Hawkhurst & Rye


Sarah Emptage – BVetMed, MRCVS – Lead 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 and has a particular interest in Emergency medicine and conditions of the geriatric horse. When not working, she 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. Sarah became a lead veterinary surgeon in 2020.


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.


Sophie Grant – BVSc MRCVS – Veterinary Surgeon

Sophie graduated from the University of Bristol in 2017 having completed an elective period with the Equine department. She then undertook a maternity cover in a mixed animal practice in Battle before completing the Bell Equine Internship, joining us in 2019. Her main interest is internal medicine, but she revels in the variety of equine ambulatory practice. Sophie grew up in East Sussex and was a keen member of the Pony Club tetrathlon team. Outside of work Sophie’s loves to travel, highlights include a recent trip to Japan and working on a cattle ranch in Canada as a student. She also enjoys cooking and exploring the countryside whether that’s on foot, hooves, skis or a jaunt on the family narrowboat.

Pedro Penha Garcia – MRCVS – Veterinary Surgeon

After graduating from the University of Oporto (Portugal) in 2013, Pedro undertook a 24-month internship at UTAD University Veterinary Hospital which provided hands-on experience in intensive care, anaesthesia, lameness and diagnostic imaging. He then worked as an equine and farm animal clinician at the same institution for 4 years, assisting also with lecturing veterinary students. Pedro enjoys most aspects of equine medicine and surgery, with his main clinical interests being lameness, reproduction and complicated wound management. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, cycling and socialising with friends.

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.


Jenny Lawrenson – Equine Manager

Jenny joined the practice in August 2019 after working for 12 years in a mixed practice. She qualified as an RVN and became a clinical coach in 2010. After taking a break from riding and working mainly with small animals, Jenny wanted to get back in touch with the equine side. Jenny’s previous veterinary experience and love of horses makes her happy to assist with the training of the equine nursing assistants.


Louise Johnson – 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.   Her spare time is taken up with her horse William, two yard cats, Sootie and Sweep, and Trev her son’s Jack Russell terrier who they share.

Claire Beck – Equine Receptionist

Claire is an experienced veterinary receptionist who joined our team in January 2015.  When not at work she enjoys long walks with rescue dogs and spending time with her friends and family.

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 Brett – 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.


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.