Meet Our Staff
The success of our facility is due to the kindness and dedication of our staff.

Our staff is the backbone of our business providing top notch service for all our clients/patients.

Take a moment to get to know each one as they are here to help.

Simply click on the + sign in each one below to get to know each of our staff members.


Dr. Michael Giacopuzzi, DVM

Dr. Michael Giacopuzzi, DVM

Dr. Mike Giacopuzzi is one of the founders and co-owners of Humphrey, Giacopuzzi & Associates. He grew up on a dairy farm in Ventura County and graduated veterinary school from the University of California, Davis in 1980. Dr. Mike specializes in general surgery and lameness. He is very active in the local 4-H program and serves every year as the veterinarian for the Ventura County Fair.

Dr. Richard Giacopuzzi, DVM

Dr. Richard Giacopuzzi, DVM

Dr. Richard Giacopuzzi is a co-owner of Humphrey, Giacopuzzi & Associates. He grew up in Canoga Park where he was raised in a ranching and dairy family. Before veterinary school he worked as a racetrack groom. He graduated veterinary school from the University of California, Davis in 1979. He is one of the most respected doctors in the area in the reproduction field.

Dr. Hannah Klasson, DVM

Dr. Hannah Klasson, DVM

Dr. Klasson graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and joined the practice as an intern in 2012, and as an associate in 2013. Her professional interests include: internal medicine, theriogenology and neonatology, as well as wellness and preventative medicine. She completed the Chi Institute’s Equine Acupuncture course and began offering this a as a regular service at HGAE in 2014.

Dr. Zoe Davidson, DVM, MCRVS

Dr. Zoe Davidson, DVM, MCRVS

Dr. Davidson grew up on the coast of Northern California. She started riding at the age of six in both English and Western disciplines. Zoe attended the University of California, Davis where she majored in Animal Biology and played on the Division I Women’s Tennis Team. Following this, she attended Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. Born as the only Californian to a British family, she was able to undertake an extensive amount of her veterinary training at equine hospitals in the racehorse-dense area of Newmarket, England. In her Equine Internal Medicine rotations at Kansas State University, she worked closely with Dr. Liz Perry and was awarded the Mary J. Reed Equine Compassion Award. Upon graduating with her DVM in 2018, she completed two years as a primary care equine ambulatory and field service vet for Tyrrell’s Equine Clinic in rural Cambridge, England where she developed a keen interest in equine general practice and preventative medicine. Returning to her beloved California in 2020, she worked briefly in Northern California before starting with HGAE.

Dr. Fallon Haig, DVM, MS, DACVS

Dr. Fallon Haig, DVM, MS, DACVS

Dr. Fallon Haig grew up showing Hunter/Jumpers on the east coast. She moved to the west coast for her undergraduate studies to attend Stanford University, where she received degrees in Biology and Studio Art. From there she moved to the southeast to attend Auburn University for veterinary school. She then completed an internship back in California at the Steinbeck-Peninsula Equine Medical Center before moving to the midwest for a second internship at the University of Missouri and then her combined Large Animal Surgery Residency and Master’s Degree Program at Purdue University. When not at work, Dr. Haig enjoys spending time with her husband and their four dogs, as well as riding her own horses.

Dr. Melissa Von Zup, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Melissa Von Zup, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Von Zup grew up in Southern California where she fell in love with horses and riding Hunter/Jumpers. She attended Cal Poly SLO receiving a degree in Animal Science with an emphasis on Equine Science. She continued to move farther North and attended veterinary school at UC Davis with an equine focus. From there, she moved to Florida for a rotating internship at Equine Medical Center of Ocala with a focus on internal medicine. She went to Oregon for her residency in large animal internal medicine. In her free time, she enjoys taking her dog to the beach and on hikes.


Dr. Ryan Carpenter, DVM, MS, DACVS-LA

Dr. Ryan Carpenter, DVM, MS, DACVS-LA - Bio

Dr. Carpenter graduated from UC Davis, school of veterinary medicine in 2005 and went on to complete an internship in Southern California with Equine Medical and Surgical Group and Equine Medical Center. Following this year, Dr. Carpenter completed a surgical residency at Colorado State University and conducted orthopedic research projects focusing on gene therapy and fracture healing under the direction of the Equine Orthopedic Research Center at CSU. Dr. Carpenter currently practices in Southern California focusing exclusively on Thoroughbred racehorses where he spends his mornings as an active racetrack practitioner and his afternoons in the hospital specializing in orthopedic and upper airway surgery. 


