Ivan Bridge, BVSC
Ivan hails from the Hawkes Bay being born and raised on a sheep and beef farm where the family daily diet was full of horses be they racing, hunting, polo ponies or merely tools of trade on the farm. Ivan’s father was still actively riding and a regular whip for the Hawkes Bay Hunt at the age of 80 so there is still hope for him yet!
It was this background that lead Ivan into Veterinary Science and upon graduating in 1975 he headed North to Dargaville with his new bride Rebecca who also was born and bred on the land in “Hawke Eye” country. After two years in the north they began the migration home to the Bay but became waylaid when Ivan joined the Veterinary Associates brand in August 1977. Karaka became the new home base with their family having been born, raised and dispatched from here.
With the intense family involvement in matters equine it was no surprise that Ivan’s Veterinary interests had this lean and he will happily concede that he could not have had the equine experience he has enjoyed back home in the Bay.
Professionally Ivan has steered Veterinary Associates into a rounded equine practice being involved in all aspects of equine endeavour. Having developed a keen interest and involvement in equine surgery it became apparent to him that times had moved on and this was now a speciality branch of equine practice. To this end he first recruited a specialist surgeon in the early 90’s and on completion of four years of intensive study in the United States former new graduate employee Andrea Ritmeester returned in 1997 to fill this role.
Ivan’s involvement in equine practice has seen him travel with a successful NZ Eventing team to Gawler South Australia as the Team Veterinarian. He has FEI Veterinary Accreditation for Eventing and Show Jumping and along with Wally Niederer was one of the first Veterinarians in the country to display an interest and assist in the FEI Veterinary aspects of Eventing and Show Jumping Competitions.
Ivan has an interest and long term experience in reproduction having stood two Sport Horse stallions for stud by artificial insemination on the home property. Back in the 80’s, through the Irish Draught stallion “Kingsway Diamond”, he was involved in the first shipments of fresh chilled semen in the country, a practice now treated as an everyday occurrence.
Ivan is a Past President of the NZ Equine Veterinary Association and presently serves as the NZ Equine Veterinary Association Representative on the NZ Equine Health Association.
Ivan has extensive experience travelling with horses by air to many parts of the world and has some great tales to tell of some of these trips especially to some more remote Asian locations. He is now also involved in the import of horses being the Veterinarian responsible for the welfare of horses entering Quarantine from those countries where this is a requirement.
Ivan introduced dentistry to the practice as an important area of expertise after travelling to an Australian Conference during his President’s term, this lead to the purchase of sophisticated equipment and much investment in Post Graduate training for the Veterinarians.
Through Veterinary Associates commitment to the Auckland Racing Club and Auckland Trotting Club Ivan is a regular attendee at these meetings.
Outside of practice not surprisingly Ivan’s interests chiefly remain with the horse. He and wife Rebecca are active members of the Pakuranga Hunt where Ivan is presently serving his eleventh year as Master and he is the current President of the NZ Hunt’s Association.
Neil Houston, BVSC, MACVSC
Neil Houston is a local boy, his parents still on a Franklin dairy farm. He graduated as a veterinarian from Massey University in 1988.
Spending a couple of years in clinical practice in the Taranaki before travelling and working in Australia and England Neil returned to NZ in 1993. Having developed an interest in working with horses he initially spent time working in Te Awamutu and then Matamata before finding a more permanent home with Veterinary Associates in 1996.
Neil is a member of a complaints assessment committee of the Veterinary Council of NZ and is the current President of the NZ Equine Veterinary Association (June 2015)
Since joining the practice Neil has furthered his interests in many aspects of equine practice such as reproduction, lameness, sporthorses and dentistry.
A late convert to the sport of hunting Neil enjoys some time when work and family commitments permit riding in some of the beautiful countryside available.
He has a membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Equine Medicine.
Neil has travelled overseas with several New Zealand Equestrian Teams including to the World Equestrian Games in Jerez in 2002, the World Endurance Championships in Dubai in 2005 and to the Young rider Eventing teams to Sydney in 2004 and successfully to Camperdown near Melbourne in April this 2006.
