The Team

Dr Peter Harding, Ascot Equine Veterinarians, Ascot Equine vet, Performance horse, Racehorse

Dr Peter Harding

BVSc(Hons) MANZCVS MVS DACVS

DIRECTOR

Registered Specialist in Equine Surgery & Adjunct Clinical Teacher Murdoch University

Hailing from a beef and sheep farm in the southern tablelands of NSW, Pete completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne. Since graduating, Pete has worked in Australia and UK before completing a residency in Equine Medicine and Surgery at Murdoch University. Pete completed a research Master’s degree in 2011 on ‘Local anti-microbial delivery systems for therapy of orthopaedic infections in the horse’. In 2013, he successfully passed the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Diplomat examinations and is recognized as a Registered Specialist in Equine Surgery. Pete spent 2 years in the role of resident surgeon for one of Melbourne’s largest equine practices before returning to the west. He has a keen interest in lameness diagnosis, airway dysfunction and enthusiasm for all things surgical!

Dr Annemarie Cullimore, Ascot Equine Veterinarians, Ascot Equine vet, Performance horse, Racehorse

Dr Annemarie Cullimore

MVB MANZCVS MVSc DACVIM

DIRECTOR

Registered Specialist in Equine Medicine & Diplomate, American College Veterinary Internal Medicine (LAIM)

Annemarie is an Registered Specialist in Equine Medicine. She graduated from University College Dublin, Ireland in 2003, and spent time working in mixed animal practice in Ireland before immigrating to Australia. Annemarie then worked in a well reputed racetrack practice in Adelaide for four years, during which time she passed the Australian membership examination in equine surgery. In 2010, she made the move to Western Australia, and spent 6 years working at The Animal Hospital at Murdoch University. During this time she completed a three year specialist training programme in equine medicine and surgery, passed the ACVIM board specialist exam in large animal internal medicine and completed a research Master’s degree focussing on Inflammatory Airway Disease. She is now a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and one of the only specialists in Equine Medicine working in private practice in WA. Annemarie has a special interest in all things medicine ranging from sick foals, to poorly performing racehorses, to the geriatric paddock pet.

Dr Laura Cox

MVB MANZCVS (Equine Surgery & Medicine)

ASSOCIATE EQUINE VETERINARIAN

Dr Laura Cox has well grounded experience in all facets of equine veterinary practice. She maintains a special interest in equine reproduction and broodmare management and is currently studying for a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice through the University of Liverpool.

Laura graduated from the University College Dublin in 2009 and commenced her career as an equine stud vet in her homeland, Ireland. After a few years, Laura made the move down under with her first stop in the beautiful surrounds of south west WA, and later to Baldivis Veterinary Hospital. She successfully undertook membership examinations to the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Equine Medicine and Equine Surgery during this time.

Laura is the current state representative for Equine Veterinarians Australia.

Dr Danielle Crosby

BSc BVMS DVStud FANZCVS (Equine Surgery) Dip ECVS (Large Animal Surgery)

REGISTERED SPECIALIST IN EQUINE SURGERY

Dani graduated from Murdoch University in 2010. She then spent time working in both Australia and the UK, until completing a residency in Equine Surgery at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. In 2020, Dani completed a doctorate degree with her thesis entitled “Investigation of epidemiological and molecular factors associated with synovial infections in horses and foals’. In 2021, she became a fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, and in 2022 a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. Dani’s particular interests include synovial infections in horses and poor performance in sport horses.

Dr Anika Kalka

BSc BVMS(Dist) MANZCVS (Equine Medicine)

ASSOCIATE EQUINE VETERINARIAN

Originally from Tasmania, Anika sought out the sun and moved west to complete her veterinary degree at Murdoch University in 2016. After spending time gaining valuable experience in mixed practice in Geraldton, she decided to follow her passion for horses and joined the team at Ascot in August 2018.

Since then, Anika has successfully passed the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists examination in Equine Medicine. Anika loves all aspects of equine practice and has a special interest in equine dentistry.

Dr Bryden Bell

BSc BVMS

ASSOCIATE EQUINE VETERINARIAN

Bryden works part-time at Ascot Equine during our busiest months of the year.

After graduating from Murdoch University in 2009, Bryden began her veterinary career at Ascot Equine. During her time at Ascot over the following 7 years, she developed a special interest in lameness diagnosis and diagnostic ultrasound of the equine musculoskeletal system. Her passion was so strong that she even travelled to Europe on weekends to complete many ISELP (International Society of Equine Locomotor Pathology) modules to further her knowledge and understanding in the management of lameness conditions of the equine athlete! In 2016, Bryden left Ascot Equine to manage her family’s cattle station in Broome. Since then, she has continued to practice Cattle and Equine Medicine in Broome, and has also been kept busy chasing her toddler Arie around the station. Bryden returned to work part-time at Ascot Equine, during the Broome ‘off-season’, in late Spring 2020. In her ‘spare time’, she enjoys competing in Campdrafting on weekends.

Dr Amanda Drought

BSc DVM

ASSOCIATE EQUINE VETERINARIAN

Amanda grew up in the Southwest of WA, where she spent as much time as she could on horseback. She graduated from Murdoch University in 2020 and spent her first 2 years as a general practice vet in a busy small animal practice in Bunbury.

Amanda completed an internship with us in January 2024 and has since transitioned into the role of Associate Equine Veterinarian.

Amanda has a special interest in improving animal welfare in developing countries. She regularly visits the Gili Islands and Lombok in Indonesia as a veterinary volunteer for working horses. She is very excited to join the team at Ascot Equine Veterinarians and pursue her passion for all things equine.

Dr Hannah Brown

BVM BVS(Hons) BVMEDSCI MRCVS

ASSOCIATE EQUINE VETERINARIAN

Hannah hails from the United Kingdom and was an avid equestrian, competing in dressage and showjumping, prior to embarking on her career as a veterinarian.

Hannah graduated from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, in June 2022. After graduation, she undertook a challenging 18-month internship at Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic, a large, fast-paced referral hospital, in the UK. During this internship programme, she was exposed to a broad caseload which helped her develop and solidify a wide clinical skill set.

Hannah joined the team at Ascot Equine in May 2024. She enjoys all aspects of equine veterinary practice and has a keen interest in anaesthesia, surgery, and emergency critical care.

In her free time, Hannah enjoys travelling, sports, and meeting new people.

Dr Eimear McNamee

MVB

INTERN VETERINARIAN (AUGUST 2023 – AUGUST 2024)

Eimear hails from a dairy farm in Ireland, and graduated from University College Dublin in mid-2022. After graduation, she began her career as a mixed practice veterinarian in Ireland, where she honed her skills working with various animals.

Eimear decided to make the move to Australia in 2023 to undertake an internship with us at Ascot and focus on all things equine.

Outside of work, Eimear has a keen interest in swimming and hiking and is looking forward to soaking up some of the Australian sun.

Dr Natasha Hartono

BSc DVM

EQUINE INTERN VETERINARIAN (JANUARY 2024 – JANUARY 2025)

Natasha graduated from Murdoch University in 2023 and began an internship with us in January 2024.

From a young age, Natasha’s love for animals, and in particular horses, drove her to pursue her dream of becoming an equine veterinarian. Being an avid rider, she has a special interest in sport horse medicine and rehabilitation.

On weekends, when she is not working, she spends her time at showjumping competitions with her horse Milagra. When not in the saddle, Natasha enjoys spending her time either by the ocean, playing volleyball or catching up with friends.

Danika Gallagher

BSc (Veterinary Nursing) BSc (Animal Behaviour and Welfare)

HEAD VETERINARY NURSE

Nurse Coordinator

Danika grew up on a farm in the West of Ireland and was surrounded by animals from a young age. She holds a Bachelor of Science in both Veterinary Nursing AND Animal Welfare and Behaviour. Since graduating, Danika has worked in a number of small animal veterinary practices across Ireland and Perth.

Danika joined the team at Ascot Equine in March 2021 as a veterinary nurse and stepped up to the role of head nurse in 2023. During this time, she also completed the AVT Equine Veterinary Nursing course.

