Registered Specialist in Equine Surgery & Managing Director
Christine Smith is a Registered Specialist in Equine Surgery, and has a particular interest in poor performance of racehorses and sport horses, lameness and all aspects of equine surgery including joint and gastrointestinal surgery. Christine is now a dual Canadian and Australian citizen, and is committed to life in Australia having settled in the Hawkesbury region. Her expertise, practical hands on approach and enthusiasm are known to many. Christine is now Managing Director at Agnes Banks Equine Clinic.
Laura Lee BVSc MS DipACVIM
Registered Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine
Laura Lee is the hospital superintendent and has a particular interest in foal medicine and respiratory problems. Laura was born and raised in South Africa, where she completed a Veterinary Science degree at University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort from 1999-2004. Laura entered private practices in South Africa before moving to the United States where she completed her Equine Medicine Specialty training at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Laura has been at ABEC since 2011 and her patient care and compassion is second to none.
Ian Duckworth BVSc
Ian Duckworth is a founding partner of Agnes Banks Equine Clinic and has been with the practice since its inception in 1989. Ian graduated from Sydney University in 1984 and has a particular interests in sports medicine, racetrack practice and Thoroughbred stud medicine. During the busy reproductive season Ian works tirelessly to provide excellent service to all of his stud clients. Ian has an enormous level of experience and expertise in all areas of equine veterinary practice.
Lauren Groom BVSc (Hons) MS DACVS-LA
Lauren Groom grew up in Sydney and has owned, ridden and competed with horses from an early age. She achieved her Veterinary Science Degree from Sydney University in 2011 and then completed an internship at Agnes Banks Equine Clinic. At Agnes Banks she developed a passion for surgery and moved to the United States in 2013 to complete a surgical internship followed by surgical residency training at Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Virginia. During her time in the United States, Lauren developed a particular interest in gastrointestinal, upper airway and orthopedic surgery. She has now moved back home to join the ABEC team and is excited to be back where it all began.
Jenny Watts BVSc (Hons1)
Jenny Watts is a valuable member of our ambulatory team and also helps out with the reproduction work during the season, both on the road and in the clinic. Jenny completed a student internship with us some 10 years ago and has since practiced in the Northern Territory and Queensland. She has a particular interest in dentistry and reproduction. Jenny is an enthusiastic and competent equine veterinarian and an avid horse rider – particularly in dressage where she has competed to Prix St George level.
Alexis Clark B Sc (Hons) BVM&S BAEDT MRCVS
Alexis Clark has come to us from the UK completing an internship at a large equine hospital (Willesley Equine Clinic) and then working in both first opinion and referral equine practice. Alexis grew up in South Africa and graduated from Edinburgh University. While Alexis enjoys a variety of equine work and has a wide range of skills, her areas of interest are dentistry, lameness, anaesthesia and emergency medicine. Alexis is a qualified Equine Dental Technician and is a member of the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians.
Mark Wiggett BAnSc BSc (Hons) BVSc RCVS
Mark comes to Agnes Banks having previously lived in the Hawkesbury before completing his veterinary degree at Sydney University. He has a keen interest in exercise physiology and reproduction particularly with performance horses having competed in Eventing for many years. Outside of horses Mark is sports mad, especially anything to do with rugby
Marnie Treseder BVSc
Marnie graduated from a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney in 2013, followed by completion of an internship year at Agnes Banks Equine Clinic in 2014. She then undertook an ambulatory equine position in a small private practice on the Central Coast of NSW which, whilst covering a broad variety of ambulatory tasks, had a strong focus on equine reproduction. Marnie returns to us to pursue her interest in reproduction, as well as develop her passion for equine dentistry and gain knowledge and experience in a knowledgable team. In her spare time, Marnie can be found riding her own horses and keeping physically active, enjoying the gym, bush walking/trail running and playing hockey.
Derek Major MACVSc
Derek Major is a founding partner of Agnes Banks Equine Clinic and was the driving force behind the evolution of Agnes Banks Equine Clinic and many of its achievements for many years. Derek graduated from Sydney University in 1979 and has particular interests in surgery and reproduction. Derek is a qualified FEI veterinarian and often spends his time on weekends working at FEI related duties at various events. Derek usually works at the practice on Wednesdays and also helps out with after hours duties.
Hadley Willsallen BVSc, MANZCVSc, DACVS-LA
Registered Specialist in Equine Surgery
Hadley Willsallen, a specialist surgeon, will be regularly helping out with the after hours surgery services as well as being available for some surgery and lameness work during the week. Hadley was an intern at ABEC many years ago and has remained a close friend and colleague at the Banks. She completed her surgery training at CSU Wagga Wagga and works for Kannegieter Equine Specialists. Hadley is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and has a wide range of surgical skills, including laparoscopy. We welcome Hadley back to the team!
