Phone: (352) 237-6151

A Tradition of Leadership & Excellence in Equine Medicine

Our Vets

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    Luis Cadena, DVM

    By the time he was two, Luis started riding horses at his family ranch in the Columbian mountains. He spent part of his youth competing as part of the Colombian jumping team. Coming from a family of horse lovers, Luis always knew that horses would be a major part of his life. Besides being a horse breeder, his grandfather was also a surgeon and nurtured Luis's interest in medicine. Veterinary medicine offered Luis the perfect opportunity to combine the two interests. After completing an undergraduate internship at our Equine Reproduction Center, he proceeded to veterinary school and graduated from St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. After graduation, Luis returned as a veterinary intern from 2012-2014, then was hired on as an ambulatory veterinary associate in 2014. He is our only bilingual veterinarian, so Luis sees many Paso Fino patients. Although he enjoys the challenges of general medicine, his focus and passion is equine reproduction.

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    Adam Cayot, D.V.M.

    Adam grew up on a small farm in Lebanon, Ohio and was introduced to veterinary medicine at an early age. He showed hunter/jumpers from the time he was eight until his freshman year in college. There was never any doubt that once he entered veterinary school, he would pursue a specific path towards equine medicine. Adam graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001 and started his internship at Peterson & Smith shortly after graduation. After completing his internship, Adam remained as a valuable part of our ambulatory team. In addition to providing general veterinary services, he also has a special interest in dentistry and sports medicine. Most of all, he thoroughly enjoys the diversity that each day presents and the people he meets along the way. When Adam is not running calls, he's usually chasing his three kids around.

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    Carol C. Clark, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM

    Graduated from Texas A&M University in 1991. Completed internship at Peterson & Smith 1991-1992 and internal medicine residency at the University of Florida 1992-1995. Board certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1995. Joined Peterson & Smith in 1996 to run the equine neonatal ICU, and manage the hospital’s internal medicine cases, became a partner in 2004. Major clinical interests: neonatology, neurology, cardiology, and ophthalmology.

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    Eric A. Evans, DVM

    Dr. Evans attended the University of Findlay for his undergraduate degree, and then attended The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. After he graduated in 2007, he came to Peterson & Smith as an intern and has been working here ever since. He specializes in equine dentistry.

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    J. Kevin Hahn, D.V.M.

    Graduated from Colorado State University in 1981; Interned at Littleton Large Animal clinic 1981-1982. Joined Peterson & Smith in 1982 as an associate. Became a partner in 1985; member of the AAEP since 1981; Member of the AAEP Practice Management Committee since 1996; and Member of the AAEP Scholarship Management Committee since 2001. Specialties: training and race horse medicine, lameness, reproduction and pediatrics.

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    Faith E. Hughes, DVM, Diplomate ACVS

    Faith was bitten by the "Horse Bug" at 6 years old and has yet to get over it and knew for as long as she could remember that she wanted to be a vet. While hauling horses for extra money during undergraduate and vet school at Auburn, she became familiar with Peterson and Smith and decided that is where she wanted to be when she finished her training and joined the practice in 1991. She is Board certified in Large Animal Surgery and enjoys surgeries of all varieties but especially likes colics because no two are exactly alike. She calls her farm "The Island of Misfit Toys" and is home to a variety of critters in need of a place to live. In her spare time she runs, raises orphaned wildlife and a few cattle and sheep.

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    Kathy Hunter, BVMS

    Originally from Chicago, Kathy moved frequently during her childhood but always made time to indulge her interest in horses, competing in eventing and show jumping. She ended up in New Jersey for her undergraduate degree, completing a degree in animal science & biology at Rutgers University. After graduation she worked for 6 years as a veterinary technician for a large sport horse practice. 

    When she decided to obtain her veterinary degree, fate took her to Scotland, where she completed her training at the University of Glasgow and met her husband Euan. After graduating in 2014, Kathy returned to the United States and undertook internships at Oakridge Equine Hospital and Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists.   She joined Peterson & Smith in 2016 for a surgical residency. 

