Equine Division Staff

For over 50 years, the professional and enthusiastic staff at Elgin Veterinary Hospital has been providing exceptional veterinary services to our equine patients of all breeds and sizes. Our staff is dedicated to ensuring every horse has the best possible care.

Meet Our Talented Doctors

Dr. Robert Lewis

Dr. Lewis is a graduate of the first veterinary medicine class from Louisiana State University in 1977. He began his career at Elgin Veterinary Hospital and has been here ever since. Dr. Lewis was a pioneer in the development of arthroscopic surgery for horses in the early 1980’s. Dr. Lewis has participated in many professional organizations including Texas Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Horse Racing Association and American Association of Equine Practitioners (member since 1976) where he served as President from 1998 to 1999. Dr. Lewis has been a member of numerous organizations including serving 6 years as the Chairman of the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium. Dr. Lewis is also a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association, Texas Quarter Horse Association, Texas Thoroughbred Association and National Cutting Horse Association. Additionally, Dr. Lewis served on the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners from 1987 until 1994. Dr. Lewis has received many honors and awards including the Texas Veterinary Medical Association Equine Practitioner of the Year in 1984, Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1990 (first ever recipient of this award), Texas Thoroughbred Association Man of the Year Award (twice) in 1991 and 1992, AQHA Register of Merit Award (for service to industry) in 1990 and American Association of Equine Practitioners Distinguished Life Member Award in 2007. Dr. Lewis is renowned for his surgical skill and has extensive experience with equine orthopedic surgery including long bone fractures and arthroscopy.
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Dr. Tommy Hays

Dr. Tommy Hays graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1985. His expertise in orthopedic and soft tissue surgery is an integral part of our surgery services. Dr. Hays’ reputation as a skilled surgeon and keen eye for lameness brings in clientele from many neighboring states. Dr. Hays has been active in many different organizations over the years including; Texas Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Board of Directors since 2001 and President 2006 to present, Texas Quarter Horse Association Executive Committee 2004 to present and President in 2007, American Quarter Horse Association member/Texas National Board of Directors, Texas Thoroughbred Association member 1987 to present, American Association of Equine Practitioners 1985 to present, founding member Texas Equine Veterinary Medical Association and Board of Directors member, founding member Texas H.O.R.S.E. and Executive Committee member.
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Dr. Brian Brandon

Dr. Brian Brandon came to Elgin Veterinary Hospital after graduating from Louisiana State University in 2000 to pursue an internship. Dr. Brandon was invited to stay on as an associate. Dr. Brandon has enjoyed developing his skills at Elgin Veterinary Hospital and is proficient in all areas of equine medicine. His special interests include colic surgery and lameness diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Brandon has also enjoyed becoming involved in the race horse industry and is highly sought after for the management of the performance equine. Dr. Brandon is an active member in several organizations including; American Association of Equine Practitioners, Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association and Texas Equine Medical Association.
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Dr. Cody Johnson

Dr. Johnson was born and raised in Palestine, Texas. At an early age he began roping and soon developed a passion for horses and rodeo. He competed in calf roping and team roping through high school and received a rodeo scholarship to Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. After rodeoing for a year, he decided to transfer to Texas A&M University and concentrate on getting his degree in animal science. After his first year at A&M he got a summer job here at Elgin Veterinary Hospital and it was during that summer that he realized that veterinary medicine was a profession he could see himself excelling at. He received his bachelors of science in May of 2009 and was then accepted into Texas A&M University college of Veterinary Medicine. During vet school, Dr. Johnson spent every summer traveling and working with equine veterinarians throughout the United States. Although he enjoyed the different aspects of practice in each place, he was always drawn to the innovative reputation at Elgin Veterinary Hospital. After receiving his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2013, he received a job at Elgin Veterinary Hospital and has been working to uphold the EVH reputation ever since. Dr. Johnson is passionate about performance horse medicine and surgery. He enjoys the challenge of diagnosing and treating lameness in equine athletes. He is a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners where he has volunteered time on the Student Wet lab Task Force, Racing Committee and as a Texas State Liaison. Dr. Johnson also volunteers at Bastrop County 4-H as a veterinary science instructor for kids interested in the profession. In 2016 he received the 4-H distinguished alumni award for his service.
Dr. Johnson is constantly studying textbooks and journal articles to advance his knowledge in innovations in equine lameness and surgery. He believes that continued learning is key to developing the best treatment options for each individual horse. It is this progressive thought process that clients can expect from him on each case that he sees. In his limited spare time, Dr. Johnson enjoys spending time with his wife Amy and their son Carter Barkley.
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Dr. Karah Flesch

