Our History

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Seadown Veterinary Services is independently owned by five directors, all of whom are practising vets. The practice was first established in 1923 by Mr. J Ripley working on his own from a single room at the back of his home, Highlands at Dibden Purlieu. 

After his retirement in 1946 it was purchased by two young veterinary surgeons, Mr. & Mrs P. K. Hallpatch, who quickly expanded the practice.  In the early years farm animals kept on and around the New Forest provided the main workload but as the equine and small animal work became more important so more veterinary and nursing staff were required.  Mr Peter Goodwin joined the practice in 1956 becoming director in 1962 when a new branch was opened in Totton, quickly followed by a branch in Lymington in 1964.

Seadown has always had a strong staff and community ethos, with many of the staff staying with the practice for much of their working lives.  Jean Williams is no exception.  Jean joined in 1965  and still enjoys working at Seadown 53 years later.

Mr Ralph Ellis and Mr Ian Mason joined the practice in 1967 and 1971 respectively and by 1974 both had become directors when it was decided to acquire Seadown Boarding Kennels and bungalow in Hythe and build larger premises and a hospital.  The new building, providing space for much improved facilities and for resident nursing staff, was quickly granted Veterinary Hospital status.

Bob Bentley joined Seadown in 1983 and Mr Peter Tunney in 1985, both are still directors today and actively involved in all veterinary duties.

Extensions to the Hythe hospital were added in 1989 and 2002 allowing more space in all areas and the addition of a large animal surgical facility, particularly for major equine surgery and to keep up with the increasing numbers of patients. The Lymington premises were extended in 2009, enabling Seadown to offer extended surgical services and nurse clinics on site.

Seadown greatly values its unique place in the New Forest community and is committed to continue to offer the same first-class veterinary treatment and care that it has since 1923.  This is witnessed by the continual investment in all staff, facilities and equipment which has significantly increased the veterinary services and specialist knowledge offered by the practice.

Kate McMorris joined in 2000, becoming a director in 2003.  An Advanced Practitioner in Opthalmology, she shares Seadown's successful Opthalmology Referral service with Anna Jennings, also an Advanced Practitioner in Ophthalmology who joined the directors in 2016.  Gillies Moffat joined in 2002 to concentrate on Equine and Farm Animal work and became a director in 2005.

As Seadown celebrates almost a century of serving the animals and people of the New Forest in 2018, the recent appointment of a sixth director ensures Seadown will not sit on its laurels.  Laura Trigg who has been at Seadown for nine years and is fully integrated in the equine community, will act as a clinical lead for the equine team, ensuring that Seadown will continue to provide clients with the very best care for their horses.

All 6 directors are passionate about protecting Seadown's unique reputation and are committed to ensuring that it will provide the very best treatment, care and service, for many more years to come.

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