Dr. Phoebe Smith DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Phoebe Smith DVM, DACVIM - Bio

Dr. Smith was born and raised in Kentucky, graduating magna cum laude from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. She moved west to pursue an internship at Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center then practiced general equine medicine in Southern California for two years before beginning residency training in internal medicine at UC Davis. Achieving board certification in Internal Medicine in 2003, Dr. Smith returned to Alamo Pintado as a specialist, focusing on emergency/critical care, neonatal and internal medicine cases. In 2007, Dr. Smith was recruited by The Ohio State University, and accepted a position as clinical professor in Equine Internal Medicine. In addition to treating patients in the hospital, she instructed fourth year students in clinics and lectured extensively in this academic role. In 2010, she returned to the Santa Ynez Valley to raise her daughter and establish a specialty internal medicine practice.

Dr. April Armstrong, DVM

Dr. April Armstrong, DVM - Bio

Dr. Armstrong graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 and completed an internship in equine medicine and surgery at Humphrey, Giacopuzzi and Associates Equine Hospital in 1998, where she then continued as an associate veterinarian for another four years. Shoreline Equine Veterinary Services was started by Dr. Armstrong in 2002 to provide advanced reproductive procedures as well as general veterinary care. Dr. Armstrong spends her free time with her great husband, Marty and cool kids, Lily and Fin. They are often out camping, competing in triathlons or swim meets, or at the BMX track.


Bex Felch, R.V.T. - Technical Supervisor

Bex Felch, R.V.T. ~ Bio

Bex hails from Northern Virginia. She received a dual bachelor’s degrees from Virginia Tech in Biology and Animal & Poultry Sciences in 2005. After graduation, she completed a management internship at a major thoroughbred racehorse breeding farm and became certified in equine sports massage. Bex has been working as a supervising veterinary technician since 2006, and obtained a R.V.T. license in 2009. She spent several years in both Virginia (Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center) and Kentucky (Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital) prior to moving to Ventura in 2011. Outside of the work, Becky enjoys exploring California wine country, the beach, and camping.


Tracie Maccanelli, RVT - Anesthetist

Tracie Maccanelli, RVT ~ Bio

Tracie was born and raised in Southern California. She started riding when she was twelve with the California Rangers where she competed in equitation and drill team. Tracie started her career in the small animal field in 2004. She graduated from Pierce College in 2010 and received her RVT license in 2011. She worked for 10 years in small animal surgery and anesthesia where she has carried over her knowledge to the large animal field. In her free time, she enjoys adventuring with her husband and two kids, baseball with her son, sharing the love of horses with her daughter, and riding her horse Apache.

Amy Trottier, R.V.T., E.S.T. - Inventory Manager

Amy Trottier, R.V.T., E.S.T. ~ Bio

Amy was born and raised in Canada where her passion for horses began at a young age.  She grew up riding and showing any horse she could!  After attending school to become an Equine Sports Therapist she knew she had more to learn.  Her love of horses brought her (and her horse at the time) down to California.  Amy began volunteering at HGAE in January 2016 while attending Mount San Antonio College where she graduated from their Veterinary Technician Program with an Associates Degree in Science.  She was hired on as a full time employee shortly after graduation.  When she is not working she enjoys travelling and hiking with her husband and chihuahua!

Jocelyn Palmer, AEVT - Laboratory Services

Jocelyn Palmer, AEVT ~ Bio

Jocelyn is from Rhode Island. She moved to California in 2013 and joined HGAE in 2014. Jocelyn is currently working on her R.V.T. license. Jocelyn spends her free time with her thoroughbred, Bunny, and hiking with her dog, Vada. Jocelyn’s favorite things about working at HGAE are foaling season, surgery, and teasing Dr. Mike.


Alix Benjamin - Reproduction Technician

Alix Benjamin ~ Bio

Alix lives in small town Leona Valley, CA. She grew up competing in gymkhanas and rodeos for her local 4-H club. Her and her husband own and operate a small farm in Leona Valley, West Roots Farm. When they aren’t working on the farm, you can find them backpacking in the mountains or on a cross country road trip. Alix is also pursuing her RVT license.

Sharon Scheiltz, RVT - Anesthetist

Sharon Scheiltz, RVT ~ Bio

Sharon received her R.V.T. license in 2000 and has additional training in anesthesiology. Sharon teaches anesthesiology to veterinary students visiting HGAE during their rotation. In her free time, Sharon and husband compete in team roping.

Jennifer Nunes - Technician

Jennifer Nunes ~ Bio

Jen grew up in Camarillo riding hunter in ETI. Jen now rides dressage and manage the dressage shows at both El Sueno and Mission Pacific Equestrian Center. Jen is the volunteer chair of the CDS chapter in Ventura.

