More speakers to be announced

Veterinary Defence Society

The Veterinary Defence Society have been working with our team of role players for many years. As well as working with veterinary teams, they have a wealth of experience working with doctors and other medical professionals. They have spent time in veterinary practices including equine and large animal specialists and are trained to come across as very credible clients, not only bringing your situations to life but creating traits that present challenges and allow you to practice different techniques and get real time responses and feedback via constructive discussions.

Dr Ann Cullinane


Ann qualified from UCD with an honours in Veterinary Medicine in 1982 and continued her education by completing a PhD at the University of Glasgow in 1987. On returning to Ireland, Ann took up a post in the Irish Equine Centre in Kildare, where she now holds the position as the Head of the Virology Unit.
In 2007, Ann was appointed Adjunct Professor University of Limerick, and in 2009 the Designated OIE expert for Equine Influenza. In 2011, Ann became Chairperson of the OIE Expert Surveillance Panel for Equine Influenza and in 2015 she held the title of Designated OIE expert for Equine Rhinopneumonitis. She took up the role of Adjunct Professor University College Dublin in 2017 and was then appointed to the OIE Biological Standard Commission. Throughout her career Ann has contributed to several veterinary textbooks and published over 70 papers in peer reviewed journals.

James Gibbons

James qualified with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree from University College Dublin in 2000. After graduation, he spent several years in practice in Ireland, the UK and overseas before returning to UCD to complete a PhD in veterinary microbiology in the area of antimicrobial resistance. In 2011, James moved to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies where he worked as lecturer in veterinary microbiology and public health with responsibility for diagnostic microbiology. In 2013, he returned to UCD as lecturer in veterinary public health and spent the following 5 years teaching and researching in this area. He joined the Irish Equine Centre in 2018 as Head of the Microbiology Unit.

Áine Row

Áine graduated from UCD in 2013. 2 years in mixed practice before completing an internship at Fethard Equine Hospital in Tipperary. She then worked in equine practice in Melbourne, Australia. Áine is currently a second year ECEIM resident and DVMS student between UCD and Fethard Equine Hospital.

Siobhan McAuliffe

Siobhan graduated from UCD in 1997 and spent 4 years in ambulatory equine practice in Ireland. She then went on to do a residency in Equine Internal medicine at Hagyard, Davidson and McGee in Kentucky. From there Siobhan went to the Stables of King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia for 5 years before returning to Kentucky where she ran her own ambulatory practice with an emphasis on farm medicine for 2 years. Siobhan then moved to Kawell Equine hospital in Argentina for 6 years. In January 2017 Siobhan returned to Ireland to establish a medicine facility at Fethard Equine practice. Siobhan is an author of 2 equine veterinary books, numerous publications in English and Spanish and has presented at conferences around the world.

Lasmai Nicholson

Lasmai Nicholson presenting a case series work in progress on the success of Laparoscopic Uteropexy and Prostaglandin Application to Treat Infertility in Aged Mares.
Lasmai graduated from Massey University, New Zealand in 2018 with BSc major in Animal Science and BVSc. She grew up in a small rural town in Southland, New Zealand on a deer farm. Lasmai worked in mixed practice for 5 months in New Zealand before moving to Ireland in July to complete an internship at TTGA Equine Hospital. Veterinary interests include internal medicine, reproduction and neonatal care. Outside of work Lasmai enjoys traveling, art, netball, skiing and spending time with her dogs.

Emma Tobin


Emma Tobin is a European Specialist in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging. She works part-time in the UCD Veterinary Hospital as a clinical radiologist and part-time taking referral ultrasound cases in Cork and Dublin. Her main interests in veterinary diagnostic imaging include abdominal ultrasound in cancer staging, musculoskeletal ultrasound in dogs and echocardiography in all small animals. Emma enjoys teaching ultrasound to colleagues and is looking forward to this course.

