Cinque Ports Vets – About Us

Cinque Ports Vets History

Cinque Ports Vets, originated from a traditional mixed practice in Rye, Sussex in 1930. Practices in those days around the Second World War were principally concerned with supporting the farming community and helping the country through difficult times. Vets spent much of their days travelling from farm to farm, returning to usually small poorly equipped premises to attend to small animals towards the end of their working days.

Ogle, Clark & Partner as it was called in those days, was no exception and with the end of the war the progressive vets quickly identified that horses and small animals were becoming more highly valued and expanded their expertise to improve standards of care.

By 1952 Ron Ogle was ready to take on John Clarke, ex Spitfire pilot and no doubt impressive young vet! Work increased and by the early 1960’s the small team were looking to expand. Our Tenterden branch was taken on and the directorship increased in size; first with Peter Teale in 1962 and later Tim Brodrick in 1966. John, Peter and Tim went on to become well known and respected vets of their day and together formed the foundation of our current Practice.

In 1983 Nick Mills joined the practice. Nick was a hugely able and charismatic person and quickly stamped his mark on this growing band of vets. Nick’s abilities were recognised not just by his adoring clients locally but on a much wider basis, with connections internationally he gave the practice a huge lift forward. Nick set up a new branch at Hawkhurst, making this the centre of the equine side of the practice in which he excelled.  Howard Newitt joined the practice as an equine vet in 1997 and developed and supported both the equine and small animal side of the practice.  He achieved a Certificate of Equine Practice in 2000 and became a director in 2002, leaving in 2019.

Gary Clayton Jones joined the practice as a director in 1991 and as a testament to the progressive policy of the practice the practice established the first orthopaedic referral service outside London in the south-east at our Tenterden branch. Gary Clayton Jones, was, indeed is the pre-eminent orthopaedic surgeon of his generation, with familial ties to the area. He has now retired from the directorship and the practice, but he worked his craft from our Tenterden office from joining the practice until 2014.

Our Lydd branch was established in 1990 by Tim Brodrick as a response to the growing demand from clients from that area. In 1993 Richard Williams joined the directorship; the practice had grown rapidly under the inspirational leadership of Nick Mills and the excellence of Gary Clayton Jones. The growing numbers of branches and times moving on led to the decision to name the practice based on our core area and historical roots… Cinque Ports Vets was born!

Richard set about modernising the small animal departments of the general practice, although by no means his only interest. It was just what the practice needed, and by 2001 the practice had made one of its boldest steps, to set up a completely new practice for small animals in Kingsnorth, Ashford. Richard retired from the practice in 2019.

Kingsnorth has gone on to become our largest centre, and is run by our Director Sharon Marsh, who joined the Directorship in 2009 having already worked for many years helping the practice grow. Kingsnorth now offers a wide range of services for our clients including an increasing number of more specialised veterinary surgeons. Kingsnorth achieved RCVS Accredited Hospital status in 2018. Sharon was also responsible for opening our Wye branch in 2010.

Cinque Ports Vets’ association with Milbourn Equine goes back to the 1970’s and the opportunity to join together resulted from the directors relationship with the former owners and now one of the principals, David McDonald.  It has enabled Cinque Ports Vets and Milbourn to join forces and become one of the leading first opinion equine surgeries in the south east. More details are available on the Milbourn Equine website

Changes within Cinque Ports Vets made for a review of the services that were being offered by the practice.   A very reluctant decision was made to lose our very long term commitment to the agricultural side of Veterinary work. It had proved impossible to maintain the very high standards of care that we set ourselves in all the large animal species, allowing our equine orientated vets to commit fully to their chosen species.

Cinque Ports Vets continues to look forward and completed a major refurbishment of both our Hawkhurst and Lydd branches with a refurbishment planned for our Rye branch.

In 2018 Cinque Ports Vets and Milbourn Equine joined the Linnaeus Group who own veterinary practices nationwide. This will provide long term stability for the practice with opportunities for future investment. The day to day running of the practice will be unchanged and please be assured that it is very much business as usual. We look forward to continuing to provide the excellent service you have come to expect from all of us at Cinque Ports Vets and Milbourn Equine.