Katie Pfeffer- Technician

Katie Pfeffer ~ Bio

Katie was born and raised in Santa Clarita ,CA . She grew up spending every waking hour with her horses. Riding competitively in Jumpers and Equitation. In 2014 she started her journey working with racehorses. From galloping, breaking and training she found herself falling in love with all aspects of Breeding and Equine Medicine. After managing a racing Quarter Horse breeding farm in Louisiana she returned home to further her education and experience with Equine medicine at HGAE. When Katie is not working at HGAE she enjoys Mountain climbing, hiking with her dog Durden and trail riding her off track quarter horse Dyna.

Melissa Hiatt - Technician

Melissa Hiatt ~ Bio

Melissa grew up around horses in Simi Valley. During high school, she volunteered at Therapeutic Horseback Riding. Melissa moved to Colorado to attend Colorado State University and completed a degree in Equine Science in 2017. She is earning her Master’s of Kinesiology at California State University Northridge. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog, Ruby.

Anna Lowe - Technician

Anna Lowe ~ Bio

Anna grew up in Ventura County and has been riding her whole life. Anna is currently a student at Ventura College. In her free time, Anna enjoys going to the beach or with riding her horse.

Lillian Hilgers - Technician

Lillian Hilgers ~ Bio

Lillian (Lilly was born and raised in Ojai, California. She has always had a passion for animals but found her true passion within the equestrian sport. Lilly competed in the hunters, jumpers, and equitation at the national level from a young age, and continued through high school. She received a sports scholarship to ride for the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she went on to captain the team to multiple national championships. After graduating with a BA in Equestrian Studies in 2019, Lilly managed a private traveling show barn of nationally ranked hunters and jumpers as well as FEI Grand Prix horses. After spending almost two years traveling around the east coast and parts of Europe, Lilly decided to return home to California and pursue her passion for equine medicine at HGAE. When she is not at work, Lilly enjoys riding, hiking, and getting to spend time with friends and family.

Dannielle Hargrove, RVT, HSC - Technician

Dannielle Hargrove ~ Bio

Dannielle is a Ventura County native. Having a love for horses and spending the best part of her childhood on horseback, she pursued a career working with horses. While employed at Humphrey, Giacopuzzi, and Associates Equine Hospital in the late 1990’s she earned an Associate in Science degree for Veterinary Technology along with a Horse Science Certificate from Pierce Community College and became a Registered Veterinary Technician. After working here for a few years and being blessed with the opportunity to stay home to raise 2 amazing children, 20+ years later, Dannielle has returned to HGAE.

Jennifer Alaniz - Technician

Jennifer Alaniz ~ Bio

Jenny was born and raised in Carpinteria, CA. She grew up around horses and livestock her whole life, showing beef cattle all across Ventura and Santa Barbara county. She has always had a passion for large animal medicine and went on to pursue a B.S. in Animal Science. Jenny recently graduated from Cal Poly, SLO where she worked mainly with horses and cattle, and off campus as a small animal veterinary technician. During her free time, she enjoys spending time riding her horse and spending time with her family and friends.


Valerie Wilson - Front Office

Valerie Wilson ~ Bio

Valerie has been with HGAE for over 10 years. Valerie will answer the phone when you call and assist you in any way she can. Valerie enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and trail riding with her husband.

Tracy Thomas - Accounts Receivable

Tracy Thomas ~ Bio

Tracy has returned to HGAE after a few years off. Tracy handles open invoices and acts a liaison with farm managers and business representatives. Tracy is the leader for the Santa Rosa Valley Market Lamb Project and has been involved with the 4H program from 12 years.Tracy enjoys barrel racing and trail riding with Tracy’s daughter Makayla.

Kathleen Winters - Front Office

Kathleen Winters ~ Bio

Kat grew up around horses. Her family owned Santoro Thoroughbreds and raced all over California. Kat has been involved in pony club as the Horse Management Regional Organizer and District Commissioner for Santa Rosa Valley for over 10 years. In her free time Kat enjoys riding dressage and spending time with her daughters.

Colleen Whiting, CVPM - Practice Manager

Colleen Whiting ~ Bio

Colleen has been riding and working around horses her entire life. She taught riding lessons for many years and was an accomplished junior rider. As an amateur rider, she has ridden with the best professionals on the West Coast and has competed in numerous West Coast finals. While pursuing her equestrian activities, she attained an accounting degree from California Lutheran University. Colleen is now a developing professional equestrian and is pursuing the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager’s accreditation.


Ramon Marcos - Grounds

Ramon Marcos ~ Bio

Ramon has been with the hospital since 1990. He is invaluable! He is our “fix it” man as well as being an amazing hand with animals.

Jorge Giron - Grounds

Jorge Giron ~ Bio

Jorge has been working on ranches since 2001. He is trained in agricultural management as well as irrigation systems.

In his free time, Jorge enjoys spending time with his family.