at the Newcastle Equine Centre.

Chris has lectured and published extensively on lameness matters. His current research interests are in prevention and diagnosis of injury in performance horses.
Dr CM (Cate) Steel
(nee Colbourne) BVSc, FACVSc, Diplomate ACVSMR

Associate Professor of Equine Medicine and Surgery, Specialist in Equine Surgery

Cate graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1987, and then trained as a specialist at Murdoch University and Michigan State University, USA. Cate became a Fellow of the ACVSc in Equine Surgery in 1997. That is, specialist in equine surgery. She has been the official veterinarian at many race meetings and endurance rides in WA.

Cate then spent three years as a senior veterinarian at the Singapore Turf Club before heading to the USA for 18 months to work as an equine surgeon at UC Davis and Michigan State University. Her current research includes the molecular basis of recurrent laryngeal neuropathy.

In February 2016 Cate became a Diplomate of the American College of veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Dr Brett Tennent-Brown

Associate Professor in Equine Medicine

Following the completion of a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from Massey University, New Zealand, Brett continued his postgraduate training with a one year internship at Randwick Equine Centre, Sydney, before returning to New Zealand and working in mixed large animal practice.

Brett then travelled to the United States to continue his professional training with a residency in large animal medicine (equine emphasis) at the University of Illinois followed by a fellowship in large animal emergency and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania. During this time, Brett also completed a Master of Science (Veterinary Clinical Medicine).

Prior to joining the Faculty, Brett was at the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine, where he was primarily involved in didactic and clinical training of senior veterinary students and interns and residents. He also performed research in clinical monitoring and the role of inflammation in equine colitis.

Brett's current interests include monitoring the critical patient and the role of inflammation in equine diseases.
Dr Liz Walmsley
BVSc, MACVSc, MRCVS, FANZCVS (Equine Surgery)

Lecturer in Equine Surgery

Following graduation from the University of Liverpool (UK) in 2005, Liz commenced a twelve month internship in equine surgery, at Scone Veterinary Hospital, NSW. This appointment was extended for a further six months prior to Liz's appointment as a resident in equine surgery, supervised by Dr's Cate Steel and Chris Whitton at the University of Melbourne.

Liz completed her residency training in 2010, passed her fellowship exams in equine surgery in 2012 and now works in the equine hospital as a lecturer and equine surgeon.

Liz is currently undertaking research to complete a clinical masters that aims to identify changes in gene expression in laryngeal muscle of horses with recurrent laryngeal neuropathy.
Dr Jennifer Bauquier

Lecturer in Equine Medicine

Following graduation from Murdoch University, Jenni moved to the US to complete an internship at the Equine Medical Center of Ocala, Florida. Following this she remained in the US to undertake specialty training in large animal internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. At the completion of this training, she was awarded the specialist qualification of Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Jenni then returned to Australia to begin her PhD at the University of Melbourne, undertaking research investigating new treatments and biomarkers for the systemic inflammatory response seen in horses with conditions such as colic, colitis and pleuropneumonia. She joined the Equine Centre’s internal medicine service in 2014.

As she works towards completion of her PhD, Jenni’s main research interest is the systemic inflammatory response syndrome in horses. She also has interests in plant toxicities causing heart and muscle disease, as well as clinical antimicrobial use and bacterial resistance.

Dr Jenny Raffetto

Equine Surgeon

Jenny is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in Large Animal Surgery. She graduated from The Royal Veterinary College in 2007 and completed her Equine Surgical internship at the Chino Valley Equine Hospital in 2008. She undertook a residency in Equine Surgery at the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center, completing this at the Chino Valley Equine Hospital in California 2011 and has worked in private equine practice in the Gold Coast and Townsville.

In her prior position before joining U-Vet, she was a Blended Learning Coordinator at James Cook University, primarily engaged in the development of novel blended learning resources (digital learning objects), an area of pedagogical focus and expansion, in addition to clinical instruction.
Dr Luke Wells-Smith

Podiatry and farriery consultant

Dr Luke Wells-Smith joins the U-Vet Equine Centre with extensive experience in equine podiatry, lameness intervention and veterinary care. Luke has worked in equine veterinary practices across Australia and has consulted internationally, providing veterinary podiatry services and therapeutic farriery application for horses with foot-related lameness.

Luke developed a keen interest in farriery at age 15 when he shod his first horse in rural South Australia. In 2010, he graduated from James Cook University with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and has continued to develop his skills and knowledge in farriery and equine veterinary science by attending foot related conferences and visiting podiatry practices both in Australia and the United States.
Dr Andrew Turner
BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (Equine Surgery), FANZCVS (Veterinary Ophthalmology)

Ophthalmology Consultant

Dr Andrew Turner graduated with honours from the University of Melbourne in 1973. In 1988, after working in mixed and equine practice for 20 years, Andrew became a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in Equine Surgery.

In 1994, Andrew commenced a residency program in Veterinary Ophthalmology with Dr Rowan Blogg, the founder of Veterinary Ophthalmology in Australia. In 1997, Andrew became a Fellow of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in Veterinary Ophthalmology.