Claire Hawkes


Claire graduated from the University of Queensland in 2003. Claire started her veterinary career with an internship at Randwick Equine Centre in Sydney before moving to the UK in 2005. There she spent time in equine referral and first opinion practice before completing a 3 year Residency in Equine Surgery at the University of Edinburgh, generously funded by the HBLB. In addition to gaining invaluable experience of specialist cases during her residency, Claire attained the RCVS Certificate in Equine Surgery (soft tissue) and a MSc by Research for her thesis investigating the muscles of the equine soft palate. Claire is a recognised European Specialist in Equine Surgery and is one of three directors at Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital, with responsibility of overseeing hospital patients. Here, a thoroughbred bias keeps the caseload varied and interesting, with poor performance and orthopaedic investigation and treatment of racing thoroughbreds an area of special interest.

Dr Bryan Waldrige

DVM, MS, DABVP (Equine Practice), DACVIM

A native of Bardstown, Kentucky, Dr. Bryan Waldridge joined Park Equine Hospital in December of 2015. He received his DVM from Auburn University. Upon graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Waldridge became a faculty member at Tuskegee University and Auburn University, where he taught large animal internal medicine. He then went on to work for Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital as an internal medicine clinician. Dr. Waldridge was also a resident veterinarian for Kentucky Equine Research, where he was responsible for herd health of research horses and overseeing nutritional research and development of new products. He was also the treating veterinarian at the equine quarantine facility for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Most recently, Dr. Waldridge worked for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, where he was the treating veterinarian and worked the 2015 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland Race Course. Dr. Waldridge has a special interest in internal medicine and clinical pathology. He and his wife, Sonja reside in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Cormac Burns

Cormac Burns is presenting a short case study on Septic Tendonitis in a Yearling of Suspected Haematogenous Spread. 
Having completed a BSc Cardiac Physiology degree in Belfast and working for a short spell in Cardiac Investigations in humans., Cormac returned to university at University College Dublin to complete an MVB Veterinary Medicine in June 2018.
From Graduation he has completed an Internship in Troytown Equine Hospital in Kildare. Whilst there he is gaining very valuable experience and a wide range of skills including completion of the Hallmarq Equine Standing MRI course to MRI scan and begin interpretation for the past year. His interests are varied however, he thoroughly enjoys lameness investigations and Surgery. Outside of work he enjoys sports including Show Jumping, Gaelic football and Rugby but also Snowboarding when he gets the chance.

Associate Professor Rory Breathnach

MVB Msc MRCVS PhD, School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin

Rory qualified from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCD) in 1986. Following an internship in small animal clinical studies in Dublin, he obtained an MSc in drug toxicology from the University of London. After 4 years in small animal practice, he returned to the Dublin Vet School in 1991 as a lecturer. His PhD was obtained in UCD and involved a study of the immunopathogenesis of idiopathic pododermatitis in the dog. Rory currently teaches various aspects of small animal internal medicine, toxicology and dermatology. In addition, Rory is a member of the Advisory Committee on Veterinary Medicines (Health Products Regulatory Authority) and the Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products (CVMP, European Medicines Agency). Rory is the Chair of the Scientific Advice Working Party (Veterinary) of the CVMP and has been Clinical Director of the UCD Veterinary Hospital since 2015.

Pat Hart


Pat graduated from Glasgow in 1974 and spent a year as a small animal intern in the University of Pennsylvania, before returning to the family practice in Belfast. She was a partner in Cedar Grove Veterinary Clinic until October 2011 and now works part time doing mainly dermatology referrals. Pat firmly believes that veterinary is just the best job in the world and she has never had any regrets about her chosen career. But, as a profession we have become more aware of the pressures and mental health issues facing us - particularly our young graduates and nurses. She was privileged and grateful when the opportunity arose to train as one of the Vet Support NI team of peer supporters. This services provides a confidential listening ear when needed to all members of the veterinary team - vets, nurses and support staff wherever they are working in the veterinary field. Over the last two years this service has provided support to over a hundred people. Vet Support NI now also offer practice workshops around the province on the topics of workplace well being, managing stress in practice and maintaining your own and colleagues’ emotional health.

