Meet Our StaffThe 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. 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 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. 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. Cori Youngblood, DVM, MS, DACVS-LA
Dr. Youngblood grew up in Washington showing English and Western performance and barrel racing in junior rodeo. She attended Washington State University for undergraduate and vet school and completed internships at Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and Oregon State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Her residency in equine surgery and master’s degree in veterinary biomedical science were performed at the Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. While not working Dr. Youngblood enjoys spending time outdoors and with her cats Bonnie and Bridgette.
Dr. Samantha Nieves, DVM
Dr. Sam grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and played competitive fastpitch softball all the way through her undergrad years at Middle Tennessee State University. She is graduating from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine with a focus on Equine Medicine in May of 2020. Her professional interests include theriogenology, anesthesia and analgesia, and veterinary emergency response. Outside of veterinary medicine, she enjoys working out, being outdoors, and teaching her Bengal cat, Koda, new tricks.
Dr. Elizabeth Perry, DVM, MS
Liz grew up in South Jersey just over the bridge from Philadelphia. She attended the University of Findlay where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pre-veterinary and animal sciences. In 2011 she moved to California to attend veterinary school at Western University of Health Sciences. She attended the Chi Institute and completed the equine acupuncture course during her last year of veterinary school. She graduated in 2015 and was induced into the Phi Zeta Honor Society. In 2015 she began her first internship at HGAE and immediately fell in love with the area and the horse community of Ventura County. In 2016 she moved to Leesburg, Virginia to complete a rotating internship at Virginia Tech’s Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center where she found her passion for equine internal medicine. In 2017 she moved to Manhattan, Kansas to begin her three year residency in equine internal medicine at Kansas State University. During her residency she conducted research in immunology investigating vaccine reactions in adult horses and plasma reactions in foals. In 2020 she completed her residency, graduated from K-State with a master’s degree in veterinary biomedical sciences and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key national honor societies. Dr. Perry is extremely excited to once again call HGAE home and to now provide advanced care in equine internal medicine.
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.
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.
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.
McKenna Winters - Technician
McKenna Winters ~ Bio
McKenna grew up around horses. She is C-2 rated in the United States Pony Club. Her passion is three-day eventing and is currently competing on her six year old thoroughbred mare, Kate.
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.
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.
Nicolette McCarty - Technician
Nicolette McCarty ~ Bio
Nikki was born and raised in Ventura County. Nikki grew up raising livestock in the Las Posas 4-H Club and excelled in market beef production. Nikki began volunteering at HGAE in January of 2018 and was hired shortly after. Nikki is currently enrolled in the Veterinary Technician Degree program at Penn Foster College.
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.
Haley Winters - Front Office
Haley Winters ~ Bio
Haley grew up in Ventura County and has been riding her entire life. Haley is a student at Moorpark College pursuing a degree in education. In her free time Haley enjoys camping and hiking with her dog Koda.
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 - 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.