Mark qualified from Glasgow in 1988, and spent the next seven years moving between intensive dairy practice in the North of England and climbing mountains. A stint in New Zealand convinced him that this was the best place to do both, so in 1995 he moved to the Waikato in the North Island.
In 1997 he moved South to head up the dairy side of Central Southland Vets in Winton. He became a director in 2001 by which time the practice had doubled in vet numbers and quadrupled in dairy farm numbers. In 2005 Winton and Gore vets joined to form VetSouth, in an attempt to create a well-resourced clinic environment with top clients that would attract and retain the best vets in the country.
In 2004 Mark gained his Masters in Epidemiology, and whilst still leading the dairy side of VetSouth, he now splits his time with heading the research group within VetSouth. His role is 50% clinical; 50% research; and 50% management…He is also an executive member of the Society of Dairy Cattle Vets in New Zealand; has a share in a 600 cow dairy farm; and at home runs 1800 sheep and 3 kids on 400 acres.
Creating VetSouth was all about elevating rural vet practice; the belief that just because we live a long way away from things farmers shouldn’t receive second rate veterinary services. To that end, VetSouth continues to develop and innovate and attempt to work with some of the best farmers in the country to add value.
He has climbed all over the world, including 4 expeditions to the Himalayas, and first ascents in South America and Antarctica. These trips formed a large part of his early travels and public presentations. Nowadays his travels are more concerned with presenting at conferences rather than climbing mountains.