Jim N. Nutt

VMD, diplomateACVS

Dr. Nutt is an owner and boarded surgeon at Rhinebeck Equine LLP in upstate New York. He attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He has worked at Hagyard Medical Institute in Lexington, KY, and the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Nutt did his residency in Large Animal Surgery residency at North Carolina State University. He was the staff surgeon at Peninsula Equine in CA before arriving at Rhinebeck Equine in 2010.
Dr. Nutt has a strong interest in sports medicine and diagnostic imaging, including nuclear scintigraphy and MRI. His practice encompasses colic surgery, fracture repair, and arthroscopy, and he has a special interest in laparoscopy and lameness diagnosis. His areas of research include complicated fracture repair, transfixation casts, and external fixation. He has authored a number of scientific articles focused on complicated orthopedic repair, soft tissue and foal surgery.
Dr. Nutt is a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and a member of the Veterinary Orthopaedic Society, American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr Dan O’Neill

MVB BSc(hons) GPCert (SAP) GPCert (FelP) GPCert (Derm) GPCert(B&PS) MSc (VetEpi) PhD FRCVS

After graduating from Dublin Vet School in 1987, Dan undertook small animal and mixed general practitioner as well as industry roles. He ran a companion animal practice in Petts Wood, Kent from 1996-2009, during which he gained qualifications in general practice, feline practice, dermatology and business management. In 2009, an MSc was followed by a PhD in veterinary epidemiology at the RVC to develop VetCompass. He was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Companion Animal Epidemiology at RVC in 2017. He chairs the UK Brachycephalic Working Group, is a founding member of the Dog Breeding Reform Group and is an Associate Editor of JSAP. He is part of the Extreme Conformations Subgroup of the Canine and Feline Sector Group and RCVS Knowledge’s Quality Improvement Group.

Dan’s research focuses primarily on improved understanding of breed health, but other projects explore animal behavior, drug usage, demography, longevity and human translational questions. 

Dan contributes to epidemiology teaching for RVC veterinary undergraduates, residents, veterinary nurses, and MSc and PhD students.  He has lectured widely at conferences in the UK, Europe and also in the US. As well as authoring over 55 peer reviewed publication, Dan has co-authored two books.

Fergus Allerton


European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine

Fergus graduated from the University of Bristol in 2004 and spent six years in mixed animal practice in Worcestershire before completing a residency in Small Animal Medicine at the University of Liege, Belgium (2010-2013). He moved to Willows Referral Service in Solihull in 2013 and became a European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine in 2016.
His main clinical interests are in gastroenterology/hepatology, immune-mediated disease and antibacterial stewardship. He is currently chairman of the Small Animal Medicine Society and led the relaunch of the PROTECT ME antibiotic guidelines last year. He is currently editing the next edition of the BSAVA formulary.

Laura Cuddy


American, European, RCVS and VCI Specialist in Small Animal Surgery 
American, European Specialist in Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Laura graduated from University College Dublin in 2008 with a first-class honours degree in Veterinary Medicine. She completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery, followed by a Master of Science and residency in small animal surgery at the University of Florida (UF). In 2013, Laura joined University College Dublin as Assistant Professor in Small Animal Surgery. She was welcomed as a Diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons in 2014, and as a Diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2015 and 2018, respectively. Laura currently offers specialist services in small animal surgery, sports medicine and rehabilitation in private referral clinics in Ireland and the UK. Laura is actively involved in teaching and regularly delivers lectures and practical workshops nationally and internationally. Her research interests include orthopaedic biomechanics, specifically relating to medial coronoid disease in dogs, as well as teaching and proficiency assessment in minimally invasive procedures. Laura maintains a strong interest in all aspects of orthopaedic, soft tissue, neurologic and oncologic surgery, however, her main clinical interests reflect her advanced training at UF in minimally invasive techniques, traumatology and rehabilitation of the postoperative patient.

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