Born in the Netherlands, I grew up with the quiet ambition to become a medical doctor but I was lured to a life of adventure in Australia. I became involved with horses whilst living in country New South Wales. An equine dentist aroused my interest in equine dentistry and I immediately realised this was an activity where I could make a difference. It was clear that by providing equine dentistry of a good standard, I could provide a very valuable health service for horses in the region. A course in equine dentistry was not available at that time so I studied from collected books and gained knowledge from libraries, veterinary faculties and lecturers. I also sourced suitable instruments and started treating horses after gaining the necessary skills. Although not quite according to my original childhood ambition, being able to work with horses and making a significant contribution to their health gives me great satisfaction. Even after practising the profession for many years, the varying nature of the demand on my skills and the intriguing diversity in personality of the horses, makes this a very rewarding career.
In the 1980s I established the Australian Equine Dental Practice (AEDP). Since that time I have treated countless horses, and the practice gained many clients. Over time, I am fortunate to be respected in the equine health community for trying to address all aspects of equine dentistry, not just the dumbed-down tooth filing that is practised by so many. I believe the ongoing success of the practice can also be attributed to the holistic approach in the treatment of horses. This approach means that horses can receive care not only for dentistry but also related issues affecting their overall health thanks to mutually respectful teamwork with diligent veterinarians and other health professionals. Career highlights have been the treatment of horses for the Australian Olympic Equestrian Team, having provided equine dental training in the United Arab Emirates and giving lectures at many different venues including education sessions at the RSPCA for new horse owners. Providing appropriate day-to-day care for challenging patients makes for even more job satisfaction.
I was a founding member of the Victorian Equine Dentists Association (now called the Equine Dental Association of Australia- EDAA) and more recently I was co-founder of the National Equine Dental Practitioners Inc. I have also trained a substantial number of equine dentists to date by way of the AEDP Certificate and Diploma courses
EQUIPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
In the practice my objective is to provide the highest quality treatment with the best available equipment for the benefit of the horse. A significant amount of time is dedicated to working on industrial design projects. As part of that activity I also endeavour to develop better instruments and equipment. Modern equipment and a kind and considerate attitude towards all horses, allows practitioners such as myself to practice much more safely, accurately and quickly. That way the horse experiences minimal discomfort during examination and treatment. This also means a reduction in the undesirable administration of sedatives to horses and avoiding the use of restraints such as crushes.