Hawkhurst & RYE Team

Clinical Directors


Howard Newitt
Howard Newitt - BVetMed, CertEP, MRCVS Advanced Practitioner in Equine Practice

Veterinary Surgeon and Clinical Director

Howard qualified in 1995 and attained the RCVS Certificate in Equine Practice in 2000. Howard is an FEI listed vet for both eventing and reining. As a keen rider regularly taking part in eventing and bloodhounding, Howard has a particular interest in problems of the performance horse. Howard is a local authority riding school inspector and spends part of his time advising insurance brokers and underwriters.



David McDonald
David McDonald - BVM&S, MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon and Clinical Director

David graduated from the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College, Edinburgh before joining Cinque Ports Veterinary Group in Rye.  Following an 18 month term there he completed an internship at Rossdales & Partners, Newmarket where he was responsible for admission and management of critically ill hospital patients, general anaesthesia and lameness diagnosis.  David returned to Kent as an assistant to Peter Cantor before purchasing Milbourn Equine in 2004.  David is a JMB Official measurer and  was a Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Folkestone Racecourse until its closure in December 2012. Outside work David keeps himself busy managing his menagerie of horses, dogs and cats with his wife Anna and children Maddie & Archie.



Sharon Marsh - BVet Med MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon and Clinical Director

Sharon joined Cinque Ports Vets in 1993 as a new Graduate initially working at our Rye and Lydd branches. Sharon developed her interests in small animal medicine and surgery and in 2009 became a Director of Cinque Ports Vets and Milbourn Equine. She is responsible for all our small animal branches.
In her spare time Sharon and her husband Simon enjoy spending time with their two sons Will and Ed. Sharon enjoys sailing her laser from Rye Harbour sailing club with the family, surfing and walking her dogs Fred and Lottie.



Equine Vets



Sarah Emptage
Sarah Emptage - BVetMed, MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Sarah graduated from London University in 1995, after which she spent 10 years working in a busy large animal practice in Kent.  Sarah joined Milbourn Equine in October 2005. Sarah has a particular interest in Emergency medicine and conditions of the geriatric horse. When not working, Sarah enjoys riding, singing, gardening and spending time with her 3 boys Henry, William and James and walking her dog Digby. Sarah is also Akela of her local cub pack.



Katie Preston - BVSc, MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon
Following graduation from Liverpool university in 2011, Katie spent a few months working in an equine charity hospital in Egypt treating the working horses of Luxor and on her return spent a year working in mixed practice on Exmoor. Having grown up in Cranbrook , she spent some time seeing practice here at Milbourn Equine as a student and when the opportunity arose she joined us in February 2013. As a keen event rider she has a particular interest in sport horse medicine alongside lameness and reproduction. Outside of work her time is taken up riding and competing her eventers and entertaining her Cocker Spaniel, Taz.


Harriet Fairhurst - BSc(Hons) BVetMed MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Harriet joined Milbourn Equine in 2016 after completing two degrees, Bioveterinary Science & Veterinary Medicine, both at The Royal Veterinary College. She has been involved in lots of research projects - most recently researching how acupuncture can treat lameness. Harriet's hobbies include riding (hunting, eventing and playing polo), running, walking her rescue lurcher Flash and entertaining. Her academic interests include surgery and internal medicine, which was fuelled by spending a month at Rossdales. Additionally she has a huge interest in donkey medicine.





Amy Baskerville - BVSc MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Amy qualified in 2005 from Liverpool University and went straight into equine practice in North Wales.  She subsequently spent time in equine and mixed practice in North Wales and Kent, having moved back south in 2014.  Amy was very excited to join Milbourn in September 2016 having settled happily in the area with her family. 
Amy comes from a thoroughly equestrian background having being plonked on a pony before she could walk! She primarily enjoyed eventing before heading off to Vet school, inspired by her father who is also an equine vet. She can now be found trotting about the roads close to where she lives getting her big bay ‘Bobby’ fit for hunting. This, her dedication to her equine patients, being Mum to two boys Charles and Henry and walking and running with her crazy spaniel ‘Otto’ is keeping her busy!


