New equine centre opens its doors

VET’S DIARY: THIS weekend marks the culmination of months and months of hard work as our equine team move into their new purpose-built hospital at our Fairmoor site in Morpeth, writes Dominic Plumley.

It is just over a year since we learned that Farmway may be looking to sell the building triggering a fever of activity, firstly to secure purchase of the premises and then carefully planning the exciting new facility.

It’s about six months ago that the first trowel was raised in anger when work started in the very capable hands of local contractors DP Builders.

The project has continued without a hitch and the last few weeks have seen the final transformation of the building into a wonderful equine centre.

The new clinic has a confidential performance assessment area, including trot up and lunging ring, two examination and diagnostic rooms, a Joint Measurement Board-approved measuring pad, intensive care boxes as well as mare and foal facilities, not to mention a number of stables for hospitalised in-patients.

Perhaps, most exciting of all, are the operating facilities; a padded ‘knock-down box’ for performing general anaesthesia adjacent to the spacious new operating theatre with purpose-built hoist for transfer of anaesthetised patients.

Over the last few years, our six-vet dedicated equine team, including four certificate holders, have been constantly pushing forward their diagnostic skills. Unfortunately, until now, many surgical cases have had to be transported to distant locations in order for operations to be performed.

We will now, of course, be able to deal with these cases in-house, either utilising our own surgeons or using the skills of visiting surgical experts.

The net result is that the patient does not have to travel as far, which is both better for their health and in the current economic climate also better for their owner’s pocket!

For those that don’t know, the site is just off the A1 (you can see it as you drive south!) on the north road into Morpeth. There is plenty of room for parking and turning horse wagons so access couldn’t be easier.

We will, of course, continue to provide a comprehensive ambulatory service throughout Northumberland extending to Tyne and Wear, Durham and up into the Scottish Borders. To coincide with the opening of the Equine Centre, we are launching a new free zone visit scheme, where routine visits booked in advance will be made free of charge, again helping with costs in these difficult financial times.

The team are going to be hitting the ground running.

The new clinic will enable us to investigate more complex problems further, including lameness work-ups, extensive analysis of factors causing poor performance, dental problems and the ever-evolving area of equine fertility and artificial insemination.

Later in September we will be running a laser clinic for the treatment of skin tumours such as sarcoids and melanomas and this will be followed in October with a Gastroscopy Day – all very exciting stuff.

The completion of the centre is another exciting stage in the development of Alnorthumbria Vets since its formation nearly four years ago.

We are once again indebted to Richard Sullivan of Sullivan Associates for his help with designing the Centre and over-seeing the project as well as DP Builders who never fail to produce a very high standard of work.

It will be great to see how the facility develops, continually trying to raise the bar of the service that we strive to provide for all of our valued clients across the county.

For more information about the new centre, the zone visits or the treatment clinics to come, ring 01670 897597 or visit