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 riding her horse, Sarah, hanging out with her friends and playing with her dogs, Bonnie and Clyde.

Karen Shadle
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.

Amanda Wiersma
Patient Care

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 two kids. Together they have nine horses and team rope.

Austin Paddock

Austin calls Oakdale, California home, where he was born and raised. During his years in the equine industry Austin has team roped, roped calves, and took a special interest in showing cutting horses. Showing in the cutting horse industry gave him many opportunities after clenching the 2016 NCHA World Champion Rookie of the Year title. His interest in becoming a veterinary technician peaked when he realized that he could be around the animals he loves while getting to learn the medical side of the industry. After graduating from Oakdale High School, Austin went to Merced College where he earned two Associate’s degrees in Agricultural Business and Crop Sciences. He then moved to Manhattan, Kansas where he pursued a degree in Agronomy at Kansas State University. While earning his degree, he was an active member of the Kansas State University Rodeo Team. After graduation, Austin came to work at Pioneer during the summer of 2019. Austin has a knack for patient care along with emergency care.

Kristine Ferreira

Kristine started riding when she was three years old. She competed heavily as a young girl in junior hunter/jumper classes. Now Kristine teaches English riding lessons. Kristine previously worked at Pioneer from 2001-2004 and she is happy to be back as part of the reproductive team. Before starting back at Pioneer, Kristine worked at a Thoroughbred farm for a number of years doing sale prep and training. Kristine and her husband, David, have two kids, Adrienne and Gage. At home, they enjoy riding together and caring for their cattle.

Melissa Tanzillo
Ambulatory Patient Care

Melissa started working for pioneer in the winter of 2018. She was born and raised in Castro Valley, Ca where she grew up riding hunter/ jumpers. Aside from working with horses she worked at a wild life rehabilitation center. However, she decided to pursue her interests in criminal justice and received her bachelor’s from Sacramento state. When she isn’t working, Melissa enjoys hunting and fishing.

Fabiola Arias

Fabiola was born in Oakland, Ca and was raised by a family who owns thoroughbred racehorses, which made her grow passionate about the sport. She started helping with training and rehab of the horses when she was just 13 years old. Soon after she began barrel racing on her personal horses. Fabiola has always been passionate about animals and in May of 2018 she graduated from Fresno State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, training horses, and spending time with her four dogs.

Brittany Bess
Patient Care

Brittany started her experience at Pioneer Equine Hospital while taking a work experience class in spring of 2018. She has been an employee here since September 2018. Brittany was an Animal Science Major at Modesto Junior College and her goal was to become an equine veterinarian but, she is now going to school to become a Registered Nurse. Brittany enjoys being an equine health technician and all of the experiences and challenges she encounters. In her free time Brittany likes to spend time with her dog Koda, teach FFA/4H kids about sheep showmanship, and she loves to go to Oakland A’s games with her boyfriend and family.