    Dr. Hunter is enjoying her time in Florida. She and her husband bought a home in Ocala and have been enjoying time outdoors, including kayaking and exploring Florida’s beaches.  Her interests in equine medicine are orthopedics, colic, and sports medicine. 

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    Abigail Kent, BVetMed(Hons)

    Dr. Abigail Kent graduated from The Royal Veterinary College, London with honors after studying veterinary medicine. Abi spent a year working as a vet in a first opinion mixed practice back in England before starting her internship over in California. She completed her equine internship at San Luis Rey Equine Hospital which confirmed her desire to undertake an equine surgery residency. Her interests in equine surgery include arthroscopy, colic surgery and upper airway surgery. She is the British one in the practice and you can’t miss her with her accent. In her spare time, she enjoys playing sport especially lacrosse and loves the beaches in Florida.


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    Tim M. Lynch, DVM, Diplomate, ACVS, ACVSMR

    Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1991. Completed internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky 1991-1992; surgical residency at Michigan State University 1992-1995. Staff Surgeon at Equine Specialty Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio 1995-2000. Board Certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1999. Staff Surgeon at Tiegland, Franklin and Brokken, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 2000-2002. Joined Peterson & Smith in 2002 to head the Sports Medicine Program. Became a Partner in 2007. Clinical interests: lameness, scintigraphy, performance profiling and gastrointestinal surgery.

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    Philip M. Matthews, D.V.M.

    Phil Matthews has had an interest in horses his entire life. Growing up out west, he was introduced to working ranch horses first. After coming to Ocala to join Peterson and Smith in 1981, his passion for horses extended to breeding and racing Thoroughbreds, an endeavor that has "had him hooked" for thirty years. Raising cattle has provided Phil with a great excuse to be horse back. "I feel I've got the just right mix in my life between my working cow horses and the Thoroughbreds." Phil Matthews is a graduate of Colorado State University Veterinary College and is currently the director of the Peterson and Smith Equine Reproduction Center.

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    Rhiana McFarlin, DVM

    Graduated veterinary school from the University of Florida in 2014. She joined Peterson and Smith in 2014 as an ambulatory intern and became an associate in 2015. She is a member of the AAEP, AVMA, FVMA and FAEP. Dr. McFarlin’s special interests include training and sporthorse medicine, lameness, reproduction and ophthalmology. In her free time, she enjoys competing her off-the-track Thoroughbred mare in three day eventing.

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    K. Ryan Meeks, DVM

    Ryan grew up hunting and fishing in Bartow, Florida. His love for the outdoors and respect for animals was nurtured through participation in FFA and 4-H. At an early age, it became apparent that he would pursue a career as a veterinarian. When he started working with a mixed animal veterinarian, Ryan quickly realized that his interest resided in equine medicine. After working a breeding season as an ambulatory assistant at Peterson and Smith, Ryan was accepted into the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2004. He returned to our practice to complete an ambulatory internship and continued on as an associate. Ryan thoroughly enjoys the diversity and intensity of practicing equine medicine in Ocala. "The constant challenges of working on horses of all disciplines and helping clients achieve their goals just never get old". Ryan still enjoys hunting and fishing, but mostly cherishes spending quality time with his wife.

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    Nathan R. Mitts, D.V.M.

    Nathan's father is a veterinarian. Consequently he grew up helping out his dad with the family mixed animal practice in Missouri. A 2002 graduate of the University Of Missouri College Of Veterinary Medicine, Nathan did not completely decide to exclusively focus on equine medicine until he completed his ambulatory internship at Peterson & Smith. The interaction between equine and human athletes, as well as the complexity and vast variability of the equine industry in Florida proved to be an irresistible draw. Although he practices general ambulatory medicine, Nathan directs his focus towards sports medicine. He takes pride in being part of his client's team. "Being part of the puzzle that comes together to equal success for my clients and patients is what I enjoy most". Nathan thoroughly enjoys following the thoroughbred industry and spending time with his wife sharing their passion for horses as small farm owners.

