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Meet The Team

“Whenever I care for a horse, I'm joining a team that includes the owner, the farrier, and any other paraprofessionals involved in their care.” – GR

Gil Riley MVB CertEP MRCVS
Founder & Vet

Gil qualified in 1990 and gained experience in general practice in his native Northern Ireland and Wales. He joined Pool House Vets in Lichfield, 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 interest in poor performance presentations, before setting out on his own in 2022.

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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.

Sarah Benson


Sarah is Midlands born and bred and in her former career was a mechanical engineer at Land Rover Jaguar. Her dream of being a vet was realised when she took the plunge to be a mature veterinary student and graduated from Nottingham Vet College. Her chief interest is general equine practice, but having completed a research project in equine cardiology may look to explore this specialism in the future. Sarah has had over 20 years of experience with horses, including backing/breaking, carriage driving, showing and le trek! Her spare time is mostly occupied by Loki, her beautiful corgi, with whom she loves exploring the countryside.

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founder and practice manager
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Renske van der Rijt

Renske hails from the Netherlands and graduated from Utrecht University in 2007 before relocating to the UK to begin her career. Her passion for equine medicine led her to obtain the RCVS certificate in advanced veterinary practice (CertAVP) in equine internal medicine in 2013, a qualification that she has since used to develop her expertise in treating medical conditions such as airway disease, stomach ulcers, digestive issues, skin disease, and laminitis in horses.


When she’s not providing exceptional care at the clinic, Renske can often be found exploring the great outdoors with her four-legged friend, Eli, or climbing challenging rock faces.

Hannah Fletcher  
Assistant practice manager

Hannah joined the team in 2023 after bringing her horse Magic to see Gil. She happened to be looking for a new direction in her career so sent in her CV. Fast forward a few months and she is Emma’s right-hand woman as assistant practice manager. She excels at organising things – and always has a to-do list on her desk! When she isn’t working hard in the office, she loves competing with her beloved pony Magic, cheese and wine evenings with friends and hiking in the Peak District.

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Georgia Barry
Client Care Team

Georgia joined the clinical care team in 2023. After leaving college, she worked on a horse holiday yard by the coast and then moved closer to home working at a local livery yard. She forms part of the clinical care team and assists the vets with x-rays, scans and scopes.She brings daily laughs, loves singing along to the radio and if you give her half a chance, talking about Shetland ponies! On her days off, she loves spending time with her own Shetland, who she is training to drive. 

Ella Goodwin
Client Care Team

Ella joined the team in 2024, and since leaving college worked her way up the ladder to manage a local riding establishment. She forms an integral part of the clinical care team and brings a huge smile, her people skills and sound horse experience to the team. When she isn’t busy organising jobs for the day, she loves to ride her horse and walk her dog, as well as looking after her young family!

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Abbie Duro
Client Care Team

Abbie came to see work experience with us and impressed us all with her can-do attitude. She works alongside the team on the yard at the weekends and in the holidays and is hoping to pursue a career in the veterinary industry. In her spare time, she loves to compete with her pony at novice level dressage.

Skye Taylor
Client Care Team

Skye joined the team in 2023 and works as part of the clinical care team at the weekend.  Her ambition is to own her own horse one day but for now, she loves looking after the liveries and in-patients. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time hiking with her family and seeing Taylor Swift with her friends!

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Lauren Morley
Poor Performance Assistant

Lauren works alongside Gil with his poor performance patients, often riding the horses to give Gil a sense of what she is feeling under saddle as he works his way up the leg, determining the precise source of discomfort. She is a freelance riding instructor teaching a wide clientele in the area, as well as owning her own equestrian clothing range! When she isn’t working, she loves to take her own horses out show jumping.

Sharon Freer
Office Assistant

Sharon works part time in the office providing much needed support for Emma and Hannah, answering client enquiries, chasing insurance companies and organising the vets’ busy days. Before working in the office, she worked with the clinical care team looking after our liveries and in-patients. In the past, she has taught many children and adults to ride as well as competing herself. In her spare time, she enjoys looking after Amos, her elderly horse. Her horse-free time is spent judging new and unique beverages at beer festivals up and down the country.

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