Thoroughbred Horses

Thoroughbred Horses Advisory Panel

Dr Catherine Chicken (Chair)

Scone Equine Hospital

Catherine is an equine veterinarian in the Hunter Valley NSW. She has a PhD in epidemiological aspects of Rhodococcus equi infection (rattles) in foals and is a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Medicine of Horses. She is a consultant to the Scone Equine Hospital on equine pathology and infectious disease. Catherine currently holds a position on the education subcommittee of Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA), she is a previous Policy Advisory Councillor for EVA, Scientific Editor of the Australian Equine Veterinarian and EVA Executive member and a former Superintendent of Scone Equine Hospital Clovelly ICU. Her special areas of interest include emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial stewardship and One Health.

Michael Grieve (Deputy Chair)

Owner/Operator of Grandview Stud

Michael Grieve is a former teacher who has worked in Australia and overseas. During his education career he has held senior leadership roles including Head of Department Mathematics, Senior Dean, Head of Senior Students and Pastoral Dean. Michael has always had a love for horses and turned his passion for horses into a business establishing Grandview Stud, a thoroughbred property at Peak Crossing near Ipswich, Queensland. Michael has a strong focus on giving back to the community holding a number of volunteer roles with the Royal Queensland Show Council, Ipswich Show Society and executive member of the Queensland Thoroughbred Breeders Association. Michael is passionate about the future of the Thoroughbred Industry and ensuring the “Sport of Kings” is accessible to everyone. He is also keen to share his industry knowledge with others and has a particular interest in exploring why foals are lost and why certain horses do better than others.

Derek Field

Widden Stud

Derek is the General Manager of Widden Stud, a position he has held for over 35 years. He has been heavily involved in thoroughbred horse research projects throughout Australia, including the development of a mares and stallions database for the Hunter Valley, the ‘Rattles’ research program, EAFL Outbreak, Equine Reproduction, West Nile Virus, and EAFL research. Derek is an active member of the thoroughbred horse industry; and is a past Director and Vice President of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, past Director and President of NSW Thoroughbred Breeders Association, and is currently a Director and Treasurer of Hunter Valley Equine Research Centre.

Dr Craig Suann

Dr Craig Suann was the chief regulatory veterinarian for the NSW thoroughbred racing industry for 33 years, most recently as the Senior Official Veterinarian at Racing NSW and previously for the Australian Jockey Club.Craig served as Chairman of the Racing Australia Veterinary and Analysts Committee which provides expert advice relating to national drug control policy and equine health and welfare matters. He is a current member of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) Advisory Council on Equine Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Practices, and the IFHA Welfare Committee, in his capacity as an IFHA Technical Advisor. Previously, he has been Chairman of the International Group of Specialist Racing Veterinarians (IGSRV), and past Secretary of the Australian Equine Veterinary Association (now Equine Veterinarians Australia), including convenor of its 1987 and 1992 Bain Fallon conferences.

Jacqueline Stewart

Racing Australia

Jacqueline is Keeper of the Australian Stud Book, the official authority for the identification of racehorses in Australia. The Australian Stud Book, a division of Racing Australia, was established in 1878 and contains records of the second largest population of thoroughbreds in the world. Jacqueline leads the Stud Book and Registration team to provide independent breed integrity and ensure it continually strives to improve the services for owners and breeders to remain a world leader in its field. Jacqueline joined the Australian Stud Book in 1998, becoming the Deputy Keeper from 2005 and the Keeper in 2014.

Mike Becker

Independent Stallions

Mike Becker has been involved in stud management for more than forty years, beginning at the former Goodland Park Stud, Narrung, South Australia. He managed Stockwell Stud in Victoria in 1989 for four years before launching Independent Stallions in 1992 which grew to 11 stallions by 1994.Mike has been a board member of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) for 14 years, serving as President from 2000 to 2008. In 2008 he was honoured to receive life membership of TBV. He has also served on the board of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia for eight years. He is particularly passionate about advancements and improvements in foal development and nutrition and how that relates to the farm gate in a workable application. He believes research outcomes need to be understandable, easy to use and available to any breeder to help reduce early foal deaths. As a member of the Advisory Panel, Mike hopes to use his extensive knowledge of the industry to add value to the research and development programs.

Dr Guy Lester


Dr Lester is a veterinarian with extensive experience in referral equine medicine. He is a board-certified specialist in medicine of horses and has a PhD in equine physiology. He is an Emeritus Professor with the University of Florida and an Adjunct Professor with Murdoch University. Dr Lester’s research interests include gastrointestinal disease, cardiac disease, and respiratory disease including exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage and asthma and he has authored over 100 research articles and book chapters. He currently runs Equiimed, a consultancy practice in Western Australia.