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    John L. Peterson, DVM

    Graduated from Iowa State University in 1966; In private practice 1966-1981. Founded Peterson & Smith in 1981 with Johnny Mac Smith, D.V.M. Retired from the partnership and became an Ambulatory Associate in 2007. Member of AAEP and AVMA since 1966; Member of the AAEP Broodmare Reproduction Committee. Specialties: training and racehorse medicine, lameness, reproduction and pediatrics. Founding Director of Independent National Bank.

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    Allen B. Riggs, DVM

    Graduated from Colorado State University in 1992. Joined Peterson & Smith as an intern in 1992. Became an Associate in 1993. Member of AAEP since 1992. Specialties include: Training and race horse medicine, lameness, reproduction, and pediatrics.

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    Raymond D. Rood, D.V.M.

    Graduated from Auburn University in 1993. Worked at Laurel and Pimlico Race Tracks 1993-1995. Joined Peterson & Smith as an Associate in 1995. Member of AVMA since 1993. Member of the AAEP since 2001. Specialties include training and racehorse medicine, lameness, reproduction and pediatrics.

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    William B. Russell, D.V.M.

    Graduated from the University of Georgia in 1989. Joined Peterson & Smith in 1989 as an intern and became a partner in 1993. IVAS Board Certified in acupuncture. Member of AAEP since 1989; Member of OBS Arbitration Panel and Detention Barn. Specialties: training and racehorse medicine, lameness, acupuncture, reproduction, and pediatrics.

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    Donnie E. Slone, Jr. D.V.M., M.S., Diplomate A.C.V.S.

    Donnie has been around horses since the age of three. He rode Quarter Horses in western pleasure and speed events and later Thoroughbreds as an exercise rider during high school summer breaks. Dr. Slone was eight years old when he decided to become a vet – oddly enough – while watching a castration that didn't go very well! Donnie graduated from Missouri in 1974 with a BS and 1976 with his DVM. He then went on to get his MS at Auburn in 1980 and became a board certified equine surgeon in 1983. He joined Peterson and Smith that same year and became a partner in 1985. While he originally thought he would be another James Herriot working with "all creatures great and small" several life events led to equine practice and Ocala, Florida. The most enjoyable aspect of being an equine surgeon is the ability to make a difference: a Thoroughbred winning a graded stakes race after orthopedic surgery or a Grand-Prix jumper winning the $100,000 class after colic surgery. Time out from his busy routine is spent working with his Boy Scout Troop, fulfilling his duties as an Elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Ocala, and training and competing in Triathlons.

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    Tanya Thacker, DVM

    Although Tanya had never been involved with horses growing up, while going to school in Lexington, she loved being around all of the large horse farms. She was an engineering student, but after taking a job at an equine clinic, she knew she was meant to study veterinary medicine. Dr. Thacker graduated from Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2004. She completed her ambulatory internship at Peterson and Smith from 2004 to 2005, and in July 2005 became an associate veterinarian with the practice. Tanya's favorite part about her job is being able to enjoy the outdoors, and interacting with her patients and clients. Tanya works closely with Dr. Matthews on the embryo transfer program at our Equine Reproduction Center.

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    Courtleigh Watson, DVM   -   Veterinary Hospital Intern 2016-2017

    Dr. Watson was raised in Baltimore, MD, until she moved to Charleston, SC, when she was 15. She finished high school at Ashley Hall and immediately went to college to pursue her veterinary passion. She earned her undergraduate degree at Clemson University and achieved her veterinary doctorate from Tuskegee University. Dr. Watson rode and competed in Hunter/Jumper classes and rode collegiately on her IHSA team at Clemson. She currently is the proud owner of a Haflinger and an appendix paint horse, a husky and a chihuahua, and a blue-tongued skink, all of which she brought with her to Ocala. 

    Dr. Watson has a wide variety of interests in the veterinary field including general medicine, ophthalmology, surgery and lameness, thus making Peterson and Smith an ideal hospital for her to complete an internship. 

    In her spare time, she loves to travel, ride her horses and go to the beach. 

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    KT Steward, DVM   -   Veterinary Hospital Intern 2016-2017

    Peterson and Smith Equine Hospital was high on Dr. Steward’s list of choice veterinary hospitals to be an intern. A University of Florida graduate, she did externships and participated in the veterinary skills practicum at PSEH and knew it’d be a great place to start due to the opportunity to gain a wide variety of experiences from professionals who have done this “forever,” she said. With her interest in equine sports, she’d like to make that a special interest during her time as an intern. She also wants to do a surgery residency after her internship, even stating she wants Dr. Lynch’s job.

