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The best equine care –
delivered with a smile

Industry-leading poor performance investigations and internal medicine, as well as routine, preventative healthcare. We tell our clients that if they ever need reassurance or advice, we’re just a phone call away.

Here for your horse through every stage of their life

We're a venture launched by my wife, Emma and myself, based at Woodpecker Stables, just five minutes from Junction 25 of the M1 in the lovely village of Dale Abbey. 


We operate an ambulatory service covering Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire or you can bring your horses to Woodpecker Stables to be seen. We’ve constructed a state-of-the-art, two-storey clinic at Woodpecker, from which we can deliver a complete service for your horses, with a particular focus on poor performance and internal medicine.


We know what we’re good at, and we’re passionate about what we do – because the health of your horse is paramount. 


I’ve got decades of experience in poor performance work and pride myself on delivering a high class service. 


We deliver all routine care for your horses, and we form a team with owners, because we’re aware that we’re caring for a member of your family.


Preventative healthcare is a large part of what we do and the key to achieving this is by communicating clearly with our clients, whether that means tailoring a care plan to your circumstances, or referring you to neighbouring colleagues when we feel their help is required.

vet looking at horses shoes

Our services


Poor performance investigations

Gil is very experienced in general equine practice, but especially poor performance investigations which have formed the majority of his work in his career.

person riding horse

Award winning vets

Gil has been voted UK equine vet of the year by Petplan insurance, after being nominated by hundreds of clients.

Trusted throughout the industry

Gil is renowned for his poor performance work, and is a contributor for Horse and Hound, supplying many articles for the magazine, which can be found on our website.

To us, it's personal

Emma and Gil have built their forever home in the grounds of Woodpecker Stables, and live there with their two children, three dogs and three cats.

Gil Riley MVB CertEP MRCVS
Founder & Vet

Gil qualified in 1990 from University College Dublin and gained experience in his native Northern Ireland and then in Wales. He move to Pool House Vets in Staffordshire in 1997. In 2000 he joined the partnership, and the practice grew into separate small animal and equine hospitals. From there, he became a fundamental member of the partnership, and developed his specialism in poor performance presentations, before setting out on his own in 2022.

gil riley equine vet

Emma Whiston Riley
Founder & Practice Manager

Emma has always been involved in the equine industry and, after leaving school, set up her own freelance coaching and livery business from Woodpecker Stables. Whilst developing the business in those early years, she gained her British Horse Society Stage 4 certificate and studied part time at Nottingham Trent University gaining a BSc (Hons) in Equine Sports Science. She loves her role as practice manager, and is studying for further qualifications in veterinary leadership and management.

Contact Us

Gil Riley Equine Vets

Woodpecker Stables

The Moor

Dale Abbey



Mon:    8.30am - 5.30pm

Tues:     8.30am - 5.30pm

Wed:    8.30am - 5.30pm

Thurs:    8.30am - 5.30pm

Fri:        8.30am - 5.30pm

Access to the clinic is along a short one-track lane, which means vehicles over 7.5 tons may struggle with access at busy times. If you have any concerns, please contact us before visiting our practice.

For out of hours emergency enquiries, please call 0115 778 6997

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