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. Courtnee Morton

Dr. Courtnee Morton is from Saginaw, Texas. She attended Oklahoma State University where she received her Bachelors in Animal Science. She graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2017; her clinical year was done at Louisiana State University. After vet school, Dr. Morton completed an equine internship at Durango Equine Veterinary Clinic in Buckeye, Arizona where she focused on neonatal medicine and general health practices. She then moved back to Texas to work at an ambulatory equine practice concentrating on sports medicine. Although she likes all aspects of equine veterinary medicine, her interests include sports medicine, foal health, and she also enjoys working on donkeys. During her free time she plays disc golf, reads, and spends time with her friends and family.
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Dr. Russ Freeland, DACVS-LA

Dr. Russ Freeland grew up in agriculture in southwest Louisiana. He attended Louisiana State University earning a bachelor degree in wildlife ecology and a doctorate of veterinary medicine. After graduating he spent a year in a general and referral large animal private practice in Colorado as an intern. Following his internship Dr. Freeland worked in upstate New York in general and referral equine practice prior to starting a large animal surgery residency. Dr. Freeland was trained in soft tissue and orthopedic surgery as well as sports medicine at the University of Wisconsin. During this time he also performed research in the area of equine wound management. Dr. Freeland has a special interest in orthopedics and lameness in the performance horse as well as food animal surgery. He is a board certified large animal surgeon by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. He is a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, and the American Veterinary Medical Association. Outside of practice Dr. Freeland enjoys the outdoors, spending most of his free time hunting, fishing, flying, and diving.
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Dr. Margo Ryan

Dr. Margo Ryan is a 2019 graduate of Oklahoma State University, where she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. She attended Texas A&M University for her undergraduate education, where she majored in Animal Science. A native of Dallas, Dr. Ryan has spent much of her life riding horses in both English and Western disciplines, and competed with her warmblood in show jumping. Dr. Ryan is also a photographer and enjoys spending her free time outdoors, fly-fishing, hiking and climbing. Her dad, brother, sister and brother-in-law are all human physicians, so she always seeks connections and commonalities between human and animal medicine.
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Dr. Haley Jatzlau

Dr. Haley Jatzlau is a 2020 graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and is certified in veterinary medical acupuncture. She grew up in Lexington, Texas and pursued both her Bachelor’s and Doctorate degrees from Texas A&M University and a Master’s Degree in Animal Science from Sul Ross State University. Although she doesn’t identify herself as a “horse girl” since she didn’t grow up showing or competing, she found a love for horses at an early age. Agriculture has always been something she holds very near and dear to her heart and she grew up showing livestock. Prior to veterinary school, she was a veterinary technician here at Elgin Veterinary Hospital where she found a passion for equine medicine and decided to make a career of it. Her extracurricular activities include: raising registered Beefmaster cattle with her boyfriend, spending quality time with her weenie dog, Gus, learning how to rope, margaritas, and Texas Aggie Football.
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Veterinary Technicians

Tiffany Kainer

Lead Equine Vet Tech 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! Many of our clients know Tiffany well as she worked in the office for many years. She took on the role of Lead Equine Technician in Dec 2019 and is loving it!

Office Staff

Cassandra Atwell

Cassandra has been with us since August 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.

Andrea Perez

Andrea is our newest office staff member. She started here at EVH in April 2019. Andrea is from South Florida originally. She has experience working in a small animal practice where she worked with our very own Cassandra! Andrea enjoys being outside, camping and cooking.

Melanie Pringle

Melanie has been at EVH since March 2018. Melanie enjoys hanging out with her family especially playing with her son and when she has time she rides horses and likes to read.