Equine Health Technicians

Compassionate and High Quality Care

Kendra Foley

Kendra has been working at Pioneer Equine Hospital since January 2001. She is the MRI and CT technologist. Outside of work, she can be found riding her bike, playing with her dogs, or spending time with family.

Jennifer Mikkelson, RVT
Technician Team Leader

Jennifer was born and raised in Clayton, CA on a small ranch. Growing up she had a multitude of animals, including horses, and from an early age knew she wanted to work in animal medicine. Jennifer pursued her dream and graduated from Carrington College in February 2016 with an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology. In April of 2016, Jennifer joined the Pioneer team and has loved it since. Jennifer received her Registered Veterinary Technician’s license in 2017. When not at work, you can find Jennifer with her horses Black Betty and Sarah, home with her cat Reese’s Peaches or out with friends and boyfriend Tyler.

Karen Shadle, RVT
Patient Care

Karen Shadle has been working at Pioneer since 2004. She is currently one of our night technicians, providing the best patient care to those horses who are hospitalized overnight or over several days. Karen graduated from Carrington College in 2017 with her Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology.

Audrey Hannink
Patient Care

Audrey was born and raised in Modesto, CA and developed her love for horses at a young age on her grandparents ranch in Oakdale, CA. She recently graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a degree in Allied Health Science. Audrey hopes to attend veterinary school in her future and when not at work, you can find her spending time with her family, friends, and dogs!

Lisa Hayes
Patient Care

Lisa enjoys working part time at Pioneer with her coworkers and the horses.


Outside of Pioneer she enjoys, spending time with her family and friends, food, wine and traveling, hiking and hanging with her dog, Wylie.

Oscar Garcia

Oscar has been working at Pioneer since 2020. Not only is he a great all around technician but specializes in stallion handling at our Stallion Center.

Kylar Desrochers
Patient Care

Kylar was born in Boston but has spent most of his life here in Oakdale. He graduated from Oakdale High and earned his Bachelor’s from Fresno State. He started riding at the age of five, and has trained in both Western reining and English show jumping. He trained his own Mustang in high school and enjoyed trail riding all over California with her. Before joining the Pioneer team, Kylar gained a lot of reproduction experience working on the foaling team for a local Thoroughbred breeder. During his free time, Kylar loves to travel the world, but more locally, he enjoys playing piano and reading.

Quinn Ford

Quinn was born and raised in Oakdale, CA. She grew up with horses and rode at a young age doing gymkhanas, jackpots, barrel racing, cutting, reining cow horse, and High School and JR. Rodeo. When not at work you can find her riding her horses Roxy, Willow, and Whisper.

James Hegedus

James works part time at the Stallion Center helping with collection and storage of frozen semen with his daughter Kathryn.

Kathryn Hegedus

Kathryn has worked at Pioneer off and on for many years, but in the last three years she has been leading work at our Stallion Center. She is in charge of stallion collection, freezing and shipping.

Jessica Larkin
Patient Care

Jessica is working on her veterinary technician certification and prerequisites at Modesto Junior College and will be transferring to Fresno State or UC Davis to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science (Pre-Veterinary). She has had a love for horses her entire life. She participated in 4-H, Nor-Cal Junior Rodeo Association, and California High School Rodeo Association. She is taking her passion for horses to one day become an equine veterinarian. She did four years of active duty in the United States Navy as a weather forecaster and then switched into the reserves. She received an Honorable Discharge after 10 years in December 2022. She loves camping and traveling with her husband and kids.

Charliez LaRue

Charliez was born and raised in Manteca, CA. She has always been an animal lover for as long as she can remember. She started riding when she was 13 and has never looked back. It is what inspired her to go into the veterinary field. She has three horses of her own and in her free time, she loves to compete on them.

Lynsey Gookin
Equine Technician

Lynsey was raised in Columbia, CA. Growing up, she always had a passion for animals especially horses. Her grandparents used to own and operate the stagecoach that still runs through Columbia state park today. She always enjoyed trail riding her own horses through the park also. Lynsey recently graduated from Fresno State in fall of 2022 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science. She is so excited to be using her education every day at work. In her free time, she enjoys riding her two horses, Taco and Chalupa, as well as painting and creating art.

Colleen Anderson
Equine Technician

Colleen Anderson grew up here in the Central Valley. She finished college with a degree in Animal Science & Dairy Science. She’s worked with horses over the last ten years and is looking forward to being a part of the Pioneer team and learning new things. In her free time you can find her rock climbing, at the beach, spending time with friends or her cat.

Jackie Lau
Equine Technician

Jackie was born and raised in Escalon, CA. She started riding horses when she was nine years old. Since then, Jackie has never had a second thought about working and caring for horses. She graduated from Fresno State in May 2023 with her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with equine emphasis. In her free time, she enjoys riding her horse, Candy, as well as reading, hiking, and spending quality time with her boyfriend, Ian, and family.

Amanda Wiersma
Relief Technician

Amanda has been working at Pioneer since June 2017 and she enjoys all aspects of being an equine health technician. Amanda grew up in Oakdale doing junior and high school rodeo, she now resides in Turlock with her husband and four kids. Together they have nine horses and team rope.

Alyssa Costa
Relief Technician

Alyssa started working at Pioneer Equine Hospital in the spring of 2019. She has a passion for horses and has been around them since she was a kid. She has an Associate’s degree in Animal Science and Agricultural Business. Outside of Pioneer, you can find her riding her horses, reading, or spending time with her family. She resides in La Grange with her husband, her two kids, and her dogs.

Kaleena Smith
Relief Technician

Kaleena was born and raised in the Central Valley. While attending Oakdale High School she was part of the rodeo team, which is where her love for the equine industry grew. After high school, she attended Modesto Junior College and earned two Associate Degrees, one in Agriculture Business and another in Veterinary Technology. She started working at Pioneer in the fall of 2019. Outside of work she enjoys playing with her dogs and hanging out with her family. Kaleena is currently on maternity leave after having a sweet baby boy in June.

Kylee Sisco
Equine Health Technician

Kylee was raised in Knights Ferry for the elementary years of her life where she began her horse experience. She was raised around an abundance of different animals including horses. She started riding at an early age and enjoyed doing things like going to small jackpots, 4H gymkhanas, and trail riding. She attended Oakdale High School and graduated in 2018. She started her journey with Pioneer in the winter of 2019 during a work experience program. She is currently enrolled in Modesto Junior College where she took most of her Large Animal Veterinary Technician classes. She has an AS degree in Agriculture Science. When she’s not at work or doing homework she loves to ride her horses along the lake access around her house or take them camping. She loves to hang out with her friends and sister on the lake during the summer months and she also enjoys raising show lambs for 4H kids.