Dr Deborah Carley BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, PhD Biological & Nutritional Sciences, is the founder and Managing Director of Thunderbrook Equestrian Limited. Her specialist areas are equine nutrition, feeding the metabolic syndrome horse, feeding horses with ulcers or compromised digestion.

Professional track record

Dr Carley gained a first degree in Biochemistry from Sheffield University. She then went on to study for a PhD and post-doctoral research at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on ‘Molecular Analysis of Plant Cell Wall Hydrolases of Bacterial Origin’. This work involved the detailed genetics, molecular and cell biology of enzymes which break down cellulose and xylan – components of the grasses and grains that horses eat. Dr Carley then widened her research perspective working for a medical research charity, running the facilities to support genomics research and facilitating many high level international biomedical research conferences, training courses and workshops on areas such as diabetes, other metabolic diseases, plant genomics, genomics of common diseases, etc.

Throughout most of this time, Dr Carley has kept a stable herd of a dozen or so horses, with little change in ownership. Applying her research principles to the practical and day-to-day care and maintenance of these horses has led to a new way of feeding – a programme designed to follow the way nature intended, but taking into account the changing environment of the 21st century.