Sanne Minnema - MSc MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Sanne qualified from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands in 2015. During her studies she did a few projects with working horses and street animals in The Gambia & Ecuador. Following graduation, Sanne started working as an intern in Berkshire with Chiltern Equine Clinic after which she joined us at Milbourn in November 2016. Sanne enjoys all aspects of Equine veterinary medicine and outside of work she loves riding, mainly show jumping and eventing, and travelling.



   Matteo Mucciante - MRCVS

   Veterinary Surgeon

   Matteo graduated in 2015 from the University of Perugia in Italy. He then moved to the UK where,     after a 7 month externship, he completed a year's internship at the Hambleton Equine Clinic in         North Yorkshire. In October 2017 he left the Yorkshire moors for the more continental weather of       Kent and joined Milbourn Equine. His main interests are internal medicine, reproduction,                   lameness and dentistry. When not working he enjoys football, cooking, travelling, swimming and       fishing, but in the warm seas of Italy!



Group Practice Manager

Rita Dingwall

Sarah Startup

Group Practice Manager
Sarah has worked in veterinary practice since 1989 as a Receptionist.  Sarah joined our small animal sister company Cinque Ports Vets in 2001, becoming Branch Manager in 2007 and Group Practice Manager of  Milbourn Equine & Cinque Ports Vets  in 2016.  She is assisted in her office by Izzy her rescue terrier.



Nursing Team

Fiona Andrews

Fiona Andrews - RVN

Veterinary Nurse
Fiona began nursing in 2002, qualifying as a veterinary nurse in 2004. She has been at Hawkhurst since 2006 and regularly assists our equine vets with laboratory work and accompanying them on visits. She also controls our stock ordering system.
She has two rescue cats and in her spare time enjoys horse riding., using her local gym and     going to the cinema.



Megan Giles - RVN

Veterinary Nurse
Megan joined our Hawkhurst team in 2011 and undertook her veterinary nurse training with us after completing her Animal Nursing Assistant qualification.  Megan qualified in 2018. She is particularly interested in equine nursing. She regularly assists our equine vets with laboratory work and accompanies them on visits. When not at work Megan likes to spend time with her horses Tilly and Oakley who she regularly competes.



Office Team

Louise Leggatt

Equine Receptionist

Louise joined our Hawkhurst branch in May 2007 as a Receptionist, moving to our dedicated Equine desk in October 2010. She has been involved with horses all her life, competing and hunting with her two sons, Ben and Tom.   She has two horses, William and Kitti, two yard cats, Sootie and Sweep, and shares her son’s Jack Russell terrier, Trev.



Claire Beck 

Equine Receptionist

Claire is an experienced veterinary receptionist who joined our team in January 2015.  When not being a taxi service for her two teenage sons she spends her time walking her 3 Border Collie rescue dogs.  An experienced horse owner, Claire also enjoyed in hand showing with her Russian Draft horse, Mary, who sadly, is no longer with us.


Rosemary Hill
Rosemary Hill

Equine Receptionist

Rosemary joined us in September 2011 as part of the equine team working as a receptionist. She has lived in this area for all of her life and loves to spend her spare time riding her horse Murphy in Bedgebury Forest with her dogs. She also enjoys reading, cooking and socialising with friends.



               Maggie Alcock

               Equine Receptionist

              Maggie joined us in October 2017 as part of our equine office team. Maggie is an experienced                  veterinary receptionist having spent many years in small animal veterinary practice. Her hobbies                are mountain biking, walking huge distances with her dogs, cooking and spending time with her                 family.



Rachael Stooks 

Personal Assistant

Rachael  began nursing in 1998 gaining her Veterinary Nursing qualification in 2002. She joined Cinque Ports Vets in 2003 as a veterinary nurse, becoming Personal Assistant to our Directors and Group Practice Manager in 2014. Rachael is also responsible for our website and social media.


 Rosemary Hill

Trevor Jones

Maintenance Manager

Trevor began working for Milbourn Equine in 2011.  He works between all our branches maintaining the buildings and grounds. When not working he enjoys the occasional round of golf. 




Client Care


Small Animal Clinics