A registered specialist in Veterinary Ophthalmology, Andrew is a partner in All Animal Eye Services – a clinic dedicated solely to Veterinary Ophthalmology.
Dr Simon Hurn
BVSc (Hons), MVS, MANZCVS (Small Animal Surgery), FANZCVS (Veterinary Ophthalmology)

Ophthalmology Consultant

Dr Simon Hurn graduated with honours from the University of Queensland in 1998. Shortly after graduation, Simon undertook internships in Veterinary Anaesthesia, Small Animal Medicine and Small Animal Surgery at the University of Melbourne Veterinary Hospital. In 2002, Simon became a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in Small Animal Surgery.

In 2003, Simon completed a Masters of Veterinary Studies from the University of Melbourne and in 2006, became a fellow of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in Veterinary Ophthalmology, after completing a residency program in Veterinary Ophthalmology with Dr Andrew Turner.
Dr Kristen Lloyd

Resident in Equine Surgery

Kristen graduated from Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia in 2014 and has the prerequisite of growing up with horses. After finishing her Veterinary degree, Kristen moved to Victoria to complete a 12 month rotating internship at Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital. Half way through that year, Kristen was asked to be Goulburn Valleys first surgical intern, where she developed her passion for surgery.

Kristen joined the team in January this year and has a particular interest in upper respiratory tract & orthopaedic diagnostics and surgery. In her spare time, you will find Kristen at the nearest beach or exploring what Melbourne city and Victoria has to offer!
Sue Jones

Resident in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Sue graduated from University College Dublin in Ireland and spent a short time working in equine practice in her home town of Cork, before starting an internship at a large equine practice in the UK. She stayed in the UK for an additional 3 years working in private practice before moving to Australia for what was initially going to be a temporary stint.
She worked on one of the largest privately owned thoroughbred studs in the Hunter Valley, and also spent some time working in Bunbury in WA, and Gawler in SA. Sue was then lucky enough to be selected to do a Fellowship in Large Animal Ultrasonography at UCDavis in California where she was trained by one of the leading clinicians in the field of Ultrasonography. This fuelled her passion for teaching, and highlighted how vital it is to get the most accurate diagnosis possible, to achieve the best outcome for the horse. This path led her back to Australia where she took up a position at the University of Adelaide before joining the U-Vet team as their first Equine Sports Medicine resident under the supervision of Dr Cate Steel in October 2016.
Her particular areas of interest are ultrasound, lameness, cardiology and rehabilitation options for musculoskeletal injuries.
Poppy McGeown

Resident in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Poppy graduated from the University of Liege (Belgium) in 2015. Her passion for sports medicine began there when she took part in the treadmill exercise testing of horses as a student. Throughout the years of her veterinary degree, she saw practice with local specialist sports medicine veterinarians and also travelled abroad to the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Argentina, and South Africa for her externships. After graduating, Poppy completed an equine internship at the Nantes Veterinary School (France). Poppy has been part of the veterinary team at the two past Olympic Games as well as the previous World Equestrian Games and is a FEI-registered treating veterinarian. Poppy’s particular areas of interest are exercise physiology and developing a multi-discipline approach to poor performance in the equine athlete. When not working you will most likely find Poppy playing cricket or trekking in the most remote areas that can find.
Adeel Khan

Resident in Equine Medicine

Adeel graduated from The University of Nottingham in England and then moved across the world to start an equine internship at the University of Queensland Equine Specialist Hospital. After completing the 12-month internship, he remained at UQ for a further 6 months as a junior clinician in equine medicine. Adeel’s clinical interests include equine emergency and critical care, ophthalmology and cardiology; he has an interest in clinical research into equine fluid therapy. During his spare time, Adeel enjoys baking and exploring Australia and is hoping to get back into fencing with his move to Melbourne.
Lynette Jackson

Head Nurse Equine

Lynette joined the Equine Centre in December 2006 and took on the position of Senior Equine Nurse in May 2008.

Prior to moving to Melbourne, Lynette was an intensive care nurse in the Equine Intensive Care Unit at Scone Veterinary Hospital, New South Wales.

Lynette graduated from a degree in Applied Science (Animal Studies) at the University of Queensland in 2001, and has since completed Certificate III in Equine Nursing and Certificate IV in Equine Nursing. Originally from Brisbane, she has also travelled overseas, working for 18 months at a large breeding centre for horses in Texas followed by six months in Ireland in a mare and foal barn.
Krystle Lee Mills

Equine Veterinary Nurse (Second in charge)

Krystle joined the University of Melbourne in January 2008. She studied at the National Center for Equine Education in Wangaratta over the course of 7 years, attending both full time and part time courses.

During the Diploma of Equine Management Krystle was awarded the Irish National Stud Scholorship to study for 6 months in Kildare, Ireland in 2003.

Krystle was employed at the Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital for a period of 3 years, and completed an 18 month nursing internship in Florida, USA, at a large Equine Private Practice in 2006, working in Neonatal Intensive Care and Diagnostic Imaging.
Debra Brown


Debra first joined the Veterinary Hospital team working on the small animal reception in 1988. She moved to reception duties in the Equine Centre in 2007 and has not looked back. Outside of work Debra is married with three lovely children, she enjoys swimming and loves her dog Ax.