A YORK-based veterinary group which owns more than 100 of the UK’s most respected and trusted veterinary practices is continuing to grow.

VetPartners has added one of South Wales' best known practices, Abbey Veterinary Centres. to its expanding group.

Abbey Veterinary Centre’s four small animal surgeries in Abergavenny, Tredegar, Brecon and Monmouth are now part of VetPartners.

However, Abbey Equine Clinic will not be joining VetPartners, but will retain its independent status under the management of clinical director Emma Jones.

Emma and husband Ben Hynes, along with fellow vets Gary Champken and Amanda Holland, sold their shareholding in the small animal division to VetPartners.

Emma and Ben retain ownership of the equine practice. Ben will work as a clinical director in the small animal practice, while his wife continues in her dual role of clinician and manager of Abbey Equine Clinic.

“It was a personal decision to keep our long-established equine practice as a separate, independent business and everything has been conducted in an amicable and cordial way,” said Emma

“We built up a very successful and large small animal and equine practice, but that is a lot for us to manage when we are also working as clinical directors.

"We looked into the prospect of joining a bigger corporate group, which would suit our work-life balance.

“We were most impressed with VetPartners and their approach to practices as they want to look after team members and ensure practices and people thrive in the future. We felt they would look after our practice and it will go from strength to strength.”

More than 100 of the UK’s small animal, equine, farm and mixed practices are part of VetPartners.

The group has 4,600 employees working in nearly 400 sites across the UK and from its headquarters in York.

The group diversified during 2018 to include a veterinary nursing school, laboratories, research dairy and locum agency.

VetPartners now owns seven Welsh practices - Abbey Veterinary Centres, Milfeddygon Bodrwnsiwn, Robin Lewis Vets, Caerphilly Veterinary Clinic, Park Veterinary Group, Valley Vets and St David’s Veterinary Centre.