    Dr. Steward was born in California, grew up in Texas but moved to Florida during high school. She earned attended University of Findlay for her undergraduate degree, before coming to UF for her graduate degree. She may be the first veterinarian in the family, but she isn’t the first rider; her mother competes as well. 
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    George Elane, DVM   -   Veterinary Hospital Intern 2016-2017

    The opportunity to be in surgery rooms was the draw for Dr. Elane in his choice to intern at Peterson and Smith.  His ambition is to become a surgeon, doing soft tissue and orthopedic cases due to his special interests in lameness, podiatry and sports medicine. He could be the next Dr. Donnie Slone.

    Dr. Elane grew up in Laurel, Maryland and always knew his love for animals would make him a veterinarian. He went to Auburn University for his undergrad earned his graduate’s degree from Virginia Tech and after spending a three-week externship with Peterson and Smith, fell in love with Florida.

     When he isn’t at the hospital, Dr. Elane enjoys reading, hiking, kayaking, camping and hitting the driving range.

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    Michael Myhre, DVM   -   Veterinary Hospital Intern 2016-2017

    Veterinary medicine is in Dr. Myhre’s blood. His father is also a veterinarian at a referral practice in his home state of New Hampshire.

    It’s all about saving lives, the Cornell University graduate said, stating his goal is to go onto a surgery residency following his internship. He wants to move back to New Hampshire, where the temperatures aren’t as hot as they are in Ocala.

    What’s interesting about Dr. Myhre is a majority of veterinary majors get their undergraduate degrees in biological science. Dr. Myhre has always enjoyed tinkering with computers, so he earned his undergraduate degree in computer science. So, between doing surgeries on horses, he can do “surgery” on computers. 


    Sarah Furtney, DVM   -   Veterinary Ambulatory Intern 2016-2017

    Sarah is originally from Texas and received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Texas A&M University in 2005.  She was a member of the Corps of Cadets and the world famous Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.  She received a Master of Science from Sul Ross State University in Texas, with several published works in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. Her thesis work concentrated on equine reproduction and nutrition.  Sarah attended Western University of Health Sciences in California for veterinary school, and was the Theriogenology Club President, and a Purina and NAVC student representative. Her hobbies include watching Aggie Football, and anything that pertains to the outdoors, horses and her Australian Shepherd ‘Kyle’- she loves to snowboard, hike, run and stay active. 
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    Heather Wharton, DVM   -   Veterinary Ambulatory Intern 2016-2017

    Dr. Wharton was born and raised in Ventura, California where she spent most of her time playing music and various sports. At the age of six, she began riding her grandfather’s Quarter horses on their family ranch in Texas during her summer visits. In the past, she competed in youth and amateur barrel racing as well as show jumping. Dr. Wharton completed a Bachelors of Science in Health Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz in 2008, and a Graduate Diploma in Animal Science in 2010 and a Bachelors of Veterinary Science in 2014, from Massey University in New Zealand. Prior to joining the Peterson and Smith team, Dr. Wharton completed a one year surgical internship in Lexington, KY. Her interests include: lameness, sports medicine and soft tissue surgery. In her free time, Dr. Wharton can usually be found hiking, floating down the river or jumping out of planes. 
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    Alyson Rogers, DVM   -   Veterinary Reproduction Intern 2016-2017

    Dr. Alyson Rogers is this year’s intern at Peterson and Smith’s Equine Reproduction Center working under Dr. Matthews. For several months before her internship, she worked at our partner facility, Buffalo Ridge Animal Hospital on mostly small animal emergency cases. She has varied veterinary experience, but equine reproduction is her passion.

    Dr. Rogers is a Florida native, having grown up in Boca Raton. She began riding at a young age and always knew that she would like a career that combined her love of horses and science. She earned a bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Florida before attending veterinary school at St. George’s University in the Caribbean. Her final year of veterinary school was completed at Auburn University.