Marleen Dantzer VetMed (Berlin)
While growing up in the north of Germany, Marleen Dantzer owned her own horse and was a regular competitor in dressage and show jumping. After graduating from the Freie University Berlin in 2017, Marleen made the long commute to Agnes Banks where she started her internship with us. Marleen’s particular interests are in performance horses and orthopedics, but she is looking forward to the wide range of cases that ABEC handles
Bec Powers DVM
Although originally from Melbourne, Bec completed her veterinary medicine degree at the University of Adelaide in 2017 before making the move to Agnes Banks Equine Clinic to start her internship. Bec grew up riding horses and worked on a thoroughbred stud back home in Victoria prior to starting her veterinary degree. Whilst working on the stud, Bec developed a keen interest in equine reproduction and neonatal medicine, areas she is keen to pursue during her time at Agnes Banks.
Sandy is the Head Nurse at Agnes Banks. Sandy gained her advanced veterinary nursing certificate in 1996 and has a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, which is a teaching level qualification. In 2015 Sandy was the deserved recipient of the EVA Excellence in Equine Nursing Award, which is a huge honour. Sandy supervises all hospital operations, as well as performing an educational role at Agnes Banks Equine Clinic. Sandy is also a part time TAFE teacher.
Deputy Head Nurse
Kylie is the Superintendent of the Reproduction Unit. She is a qualified Veterinary Nurse, and is responsible for the running of our reproduction unit, including coordinating our embryo transfer herd. Kylie has an interest in all aspects of equine reproduction.
Mel has been a member of our team for 10 years and has completed her Veterinary Nursing Certificate IV. Mel won the Student Excellence Award in 2013 and was the No 1 student in Animal Industries Resource Centre (NSW) for Certificate 4 Veterinary Nursing. Mel also has a certificate in Stem Cell Therapy and Agriculture Studies. Mel has been riding since she was 9 and has a passion for animals, especially small ones.
Emilie Holden has been working at Agnes Banks since 2011. Emilie moved on to the nursing roster in October 2014 and helps Ian on the road during the busy breeding season. The rest of the year Emilie works in the clinic performing general nursing duties including surgical theatre nursing. Emilie is currently completing her Veterinary Nursing Certificate IV. Emilie enjoys show jumping and eventing on her horse Golly.
Brydan has been working with ABEC for the past 4 years. During this time he has completed his Certificate 2 Veterinary Nursing pathway and is currently completing Certificate 4 in Veterinary Nursing. From a young age Brydan has been involved in his families Australian Stock Horse stud, although Brydan’s passion lies in the performance horse industry. Brydan is currently training his off the track thoroughbred gelding Ashton and hopes to have him out in the Eventing and Showjumping scene soon.
Heather McKinnon is the Office Manager, and has a family background in horse breeding. Heather has been with us for many years, and her knowledge of the practice, ABEC clients and horses is invaluable. Previously she has worked as a legal secretary and in the farm produce area, and her experience and efficiency is of great benefit to staff and clients alike!
Linda has been a part of the Agnes Banks Equine Clinic team for many years. Linda is a qualified accountant with many years’ experience in all aspects of business and management.
Melanie has been with the Agnes Banks Equine Clinic team since 2013 and is an integral part of our Office Support Staff. Mel has a strong background in Office Admin and has over 16 years experience working with Polo horses, both in Australia & Overseas.
Tim lives in Richmond with his wife Janine. Tim’s interests are camp drafting and hobby horse training. Tim has one daughter, Emma, who is a Racing Manager for Champion Thoroughbreds. Tim was previously Stud Manager at Princes Farm and is looking forward to the new challenges at ABEC.
HR & IT Manager
Bill has been in IT since 1985 and maintains our complicated computer system which includes multiple servers. We also have 20 workstations where the staff can access our database. Bill is also responsible for the Human Resources and Marketing side of the business. ABEC is involved in sponsorship and also veterinary duties for many equestrian events over the course of a year.
Before Bill got involved in IT he was in the RAN and and was also a qualified horticulturalist.
Michelle has owned and worked with horses for 23 years now and has been part of the team at ABEC since September 2011. During this time Michelle has completed her Certificate 3 in Equine Nursing. Michelle enjoys trail riding in her spare time and spending time with all her animals. Roller skating is Michelle’s favorite sport.
Jess has been with us since June 2016. In her spare time Jess enjoys riding her horse Archie. Over the last few months Jess has been creating false tails for horses to show. Click on this link to go to her facebook page.