Sam graduated as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Bristol in 1995 and after several years in mixed practice, returned to Bristol to complete a PhD relating to dynamic upper airway obstructions in equine athletes. Sam subsequently ran the Equine Sports Medicine Referral Service at the University of Bristol for 11 years before moving to the University of Adelaide in 2010.
Sam's clinical and research interests relate to poor performance in equine athletes, with a particular interest in cardiorespiratory disorders. She is renowned internationally for her work relating to dynamic upper airway obstructions in horses and has published widely in this field. Whilst in the UK, Sam was instrumental in the development of the world's first overground endoscope, with the aid of funding from the Horserace Betting Levy Board. This technique has revolutionised the diagnosis of dynamic upper airway collapse in horses by enabling animals to be examined during exercise under normal riding conditions.
Sam is board certified in equine sports medicine and rehabilitation and is a member of the International Committee on Equine Exercise Physiology. She is the national committee chair for the 2018 conference which will be held in Australia.