Phone: (352) 237-6151

A Tradition of Leadership & Excellence in Equine Medicine

History of our Facilities

In August of 1981, two solo equine practioners, Dr. John Peterson and Dr. Johnny Mac Smith partnered up to create Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital. Dr. Peterson had moved to Ocala in the 1960's, and Dr. Smith moved to the area in the '70s. When they opened the practice in 1981, they hired current Peterson & Smith president, Dr. Phil Matthews, right away. He had just graduated from Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1982, Dr. Kevin Hahn was hired, and Dr. Donnie Slone was hired in 1983. Dr. Matthews became a partner in 1985, and Drs. Hahn and Slone were soon to follow. Continually, more veterinarians were added to the practice- today there are 26 vets, on average, 7 of which are partners.

In 1984, the Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital facility was built at 4747 SW 60th Ave. Previously, the practice was run out of Dr. Peterson's farm. The new facility started as just a small office building, a row of clinic stalls, our lab, and one barn. The main building also had living quarters, which you can still notice if you visit the clinic! The next additions were building the medicine barn, the sports medicine barn, and the isolation barn. Peterson & Smith built the Equine Reproduction Center in Summerfield in 1999. In 2007, the administrative building was renovated and expanded.

In 2009, the Peterson & Smith Partners opened Buffalo Ridge Animal Hospital, a small animal practice, in The Villages, Florida. The practice also became a 24/7 emergency clinic in 2012.

In 1986 Peterson & Smith started their internship program, and became a teaching hospital. Ever since then, the practice has had a minimum of one intern, and has expanded up to 8 interns at a time! Also, in that year, Peterson & Smith became the first private practice to start a surgical residency program. Peterson & Smith is very proud that they have successfully prepared all of their residents to ace their boards!

Dr. John Peterson still practices, and although Dr. Matthews is now the president of the practice, he still practices as well. While the other original partners are still practicing, Dr. Johnny Mac Smith had to leave the practice in 1993. Ironically enough, he left due to an allergy to horses.

Peterson & Smith prides itself on keeping the tradition of leadership and excellence in equine medicine that our founders started, while growing and adapting to the ever changing needs of our patients and clients.