Priors Farm Forest Row 01342 823011 | Malthouse Barn Hassocks - 01273 890700
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Priors Farm - Forest Row 01342 823011

Malthouse Barn - Hassocks 01273 890700

The Veterinary Surgeons

Ben 9Ben J.N. Chilvers BVMS, CertEM(IntMed), MRCVS.

Ben qualified from Glasgow in 1997 and started working life at the Herriot practice in North Yorkshire working with a wide variety of animals. In 2000 he took up a two year clinical scholarship in the equine department at Glasgow University Vet School. After gaining the RCVS certificate in equine internal medicine in 2002 he went on to locum at a variety of specialised horse practices in the UK as well as spending time working in the USA. When not working he can usually be found kite surfing on the south coast and trying to persuade his family to join him. He joined Priors Farm in 2004.

Duncan 1Duncan D. Harrison BVSc, CertEM(IntMed), MRCVS.

After qualifying from Bristol in 2000 he moved to Aberdeenshire joining a mixed practice but concentrating mainly on the equine side. In 2001 he joined a large specialised equine practice in Essex. This very busy practice enabled experience to be gained in all areas of equine veterinary medicine. He gained the certificate in Equine Internal Medicine in 2005. His interests lie firmly in the countryside where he enjoys flyfishing and shooting. He also likes to occasionally hack out when the weather is good! He joined Priors Farm in 2004.

Ian 3Ian Bellis, BVM&S Cert AVP(ESO)MRCVS

Ian graduated from Edinburgh University in 2006. He has worked primarily with horses since qualifying – initially at a mixed practice near the New Forest and latterly at an Equine Hospital in West Sussex. Ian was awarded a certificate in equine orthopaedics in 2015, though has interests in equine medicine as well. He is married to Jo, who is also a vet, and they have a young son called Samuel. In his spare time, apart from enjoying family life, you are likely to find him participating in some form of sporting activity. Ian participated in the 2012 Olympics as an equine vet and found the whole experience extremely rewarding.

JJames 3ames A Hopkins BVSc Cert AVP(ESO) MRCVS

James joined us as a locum at the end of 2009 and joined the permenant team shortly after that. James graduated from Sydney University and returned to the United Kingdom where he completed an internship at House and Jackson, a large equine hospital based in Essex, before being asked to stay on as an equine assistant. James’s particular areas of interest are equine anaesthesia and surgery, he has just been awarded a certificate in equine orthopaedics. Outside of work James enjoys cooking and sailing.

The Nursing Staff

Natalie Lyons

Natalie re-joined Priors Farm in 2016 having first joined us January 2012. She takes over Carina Wickens as our head veterinary nurse. Previously, Natalie worked at Liphook Equine Hospital, where she qualified as an Equine Veterinary Nurse in 2008. She spent 3 years as a yard nurse and a further 3 years as a clinic nurse at Liphook, were she gained extensive experience in radiography, theatre nursing, intensive care and wound management. Before working at Liphook, Natalie spent 6 years working at a small equine practice in West Sussex. Natalie owns 2 horses and showjumps at a affiliated level in her spare time.


Jo Rusbridge
Jo Rusbridge

I started at Priors Farm in March 2012 as a Veterinary Nurse Assistant. In September 2013 Ben and Duncan gave me the opportunity to train as a Veterinary Nurse at Plumpton College and I am currently studying towards a Level 3 Diploma in Equine Veterinary Nursing and will qualify in 2016. In my spare time I like spending time with my own horses and helping out on my family farm. I also love outdoor activities including climbing and kayaking.

Sam 2Sam Carter

Sam joined Priors Farm as our live-in nurse in 2005 and is responsible for the day to day running of the yard and hospital. She is a competent jockey and a huge asset to the team! Sam spends her spare time riding out and socialising with friends.

The Office Staff

Sacha 1Sacha Morrish

Sacha joined us in 2008 and brought with her a wealth of experience having previously worked for another equine practice. She is the familiar friendly voice on the end of the phone and here to help you with your appointments. She keeps 20 brood mares and when these are not occupying her time she enjoys spending time in her immaculate garden.

Rachel 2Rachel Walker

I started working at Priors Farm in 2012, having previously worked in a couple of local studs gaining experience backing ponies and producing them for the show ring and then more recently in the hospitality industry. My main interest still lies in showing and I hope to compete at county level again in the future. Outside of horses and work I can normally be found singing with a local choir and socialising with friends.

Amanda 2Amanda Hoare

Amanda has been at Priors Farm for over 5 years as our book-keeper, and although she seldom has any direct contact with clients she keeps tabs on the financial side of things. Amanda is never happier than riding her horses around our stunning Sussex countryside.


20151022 Matt portrait-2Matt Smith BVetMed CertES(Orth) Dipl.ECVS MRCVS

Matt graduated with honours from the Royal Veterinary College, London, in 2001. He undertook a 2-year surgical internship at Reynolds House Referrals, Greenwood Ellis and Partners in Newmarket, before entering a 3 year residency training programme in Equine Surgery at The Royal Veterinary College. Matt obtained the RCVS certificate in Equine Surgery (Orthopaedics) in 2004 and the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS) diploma in equine surgery in 2007. He is recognised by both the European College of Veterinary Surgeons and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a specialist in Equine Surgery.

After completing his surgical residency in 2006, Matt returned to work for the referrals department of Greenwood Ellis & Partners and is interested in all areas of equine surgery, but with particular interest in minimally invasive surgery, including arthroscopy and laparoscopy, fracture repair and colic surgery. He has published 10 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals on subjects including endoscopic surgery techniques, use of mesenchymal stem cells in equine tendonitis, bone cysts and colic. Matt has also presented on these and other topics, at many national and international meetings across Europe, and received awards in 2004 and 2006 from the European College of Veterinary Surgeons for presentations given. He has written review articles in the veterinary press by invitation. In addition to his clinical work, Matt has also maintained an active role in undergraduate teaching, regularly delivering lectures and small group teaching sessions. Since 2006, Matt has been a Special Lecturer in Equine Surgery at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham.