All our practices are equipped with the latest operating and treatment facilities and our emergency service is available 24 hours using only our own vets
Meet The Team
Dan grew up in the practice, his father being Tony Harding and godfather Mike McMurtry who together founded the practice as it now is in 1967. Having qualified from Liverpool and Leahurst in 1991 he worked in Equine and dairy practice in Cheshire before moving to Nottingham to work in mixed equine and small animal practice. Dan remains true to the philosophy of mixed practice while striving to constantly improve standards in all disciplines within the practice.
Since returning to Ashbourne in 1997 Dan has been joined by three further partners and seen the practices develop through a policy of always looking for the very best staff. Much of his non-clinical time now is spent ensuring that we not only have excellent staff but are developing the best premises to work from.
Outside work family, travel and running take up most of his time with a focus now on completing the 140mile swim, cycle run challenge of an iron man triathlon.
Michael joined the practice in 1998 as a new graduate straight from Cambridge Vet School. He became a partner in 2006. In his time at the practice he has developed a keen interest in surgery particularly orthopaedics, but has not forgotten his farming roots and still has a number of farm clients for whom he performs routine fertility and health visits.
He is rarely seen without his trusted companion ‘Barney’ a patterdale terrier. Outside of work he enjoys spending time on the hills on foot or on skis as the weather dictates.
Stephen qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1995, and came to work for Mike McMurtry and Tony Harding in October that year. After 4 years the call of home (Cornwall NOT Devon) drew him away from the Peak District but after just 1 and a 1/2yrs he came back to Ashbourne and joined Dan Harding in partnership in 2002.
He has always enjoyed farm animal work and as the practice has grown and evolved, he now spends the vast majority of his time working on farms, with particular interests in cattle fertility and calf health.
Outside of work, he enjoys nothing more than shouting himself hoarse on the side-lines of a rugby pitch whilst watching his three boys play rugby for Ashbourne.
Since joining the practice in 2007 from Uttoxeter James has continued to pursue his keen interest in farm animal medicine, gaining a post graduate diploma in production animal and livestock medicine in 2008.
He recognises the need to continue to evolve farm animal practice to recognise the benefits of proactive health management as well as disease control and will often be found looking a farms risk profiles late into the evening!
Since being made a director of the company in 2011 James has worked with the existing directors to further develop the level and quality of service we offer to our clients through client education and vet education alike. He has a particular interest in bovine TB and Johnes disease, conditions he would like to see controlled at some point before he retires!
Outside of work, James lives in Uttoxeter with his wife and three young girls. Together they enjoy walking the beautiful countryside surrounding our practice and running an on-going battle with their overgrown garden! James is a regional councillor for the British Veterinary Association, representing the East Midlands.
Kate Burnard joined the practice in 2007 as an experienced part time small animal veterinary surgeon. She graduated from Liverpool vet school in 1991 and has been in small animal practice since including several years in a referral practice in the west midlands. Her particular interest since student days is dermatology having studied for the RVCS certificate. She also has a keen interest in internal medicine.
Outside of work she enjoys walking with her family and three dogs and music.
Amy Ruffles joined the practice in 1996 as a new graduate from Liverpool University. Having developed an interest in cattle fertility she completed the Diploma in Bovine Reproduction at Liverpool University in 2004 and maintains this interest having a number of farm clients where she performs routine health and fertility visits. This is interspersed with equine work – her other main passion.
Outside work she is often seen with her children at local pony shows and her son had his first attempt at sheep showing at Ashbourne this year.
Natalie Russell graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2001 and returned to her northern roots by joining the practice in 2009 after previously working in Uttoxeter for 6 years, and Essex before that. She has an interest in small animal medical health, and in particular herbal medicine and its uses in complement to conventional treatments.
At home, most of her time is spent with her three young daughters, but still manages to find time to keep up with her vegetable garden and choral singing around the Uttoxeter area.
Chris Wilkins joined Overdale in 2009 as a new graduate from the Royal Veterinary College in London. As a Norfolk boy the hills of Derbyshire came as a shock but proved an ideal place to develop his interest in farm animal medicine particularly routine fertility work and dry cow management.
Chris moved to McMurtry and Harding in late 2012 to develop his large animal work. He has a black Labrador puppy called Lottie and outside work pretends to be a fearsome fast bowler (!!) for Alstonefield Cricket Club.
John qualified from Liverpool University in 2006 and immediately went into Mixed practice in South Wales. After 3 years in Wales he headed south to spend a year in New Zealand working with the large dairy herds of the southern island. He joined Derbyshire Veterinary services in 2010 and now mainly works out of the Buxton branch but can often be found at the Wirksworth clinic. John is very interested in small animal internal medicine and has completed a General Practice certificate in Feline medicine.
When not at work John spends time making the most of what the Peak district has to offer and is a keen walker, climber, mountain biker and angler.
Kate originally graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2009, completing her degree in Bioveterinary Sciences. After this she went to vet school in Edinburgh and graduated in 2014. Kate began working with us straight away after coming to the practice on regular student placements beforehand.
She enjoys all aspects of mixed practice, particularly small animal and equine work.
Outside of work Kate likes horse riding and plays in the hockey team for Ashbourne. She is also a keen baker.
Jasmin Overton graduated from Bristol Vet School in 2010, and after a 2-year stint working in Herefordshire, joined our practice in 2012.
She enjoys all aspects of mixed practice, but has developed a keen interest in both small animal and equine medicine.
Outside of work she can be found either riding her horse, or jogging, around the hills of Derbyshire!
Harriet joined the practice in 2013 having graduated from the University of Nottingham. Coming from a farming background she has a keen interest in the large animal side of the practice but also enjoys the variation of small animal consults and surgery. Having grown up in Ashbourne, Harriet is already familiar with the area and some of McMurtry and Harding’s clients.
Outside of work she enjoys playing hockey, having just joined the local Ashbourne team, as well as socialising with friends.
Shrea graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2014 and since then has worked in North Yorkshire and Devon before joining McMurtry and Harding in 2015.
Having mainly worked with farm animals since graduating, Shrea feels most at home out and about on visits.
Outside of work Shrea enjoys cycling through Derbyshire’s countryside and is keen to revive the kickboxing skills learnt at university.
Beth graduated from Nottingham University in 2012 and went on to work in a mixed practice in the Forest of Dean before pursuing an equine interest working as a house vet at Three Counties Equine Hospital. She joined McMurtry and Harding in 2016 as she wanted to develop her farm animal skills further and reacquaint herself with small animal practice work.
Outside of work, Beth enjoys horse riding, particularly show jumping and working Woody, her crazy cocker spaniel, on the shooting field.
Eleanor graduated from Bristol University in 2016 and joined the practice straight away. Having grown up in Derbyshire and then spent many years with us as a student she is familiar with the area and a good number of McMurtry and Harding’s clients. She particularly enjoys the farm animal side of mixed practice.
Outside of work Eleanor horse rides, mostly doing Dressage, often competing at the weekend. She is also a keen (and competitive) netball player and baker.
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Jose Moreno Vargas
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Dawn joined as a Trainee Nurse in 2003- she qualified in 2005 and went on to become a Clinical Coach for new students in 2006. When the practice expanded up to Buxton she began working there 2 days a week and in 2010 became Head Nurse, she now splits her time between our Ashbourne, Buxton and Wirksworth practices organizing the Nursing Team. She particularly enjoys nursing clinics and is the in-practice Behaviour Clinic Nurse. She also enjoys Medical Nursing and teaching the Student Nurses.
Outside of work she enjoys helping on her parents farm and and has a busy life being the Regional Co-coordinator for the British Veterinary Nursing Association for Derbyshire and Staffordshire, which involves organizing meetings and training for Veterinary Nurses in the area. She has an irresistible Hungarian Vizla called Rory to keep her on her toes.
Deputy Head Nurse
Justine Spivey joined the practice in 2000 as a qualified vet nurse. She has been qualified for 21 years. Justine has a keen interest in small furies and is currently completing a rabbit certificate course.
This interest in small animals spreads to Justine’s home life as she has many animals ranging from chinchillas, rabbits and even horses. Justine also teaches salsa dancing in her spare time.
Deputy Head Nurse
Laura joined the practice straight from school in 2006 as a trainee Veterinary Nurse, and qualified in 2008. Laura then went on to study for the Advanced Veterinary Nursing Diploma in small animal practice in 2009, graduating in 2012.
Outside work Laura enjoys Kick-Boxing, Tae Kwon Do, and plays the Flugel Horn in a Brass Band. She also has a lovable Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Blade.
You will see Laura most often at our Wirksworth Practice.
Karen started with the practice as a receptionist in April 2002, she qualified as small animal veterinary nurse in 2007. She has played a role in training and qualifying other veterinary nurses in the practice and has recently qualified as an equine veterinary nurse, and Karen is now able to make the most of her equine skills using the great new equine facilities at our Ashbourne practice. She often travels out and about with the vets assisting with equine cases too.
In her spare time Karen enjoys spending time with her family and friends and goes horse riding and dog walking on a regular basis.
Cheryl Belfield joined the practice in 2010 as a trainee veterinary nurse, becoming a registered qualified veterinary nurse in March 2013. Cheryl enjoys all aspects of nursing, but has a strong interest in farm animal practice, having grown up on the family run dairy and sheep farm near Buxton.
Outside of work Cheryl enjoys helping out on the farm at home, including milking the cows when she has time, socialising and been an active member of Waterhouses Young Farmers Club, and also spending time training her Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Caroline joined the team in November 2015 as a qualified veterinary nurse. Caroline qualified in 2012 and has been working in mixed practice ever since. Being a farmer’s daughter, she has a keen interest in large animals and enjoys nothing more than putting on her overalls to help out.
In her spare time she enjoys being an active young farmer and riding her horse.
Amy joined the Ashbourne team in January 2016 as a qualified veterinary nurse. Amy qualified in July 2014 working with small animals at a mixed practice, and joined our practice to develop her nursing skills with small and large animals.
She is particularly interested in nurse clinics and working closely with clients and their pets.
In her spare time she is an active member of the Ashbourne Hockey Club, playing in goals for all three teams and working on the fundraising and sponsorship committee. She is also a qualified Marine Biologist and PADI Divemaster in scuba diving.
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Kelly joined our team in Buxton in 2011 as a receptionist, but has since moved on to become one of our student veterinary nurses based at Ashbourne. She’s now about to go into her second year of training to become a registered veterinary nurse.
She has come to us from a farming background and is an active member of Ashbourne Young Farmers Club. She has a keen interest in both small and large animals; but especially dogs and chickens.
She keeps herself busy outside of work showing her well-bred Silkies, plus enjoys looking after Simba and Luna, an adorable pair of cats she re-homed. She is looking forward to becoming a fully qualified nurse in a couple of years.
Kerry initially joined our sister practice in Buxton as an Administrative and Kennel Assistant after working in her local kennels for over a year.
Kerry has enjoyed her time at Buxton, but to fulfil her aim to become a fully qualified nurse, she joined our team in Ashbourne as a student nurse in September 2016.
Outside of work she loves to be out in the countryside going for long walks. She likes photography and in particular, wildlife photography. Her dad is a farmer so she has grown up helping him with the cattle but hopes one day have some sheep of her own.
Working as a Night Nursing Assistant in Watford inspired Kerry to pursue a career in veterinary nursing and she joined our team in Ashbourne in October 2015. She has a Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management and grew up with horses, collies and lots of cats!
Shortly after joining us, she rescued a kitten which had been abandoned on a building site. She named her Willow and has successfully hand reared her to become part of the family.
Her main responsibilities within the practice include exercising and caring for inpatients, assisting the nurses, stock control and ordering, preparing surgical kits and sterilising equipment, plus general reception duties.
Dolly has been with the practice, for a very long time coming straight from school. She has seen a lot of changes over these years, from a small two vet practice, growing to a three site practice with fifteen vets. She has enjoyed her time here so much, that she has never thought of working anywhere else.
In her spare time, she plays bowls for the local team, having recently become Team Captain. She also enjoys looking after her new grandson.
Julie joined the practice in June 2010 as a receptionist. She has worked at previous vets before in Derbyshire and in Buckinghamshire. She has one dog, a Beagle and three cats.
Outside of work she enjoys walking, cycling, swimming, reading and fine dining.
Emily joined the practice in March 2016 as after working for many years in Pharmaceutical Sales, she felt like a change! She enjoys the variety of working at our busy Ashbourne practice and in addition to providing reception support, Emily is responsible for our Farm and Equine client invoicing and looks after our Pet Care Plan administration.
Outside of work Emily enjoys spending time with her family (husband, 3 sons and 2 cats) and is often out either running in the hills or more recently out on her new bike. She is an active member of Ashbourne Running Club.
Heidi joined McMurtry & Harding in March 2016 as Receptionist at our brand new practice in Uttoxeter. She has 7 years of previous veterinary receptionist experience and also supports various national & local animal charities.
Heidi currently has three dogs and a giant rabbit called King Kong! Outside of work, she enjoys walking her dogs in the Staffordshire countryside, but also loves fashion, the movies and interior design and is currently knitting her very first quilt!
Danielle joined the practice in June 2007 as a receptionist and has worked at both the Ashbourne and Wirksworth surgeries. Danielle left the surgery in December 2014 to help her husband on their Beef cattle working farm but returned to us in June 2016 and is now based at our Wirksworth surgery. In addition to her reception duties, Danni also processes the pet insurance claims for our Wirksworth clients.
Outside of work Danielle enjoys working her labradors on local shoots and doing working gundog tests throughout the year. She also likes to keep fit by going to the gym and taking part in charity events.
Jack joined the team in January 2017 covering reception duties at our Ashbourne and Uttoxeter practices. Before coming to McMurtry and Harding, he worked on Reception in a small animal veterinary practice and therefore settled straight in to his new role with us. However, his role at McMurtry and Harding is more varied than his previous position and he is now enjoying learning about the large animal side of the practice.
In addition to reception duties, Jack is responsible for small animal client invoicing and undertakes some additional administration duties too.
In his spare time, Jack is busy looking after his flock of chickens and is hoping to grow some vegetables in the summer too.
Administration & Support Team
Sue joined McMurtry & Harding in August 1989, initially coming to cover a maternity leave, and has stayed since. Her main roles in the practice include organising TB testing, stock control, laboratory report administration, plus various other office duties.
Outside of work she enjoys netball and looking after many nieces and nephews.
Following 15 years working as a chemist in the construction industry and then moving into the health and safety training sector, Kerry was looking for a new challenge and with a love of animals she joined us in March 2016. With qualifications and experience in finance and business administration she now organises the farm TB testing, plans and manages the vet diaries and is responsible for Health & Safety within the practice.
Outside of work her time is divided between her young family, dog and local community projects. She loves architecture, cars, reading historical novels and spending time in the garden. Following a recent flight in a Microlight she’s also considering a new hobby!
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Margaret has been with the practice for over 20 years and works mainly behind the scenes dealing with financial accounts, salaries and general finance administration. She is an accountancy technician and a member of IAgSA. (The Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators).
Shane joined the team in December 2014 after spending most of his career working in sales and management within the financial services industry.
When joining the practice, Shane was already familiar with some of his new colleagues having been a long standing client of McMurtry and Harding for many years.
Shane’s role within the practice is varied, but his main responsibilities are to manage the IT systems across all sites, provide IT support to colleagues, practice marketing and promotion, plus maintaining our website. In addition to this, he now supports Margaret in Financial Accounts.
Outside of work Shane enjoys walking his dogs, walking them an average of 7 miles per day, 365 days per year (whatever the weather!).
After nearly 10 years of veterinary nursing at our Overdale practice, Sue has recently changed job roles and is now our HR Administrator. She is particulary interested in team development.
Outside of work Sue enjoys socialising, baking and various fitness classes including Clubbercise, Zumba and Pilates.
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