Practice description:

Fairfield Equine is an equine referral practice founded in 1989 with the goal of providing the best possible care for the health and maintenance of the sport horse.  The practice has become known nationally and internationally for its quality of care in sport horse medicine especially as it concerns lameness related problems.  The veterinarians at Fairfield Equine have provided their services to the U.S. equestrian team at the Olympic Games, the World Equestrian Games and many other notable events around the world for well over twenty years.  Our patients are primarily Warmblood horses with the remainder consisting of Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses and other breeds. We provide ambulatory services to a large area of Connecticut as well as metropolitan New York City.

Thanks to a cooperative agreement with Dr. Alan Nixon, we can provide our clients with the most advanced level of orthopedic surgery possible.  We collaborate with Dr. Tom Divers from Cornell University for consultation on internal medicine cases.

Facilities and Equipment:

Our hospital facility was opened in November 2000.  Our hospital includes a fully equipped surgical suite, two induction/recovery stalls, treatment and examination areas and a riding ring for lameness examinations.  Our diagnostic equipment includes nuclear scintigraphy, MRI, Sound digital radiography, RLT Laser, portable shockwaves, complete Idexx diagnostic laboratory and 3 meter video endoscopy.  Our ambulatory vehicles are equipped with radiographic, ultrasound, and endoscopic equipment.

Staff Veterinarians:

Richard D. Mitchell, DVM, MRCVS, DACVSMR; Robert T. Neff, VMD; Ryland B. Edwards III, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR; Kimberly J. Harmon, VMD; Denise A. Branecky, DVM; Danielle M. Stacy, DVM and David da Silva, MV.


Our full time professional staff consists of 7 veterinarians; a CEO, practice manager, an IT manager; two office personnel; a pharmacy manager; 5 ambulatory veterinary technicians and 5 hospital veterinary technicians.

Types of cases:

Approximately 3,000 lameness exams are performed each year.  In the previous year we performed 140 surgeries.  Of these surgeries, approximately 60% are orthopedic, 20% are soft tissue and 20% are emergency colic surgeries.  The remainder of the caseload is comprised of medicine and wellness cases. Approximately 120 bone scans and 110 MRI’s are performed yearly.

Estimated Breakdown of daily or weekly load:

The caseload at Fairfield Equine Associates varies from routine wellness care to advanced lameness cases.  During the winter season, veterinarians reside in Florida and attend to clients and patients at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington.



Email:  extern@fairfieldequine.com


Goals of Externship:

This is a hands-on externship that will expose senior veterinary students to a variety of diagnostic and treatment disciplines.  The primary emphasis will be placed on lameness diagnosis and treatment; however, students will also participate in the work-up of internal medicine and emergency cases.  Our aim is to provide students with a realistic example of private practice in the performance horse industry, while allowing them the opportunity to enhance their clinical understanding.  This experience also provides the practice the opportunity to develop a working relationship with prospective interns.

Prerequisites for Externship:

Students must be in their clinical year of study and have demonstrated an interest in equine practice.

Application for Externship:

To apply for the externship, please send a cover letter, Curriculum Vitae, and the name of an equine veterinarian reference to the email address above.  Please include your first and second choices for dates of visitation in the letter.  There is no application deadline, but please note the dates of externship availability below.  Externs will be required to provide a copy of a valid driver’s license, health insurance, a signed volunteer release waiver and AVMA PLIT student coverage.

Dates and Duration:

Externships are for a period of 2 weeks and are generally limited to April through November.

Externship Responsibilities to the Practice:

Externs will be expected to participate in and observe all aspects of daily practice, including outpatient appointments, ambulatory calls, and surgery. On weeknights and weekends, the extern is expected to assist treating hospitalized patients when necessary.  

Is the Externship a Prerequisite for Internship:


Insurance Requirements:

Externs are required to register for the AVMA PLIT student supplemental liability insurance prior to their start date. Externs are required to provide proof of health insurance coverage.

Living Quarters:

Housing is provided for all qualified externs for up to two weeks.