Dr. Flesch is from Mico, Texas. She attended Texas A&M University where she received her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science and graduated from TAMU Veterinary School in 2015. Dr. Flesch came to Elgin Veterinary Hospital in 2015 after graduation to do her internship and she accepted an associate position here in 2016. Dr. Flesch enjoys internal medicine, neonatal medicine and emergency surgery, but her favorite is reproduction, especially working with the newborn foals! Dr. Flesch is a member in several organizations including; American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Veterinary Medical Association and Texas Equine Veterinary Association. In her spare time Dr. Flesch enjoys spending time with her 2 dogs and boat racing in the summer.
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Dr. Weston Warnock

Dr. Warnock is from Bastrop, Texas, where he was raised on his family’s cattle operation. He attended Texas A&M University where he obtained an undergraduate degree in Animal Science and graduated from TAMU College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. After graduation Dr. Warnock completed an equine surgical rotating internship at Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic in Salinas, California. After finishing his internship, Dr. Warnock moved back to Texas and completed a 3-year residency in equine surgery at Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery in Weatherford, Texas. He stayed on as a staff surgeon and spent time on the race track in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Dr. Warnock came to Elgin Veterinary Hospital in 2017. He specializes in equine surgery, with an emphasis in orthopedics/fracture repair, arthroscopy, and laryngeal/pharyngeal surgery. He also has extensive experience and interest in gastrointestinal (colic) surgery. Dr. Warnock has completed research focusing on laryngeal surgery in racing Quarter horses. In his spare time, Dr. Warnock enjoys hunting, saltwater fishing, team roping and spending time with his family.
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Dr. Ricci Karkula

Dr. Karkula is from Sager, California and moved to Texas to attend college on a rodeo scholarship at Tarleton State University where she received a Bachelors in Animal Science and her Master’s degree in Animal Science with an emphasis in reproduction. She then attended Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2015. While in veterinary school Dr. Karkula served as the national Student American Veterinary Medical Association president and continues to play an active role in organized veterinary medicine. After graduation, Dr. Karkula completed an equine rotating internship followed by a sports medicine/surgical fellowship at Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery in Weatherford, TX where she gained additional training in equine surgery. Dr. Karkula received her certificate of Veterinary Medical Acupuncture from Colorado State University in 2016. Her professional interests include; sports medicine and surgery, reproduction and emergency anesthesia, but she enjoys all aspects of equine medicine! Outside of work, Dr. Karkula enjoys barrel racing and spending time with her friends and family.
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Dr. Emily Barnard

Dr. Emily Barnard grew up primarily in west Texas. She attended New Mexico State University and received her Bachelors of Science degrees in Biology and Chemistry. She then went to Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2017. During veterinary school Dr. Barnard was an active member and officer in the Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, serving as treasurer and president. Dr. Barnard joined us this year after her graduation for her internship. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Dr. Barnard is interested in lameness, surgery and emergency medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, their dogs and working their horses and cattle at their families’ ranches in New Mexico.
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Office Staff

Tiffany Kainer
Tiffany is originally from Flatonia, Texas. She came to EVH in May of 2001. In her free time Tiffany enjoys barrel racing, raising cattle, off-shore fishing and is a huge San Antonio Spurs fan!
Chasity Shine
Chasity grew up in Round Rock, Texas. She started working at EVH in January of 2017. She is currently going to school to pursue a degree in Psychology. Chasity grew up barrel racing and enjoys riding her horse Special Tiny Doc aka “Little”.
Anna Laurent
Anna grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas and came to EVH in April of 2017. Anna is currently working towards her Masters degree in Animal Science. She enjoys riding her horses when she has time and volunteers every year at the Ft. Worth Livestock Show.
Cassandra Atwell
Cassandra is our newest office member, she started in August of 2017. She has enjoyed learning all about equines as she previously worked at a small animal clinic. She is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She loves to BBQ and enjoys watching her daughter at all her different sporting events.