About Us

VS Equine was initiated to deliver an equine focused veterinary service within the mixed practice clinics that make up Vet Services Hawke’s Bay, Dannevirke and  Wairarapa.

The combined skills of our equine veterinarians in all geographical areas can be tapped into to create a more comprehensive veterinary service for our client and horses’ benefit

Our Community, Our Animals

Providing Excellent and Trusted Care

Meet the Team

Mike Fitzgerald
veterinarian, Vet SErvices Waipukurau

Mike originally hails from the Canterbury plains. He started with Vet Services in 2011 after graduating from Massey University. Mike worked for three years in Waipukurau, where he established himself as a thorough clinician before taking eighteen months off to do his OE. Along with lots of travelling, Mike was lucky enough to get into some great equine clinics in England, upskilling himself before returning to Hawkes Bay in 2016. He has undertaken a range of further study including lameness, performance, dentistry, wound management and pre-purchase examinations.

In his spare time, Mike is an avid runner, outdoorsman, and traveller. Not one to sit still for too long, you’ll likely catch him alongside his partner Tess, and their four-legged daughter Molly, up Te Mata peak.

Nicolette Adamson
veterinarian, Vet Services Waipukurau

Nicolette hails from the green dairy pasture of the Waikato but after graduating from Massey University, she made her home in Central Hawkes Bay. Nicolette wears many hats at Vet Services clinic with a particular interest in equine and working dog medicine. 

She spent her early years on the farm wrangling with a naughty pony in her attempt to make it into a stock horse. Today she fills her spare time running around the rugby field.

Nicolette loves the challenge that equine medicine provides and enjoys the physicality of working with horses while also utilising the precision often reserved for the small animal clinic.

Johnny Atkins
veterinarian, Vet services dannevirke

Johnny has been working with Vet Services Dannevirke since 2012, after completing his studies at Massey University. Originally hailing from Wellington he thoroughly enjoys the ‘small town life’ Dannevirke offers.

Johnny’s keen interest in horses was discovered during his school years, as he spent time riding. He has continued his education completing additional studies to further his knowledge and skills, particularly in Equine Dentistry, Medicine and Lameness – making him the go to vet for all things equine related in the Dannevirke region.

While not at work you can often find him out running, but he enjoys a range of sports and making the most of all the awesome outdoor opportunities rural NZ has to offer.

Richard McKenzie
veterinarian, Vet services Hastings

Richard originally joined the Vet Services Team in 1989 arriving for a three-month locum and staying for three years.

He spent four years abroad working in mixed bred and equine practices across the UK returning to our Hastings Clinic with a cemented interest in Equine work. 90% of Richards day is now involved with horses of all sizes and disciplines. He has interests in performance horses, equine lameness, radiography and reproduction. 

Outside of work his kids, partner and thoroughbred horses take up most of his time but enjoys swimming, fishing, and a bit of armchair critiquing for rugby and racing when he gets the chance. 

Dave Kruger
veterinarian, vet services napier

Dave joined the Vet Services team in 1996 after moving to New Zealand from South Africa. He is based out of our Napier Clinic and involved with both the equine and companion animal divisions of our practices.

Dave has a special interest in equine dentistry and lameness/foot balance and is very experienced with ultrasonography and radiology in horses.

Dave’s always had a passion for horses and the outdoors. When he is not at work you may find him riding his endurance horses with his wife Pilar or near the water, surfing, diving, or volunteering with surf lifesaving with his sons.

Louisa Broughton

veterinarian, vet services wairarapa

Louisa had a varied upbringing, including living overseas and also on a NZ milking goat farm.

She qualified as a vet from Massey University in 2002. She then worked with Roy Farman in mixed practice in Masterton, before moving to England in 2004. She mostly did equine practice (with some companion animal) whilst there and realised that this is where her passion lies. Louisa completed further education in the equine sector, including doing her General Practitioner’s Certificate in Equine Practice through the European school of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies.

Upon her return to NZ in 2011, she set up Wairarapa Equine, a dedicated horse only practice serving the lower North Island. This soon outgrew the single vet capacity and so was merged with Vet Services Wairarapa (formerly Chapel St Vets). Louisa loves the challenges that the varied workload in the Wairarapa offers – whether it be happy hackers, elite performance horses or miniature donkeys!

She spends most of her spare time either riding and training horses for competition (mostly eventing), attacking her garden with her husband Dan or trying to keep their 2 small kids out of trouble.

SANNEKE NEAL
veterinarian, vet services wairarapa

Sanneke is a Colorado native that graduated from Massey University in December 2018. Her love for hiking, skiing and everything outdoorsy stemmed from growing up in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

Her interest in veterinary medicine began at a young age and she started working at a small animal practice near her house at the age of 13. She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in biological science in 2011 and subsequently has had many varied experiences in the industry; an externship with a mixed animal practitioner in the Swiss Alps, managing a mobile sterilization unit in Phuket and working in the critical care unit at Massey’s vet teaching hospital.

While in New Zealand she met her now fiancé, Pete. She is excited to explore more of the Wairarapa region and continue to develop her skills as a mixed animal practitioner.

Libby Plummer
Equine Technician, vet services waipukurau

Libby has spent her entire life around horses. Her grandfather breed horses and she was in the saddle riding before 8 years of age.

 

Before training as a vet nurse she worked as a polo groom in Australia and then with a local sport horse and racing stables. While at the stables Libby helped with stallions, youngstock and competition horses she met her fair share of equine veterinarians, including Richard McKenzie and decided that vet nursing with an equine focus would be her dream job. After completing her diploma in vet nursing and gaining experience in a mixed animal clinic, Libby joined the Vet Services Waipukurau Team. She now wears two hats as an equine technician and as a vet nurse in the companion animal clinic.

 

In her spare time Libby competes in showing and side saddle classes, does a spot of hunting, is the secretary for Eskview Young Farmers club, volunteers with the fire service and travels the country with her off road loving partner and Swedish vallhund Harold.

Morag Robinson
Equine Technician, Vet services Hastings

Morag is a bright and bubbly member of our Production Animal Customer Service and Equine Team.

She joined Vet Services in 2017 as a Production Animal Receptionist fielding farm and equine enquiries, bookings and charges. Morag recently made the move to a new Equine Technician role and is very excited as this is an area she has a great interest in.

When she’s not at work you’ll find Morag spending time with her husband Wayne and two children Harry and Lucy on their lifestyle block at Ocean Beach, or enjoying some equestrian activities.

Nicola Sutherland
Equine Technician, Vet services Hastings

After spending a number of years as Head Nurse in our Hastings Companion Animal Clinic, Nic is happy to be back following her passions and working with horses.

Before kids, Nic spent time living in America riding for a fox hunting & eventing stables and working as an equine nurse for the world renowned Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. 

On arriving back to New Zealand she nursed in Waikato for an Equine ICU hospital before returning to Hawke’s Bay in 2003 and joining Vet Services. 

Nic’s interests outside of work include spending time with her rugby mad boys and keeping busy on her husband’s sheep and beef farm. She enjoys following TB racing and has started competing her family bred and raced OTTB.