Rossdales Laboratories is a leading, internationally respected equine pathology laboratory, led by Dr Alastair Foote with support from our expert clinicians and a team of experienced laboratory technicians. But where did it all start?
The laboratory was first developed in the mid-1960s, when the practice moved to Beaufort Cottage Stables. Prior to this, haematological, biochemical, bacteriological and parasitological aids to diagnosis were usually performed at institute laboratories, such as the Equine Research Station. The setting up of a practice laboratory offered practical efficiency for diagnosing problems in the field and adding a service that was potentially available 24 hours a day.
In the early days, the technician on whom the practice laboratory relied was Margaret Powney, sister of Newmarket trainer John Powney. In 1968, Dr Leo Mahaffey, an eminent Australian pathologist, took over and developed the laboratory both as a practice aid and as a referral service for clients on a wider scale. After Leo’s death, Professor Sidney Ricketts further developed what had become known as Beaufort Cottage Laboratories, helping form the now recognised speciality of equine clinical pathology. Professor Ricketts managed the laboratory for 37 years, until his retirement from the partnership in 2012, when Alastair Foote became Managing Partner.
The laboratory has grown to become one of the largest and most internationally respected specialist equine diagnostic laboratories.
The laboratory technical staff has increased considerably over the years, with many long serving members of the team proving key to our success, and some valuable new team members taking the laboratory forward under its new identity, Rossdales Laboratories.
Continual investment in new technology, testing methods and training of our staff, coupled with providing a comprehensive, reliable service with quick turnaround times, will ensure that the laboratory maintains its position as a leader amongst equine diagnostic laboratories.