Registered Specialist Surgeon, Director
Ivan Bridge, BVSc
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 a past President of the NZ Equine Veterinary Association
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 2006.
Kevin Miers BVSc
After travel adventures and stints of work in other parts of the US and Great Britain, Kevin returned to New Zealand and the South Auckland area in 1981, where he has been ever since. Kevin was a partner in Ewen Equine Clinic until establishing Equine Veterinary Services in 1995, based at Drury and the Karaka Sales Centre. In 2008 a working relationship was established with Veterinary Associates Equine and Farm and in 2015 the two practices were merged, and he became a director of the new entity.
Kevin currently works in all areas of equine veterinary medicine however reproduction, and stud medicine has been his main focus for many years. He provides dedicated services to large thoroughbred and standardbred studs in the area as well as enjoying working for his many long term smaller clients.
Away from horses and veterinary practice, on the odd occasion that happens, Kevin enjoys fishing, hiking, travel, playing piano, dining out and spending time with wife, family including 2 daughters and several grandchildren who all live nearby.
Lacy Kamm, DVM MS, DIPLOMATE ACVS,
Registered Medicine Specialist, Director
Jenny Sonis, DVM, MS, DIPLOMATE ACVIM
Jeremy Bullock, BVSC
With horses in his blood, Veterinary science was a natural choice, Jeremy graduated from Massey University in 2008 with distinction. After spending four years in mixed practice he quickly gravitated back to horses, and joined the Veterinary Associates team in 2012.
Jeremy enjoys all aspects of being an equine veterinarian and has a particular interest in sport horse reproduction, wound management, and field surgery.
Outside work Jeremy enjoys everything outdoors; horse riding, hunting, fishing and diving, good food and wine, and spending time with his partner and their children.
Felicity Wade, BVSC
Her interests away from Equine practice include riding, snowboarding, painting, squash, and spending time with her husband Tristan, and their young son James.
Ben Vosloo, BVSc, BSc
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.
Kaylin Touche (DVM)
Jordana Del La Varis BVSc (Dist)
Following her internship, she travelled to Europe where she spent some time at an equine veterinary practice while also grooming on the international eventing scene.
Outside of work, Jordana can be found riding her horses or skydiving.