Lacy Kamm, DVM MS, DIPLOMATE ACVS,
Lacy Kamm grew up around horses on a farm in the eastern United States. She rode show jumpers competitively as a junior and worked as a professional rider to pay the bills during her university and vet school years. She went to vet school at Colorado State University and then did an internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky amidst racehorses and breeding farms. Lacy completed post-graduate work at Cornell University in New York where she researched stem cells as a treatment for orthopaedic diseases. Then she returned to Colorado to complete a residency in equine surgery and later became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Lacy is excited to be in New Zealand where folks are happy and adventurous and a beautiful place is always just around the corner.
Jenny Sonis, DVM, MS, DIPLOMATE ACVIM, Registered Equine Medicine Specialist
Jenny is originally from a small town in the northeastern United States, just outside of Boston. Growing up, she spent much of her spare time at a local barn, which was where her passion for horses first developed. She attended the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Upon graduation from veterinary school, Jenny began an internship at Chino Valley Equine Hospital in southern California. After her internship, she completed a residency in large animal internal medicine at Colorado State University. Following her residency, Jenny stayed on at CSU for a year in a clinical position. In 2012, she moved to Lexington, Kentucky to work at the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute at the McGee Medicine Center, spending many hours in the intensive care unit treating critically ill newborn foals. In 2013, she relocated to Auckland, New Zealand where she joined Veterinary Associates Equine and Farm. Since moving to New Zealand, she has returned annually to Hagyard’s for a month-long locum position in an effort to stay current with the latest advances in equine veterinary care. As a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and a Registered Equine Medicine Specialist, she is interested in all aspects of equine medicine, but she is particularly passionate about critical care and neonatology.
Felicity Wade, BVSC
Her interests away from Equine practice include riding, snowboarding, painting, and squash.
Jeremy Bullock, BVSC
Jeremy grew up on a sheep and beef farm in the north Waikato. He has spent most of his life around horses, showjumping, hunting, and comes from good racing pedigree. His grandfather John Bullock owned and trained two Great Northern winners; Beans Beau, and Heddawin.
With horses in his blood, Veterinary science was a natural choice,Jeremy graduated from Massey University in 2008 with distinction. He joined the Veterinary Associates team in 2012, after spending four years in mixed practice.
Outside work Jeremy enjoys hunting, fishing and diving, good wine, and spending time with his wife Emma, and son Thomas.
Ben Vosloo, BVSc, BSc
Ben Vosloo grew up on an extensive sheep and cattle farm in South Africa where working with horses, sheep and cattle formed an integral part of daily life. He displayed a passion for all things equine from an early age and participated at various equine sports, including polocrosse, endurance riding, and tent pegging for which he achieved provincial colours.
After school he travelled to England for two years and worked for stud and pre-training farms in the Newmarket area. During this time, he gained invaluable experience in the equine industry and furthered his training towards becoming an equine vet.
Ben qualified as a veterinarian at Onderstepoort in 2012, where his aptitude was recognized when he was awarded the prize for Applied Equine Studies. He then worked at Summerveld Equine Hospital in Durban for four years, where he predominantly treated racehorses and sport horses.
Outside of work Ben has an active lifestyle and enjoys running, mountain biking, and fly-fishing amongst other outdoor sports.
Jordana Del La Varis BVSc (Dist)
Jordana grew up surrounded by horses on a small sheep and beef block near Kumeu, Auckland. She graduated with distinction from Massey University in 2014 and subsequently completed an internship in equine veterinary practice at Matamata Veterinary Services.
Following her internship, she travelled to Europe where she spent some time at an equine veterinary practice and groomed for a top event rider.
Jordana enjoys all aspects of equine medicine and surgery.
Lauren Kubala, BVSc
Lauren was born in Wellington and moved to Auckland at age 10, where she grew up locally in Botany and developed an interest in riding from a young age. This led to pursuing a degree in Veterinary Science from Massey University, and an interestin specialising in horses. She has recently graduated and joined the Vet Associates team as the 2017 intern.
Outside of work, Lauren enjoys any outdoor pursuit including tramping, camping, water skiing, spending time with family, and travelling.
Elise Moritz BVM BVS (Hons)
Elise is from Hertfordshire in the UK where she grew up living and working with horses on her family’s livery yard.
She has always been surrounded by all things equine, competing ex-racers, eventing, and hunting from a young age.
Having recently graduated from the University of Nottingham with first class honours, she has moved across the world to join us for our internship programme here at Veterinary Associates this year.
Outside of work, Elise is a keen rugby fan and spends her spare time riding, shooting, and hiking up the nearest mountain.