Danika thrives in the busy hospital environment and loves expanding her equine nursing skills from day to day. As the nursing leader, she endeavors to inspire and encourage the junior and trainee nurses to achieve their maximum potential.

Taylah Ridley

Cert IV Veterinary Nursing

VETERINARY NURSE

Surgery and Critical Care Coordinator

After graduating from Applied Vocational Training (AVT) in 2016, Taylah spent 4 years in a thriving small animal practice before joining our team in March 2021.

Taylah has been involved with horses for a large part of her life and has always aspired to become an equine nurse. She loves to be able to combine her passion for vet nursing and horses at work. During her career so far as a veterinary nurse, Taylah has found surgical nursing, neonatal intensive care and providing gold standard patient care, the most rewarding aspects of the job. She was promoted to the role of Surgery and Critical Care Coordinator in March 2024.

Outside of the hospital, Taylah is an avid showjumper, and will always be found out in the ring competing with her horse – Bisdale Timeless and Castleford Aria.

Ascot Equine Veterinarians, Ascot Equine vet, Performance horse, Racehorse

Nadia Hadwen

Cert IV Veterinary Nursing

VETERINARY NURSE

Nadia began her nursing career in 2008 and worked predominately in small animal practice for four years before making the move to equine nursing.

She then worked at a busy equine hospital in WA for a further 7 years before joining the team at Ascot in June 2020. In late 2023, Nadia made the tough decision to step away from nursing due to injury. She moved to a private training organization for 6 months and her role was to select, assess and support the veterinary nurses of tomorrow.

Lucky for us, Nadia’s passion for hands on veterinary nursing however was too great and she returned to the team in March 2024!

Nadia counts herself lucky to work in this industry where she enjoys the fast paced environment, the continued learning, being part of a fun and professional team, and having the ability to help her true passion – horses – every day. Her special interests include lameness, performance and nutritional management.

Outside of Ascot, Nadia is a keen showjumper and enjoys spending her time away at competitions. In addition, Nadia has almost completed her EA Introductory and Level 1 General Coaching accreditation and is looking forward to developing further in this field.

Eeva Peltonen

Cert IV Veterinary Nursing

VETERINARY NURSE

Eeva grew up in a small town in Finland and has always been around animals. She started working with horses on school holidays, completed a Certificate IV in Agriculture and Horse Management in 2008, after which she worked in a horse racing stable for a few years in Finland. In 2012, Eeva seized the opportunity to move to Western Australia to work for Trevor Andrews Racing.

Eeva completed a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing through AVT in 2021, and thereafter worked in small animal practice and as a nurse assistant at the emergency department at Murdoch University. Horses however have always been her passion, and she started working with us at Ascot Equine in July 2022.

Rhylea McSweeney

Cert IV Veterinary Nursing

VETERINARY NURSE

Rhylea comes from a large family of farmers, horse breeders and trainers. Growing up, she was lucky to experience many aspects of Australian life through living in many parts of WA and the NT. When living on her family’s cattle station outside Kalgoorlie, Rhylea found a love for cattle and horses. She couldn’t ignore this passion to care for animals and moved to Perth to pursue a career as a veterinary nurse.

During her vet nursing studies, Rhylea did work placement with us at Ascot Equine. She successfully graduated from AVT with a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in December 2022 and joined the team as a fully-fledged nurse thereafter.

As a vet nurse, Rhylea loves to continue learning and has a special interest in surgical nursing and nursing the hospitalised patient. She especially loves the breeding season, when she can give extra care and attention to sick foals and watch them leave the hospital healthy and happy.

When not at work, Rhylea enjoys spending her time on the back of a horse, exploring the bush lands walking with her 2 kelpies and catching up with family and friends.

Skye McMullen

Currently enrolled in Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing

TRAINEE VETERINARY NURSE 

Skye commenced a Veterinary Nursing Traineeship in April 2023. She has been passionate about horses since before she can remember and is excited to embark on this pathway to equine nursing.

