There's been a practice in Newmarket since 1912, but we were based on the High Street for many years. In 2008, we were running out of space, and we built new premises just off the National Stud roundabout, allowing us space for future expansion. The hospital has three primary clients. First and foremost are the trainers, drawn here by the natural resource of the heath, which is managed expertly by the Jockey Club. Trainers have been based in Newmarket since the reign of James I, and stud farms have since sprung up to service the breeding industry: they're our second clients. We mustn't forget our third clients, though, which are the sales. Tattersalls holds sales through the year, brining horses from across the UK and beyond.
There are two major hospitals in Newmarket, and between five and ten thousand horses in the town, so we share the clients approximately 50/50. We've 45 vets in total, with about ten based at the hospital, and the rest attending to patients at the training yards, stud farms and sales. About a hundred staff support the vets... they're secretaries, nurses, technicians and yard staff (for the inpatients). Two operating theatres at the hospital mean we can conduct procedures simultaneously, if we get an emergency that requires our attention. In addition, we have an intensive care unit, with equipment including imaging modalities, MRI and CT.
Racehorses are competing at the limits of their abilities, and from time to time, they do sustain injuries. Thankfully, veterinary science has advanced to such a level that most horses can return to race, or move on to breeding. That's part of the skill of surgical experts here, along with the research of our laboratory. In the foaling season, too, every now and again, a baby will get ill, and will need to come in to be looked after. We're particularly proud to have a very good success rate with neonatal care.