Skye is an active mounted games competitor and has represented both the state and country! In 2019, she represented Australia and placed first in the International Mounted Games exchange. More recently, in 2023, she represented Western Australia at the PPMG National Championships, and again topped the placings with her pony Marley.

Skye also has two off-the-track racehorses, Gus and Rose, that she enjoys riding when she is not off competing in Mounted Games. In her free time, she can be found hanging out at the beach with her German Shepher Delgado.

Hannah Harris

Currently enrolled in Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing
STABLE ATTENDANT

Hannah is currently studying Veterinary Nursing at AVT. She has always had a love for horses and takes any chance to be around them. Hannah joined the team at Ascot Equine in the role of Stable Attendant in November 2022. Through this role, Hannah hopes to learn as much as she can about horse health and wellbeing, to help patients in the future.

Hope Pulley

Certificate III in Animal Studies

YARD MANAGER

Growing up, Hope always had a keen interest in animal, particularly dogs and horses.  Over the years, she has worked at riding schools, agistment centres and a small animal veterinary clinic.

In 2021, Hope completed a Certificate III in Animal Studies, through AVT.  She joined the team at Ascot Equine in November 2022 as a Stable Attendant and transitioned into the role of Yard Manager in late 2023. In this role, she loves learning hands on about horse care, health, and reproduction.

When not at work, Hope enjoys spending time with her family and walking with her Golden Retrievers.

Lucinda Boulter

Currently enrolled in Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing

NURSE ASSISTANT

Lucinda joined the team in March 2023 and is currently studying a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at South Metropolitan Tafe.

Lucinda is originally from the UK and moved to Australia in 2012, where she has continued her passion for horse-riding. In 2018, she started working at a busy riding school and subsequently completed the EA Introductory Coaching course. Through this, she gained valuable knowledge and experience working with both horses and riders.

Lucinda enjoys all aspects of equine practice and is particularly interested in sports medicine and lameness. Her ultimate goal is to study veterinary science and with her drive and passion is on the right path to becoming a veterinarian in the future.

Kristy Reynolds

Currently enrolled in a Certificate II in Animal Studies

NURSE ASSISTANT

Kristy joined the team at Ascot Equine in March 2024. Before joining the team, she worked at a large Thoroughbred stud for 9 years, progressing up the ranks to Stud, Stallion, and Yearling manager.

Kristy is passionate about everything equine and is ready to take her passion to the next level. She is currently studying a Cert II in Animal Studies, with the aim to enter a Veterinary Nursing traineeship program. Her dream goal is to become an equine reproductive veterinarian.

Outside of work, Kristy enjoys breeding Quarter horses and competing in Western Pleasure Classes. She breeds Thoroughbreds too.

Belinda Bracegirdle

Veterinary Student – Murdoch University Class of 2026

STABLE ATTENDANT

Belinda joined the team in August 2021, bringing with her a strong background in Thoroughbred breeding and a keen interest in all things surrounding reproduction and foal medicine.

Her years of involvement in horse breeding has prompted a career change and Belinda is currently studying Veterinary Science at Murdoch University with her goal set to become an Equine Vet.

In her free time, Belinda can be found with her nose in a good book or on an adventure with her four-legged sidekick Gus Gus.

Ruby Whitewood

STABLE ATTENDANT

Ruby is currently studying Agricultural Science at Murdoch University and joined the team as a stable attendant in October 2023. She is particularly interested in equine breeding and hopes to continue this career pathway into the equine industry.

Her favorite part of her job is learning something new every day from the variety of cases that come through the door and constantly expanding her knowledge of horses.

In her spare time, Ruby likes to spend time with her two horses and takes them to a few showjumping days throughout the year.

Skye Fondacaro

ADMINISTRATION OFFICER

Skye has been working within the equine industry on and off for the past 20 years. She has predominantly spent her time working in racing stables and managing stud farms. Skye has a strong interest in equine nutrition and loves educating young horses.

Having joined the team in October 2023, she loves working in the busy and varied environment, especially during the breeding season.

Outside of work, you can find her spending time on her property with her own horses or out walking her two dogs.