Meet Our Team

Meet the Veterinarians & Team of The Piedmont Equine Practice in The Plains. We’re pleased to provide exceptional care for your horses.


Joe Davis


At the age of six, Dr. Davis was put up on his first horse and it seemed a natural place to stay. Horses have been a significant factor in his life ever since, both professionally and personally as a rider and competitor in dressage and combined training. Dr. Davis is a local, graduating from Fauquier High School and then from The College of William and Mary (with a major in English) followed by veterinary school at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Davis joined Piedmont Equine in 1997.

Dr. Davis has a special interest in performance horse medicine, lameness, anatomy and medical imaging, and has pursued extensive continuing education in the field of ultrasound imaging. He also achieved certification in chiropractic care by the AVCA in 2001. He feels that horses at any level of performance are remarkable in their willingness to give total effort just because we ask, and thus makes an effort to minimize the discomfort associated with veterinary procedures. His patients include international competitors, local show horses, fox hunters and trail horses.

During his personal time, Dr. Davis spends most of his time outside; running, sailing, fox hunting, hiking, skiing, and fixing up his 200-year-old house and horse farm. His wife, Pam is a small animal veterinarian at Piedmont Small Animal. They have two daughters, Hayley and Kristina. Dr. Davis is the medical editor of The Chronicle of the Horse.

John Nolan


Dr. Nolan grew up in northern Virginia. His love of horses began as a teenager when he purchased his first horse to train and compete in endurance and competitive trail rides. As a high school student, he became interested in a career in Farriery. After high school, he attended the North Texas Horseshoeing Institute and was a practicing farrier for over nine years before starting his career in veterinary medicine. Dr. Nolan earned his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia – Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. His career in equine practice began with an internship at an equine referral center, Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center, in Los Olivos, California. There, he trained with specialists in the fields of lameness, diagnostic imaging, surgery and internal medicine. He went on to work at the Delaware Equine Center in Cochranville, Pennsylvania. He founded The Piedmont Equine Practice, Inc. in 1996.

Dr. Nolan has been caring for international and national level equine athletes for over 25 years. His areas of special interest include sports medicine, lameness, diagnostic imaging and chiropractic medicine. In 1998, he became certified in Veterinary Chiropractic Medicine through the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. He has been an active member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Florida Association of Equine Practitioners, and the International Society of Equine Locomotor Pathology.

John met his wife Renée in Veterinary school. Renée practices small animal medicine at The Small Animal Clinic at Piedmont. They have two sons, Sam and Abe who are both students at the University of Virginia. In his spare time, you might see him cycling on the back roads of our practice area, our little piece of heaven.

Paul Anikis


Dr. Paul Anikis grew up in Howard County, Maryland with an affinity for animals of all kinds, starting with falconry at the age of ten. This and his love of science made the field of veterinary medicine a natural fit. During his time in vet school at Virginia Tech, he developed a deep appreciation for horses as highly intuitive and elite athletes.

After vet school, Dr. Anikis worked in a mixed large animal practice in Loudoun County, Virginia for several years. While there he expanded his understanding of hoof problems and laminitis and learned to shoe horses. He also became a large animal consultant to the Washington National Zoo in 1996, where he assists and advises in the treatment of elephants, rhinoceroses, giraffe, lesser kudu, and zebra. He has served as a treatment veterinarian at numerous steeplechase races and 3-day events as well as the 2005 FEI World Cup Final for dressage. He is also a veterinary advisor on the safety committee of the National Steeplechasing Association. Dr. Anikis joined Piedmont Equine as a partner in 2000 where his practice centers on the diagnosis and treatment of lameness problems in horses. He works with clients in Northern Virginia, Europe, and Florida.

Dr. Anikis lives in Delaplane, Virginia with his wife, Doerte, a veterinarian and accomplished rider, and their two sons, Timothy and Erik. His hobbies include skiing, running, biking, fishing, gardening, and growing orchids.

Sean Bowman


Dr. Bowman was born and raised in Loudoun County, Virginia. The opportunity to return home was a big factor in Dr. Bowman’s decision to start a solo practice after graduation from the Virginia - Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. In 1998 he merged with Piedmont Equine Practice.

Today as a part of PEP Dr. Bowman has a practice that is centered around sports medicine. He spends most of his time with show horses and event horses but enjoys helping all owners enjoy their horses more. No matter what sport you compete in he will use a combination of modern medicine and acupuncture to keep your horse sound for the next competition always with the goal of a long healthy career.

If he won the lottery Dr. Bowman would still work, because he truly loves equine medicine. However, he would turn the renovations on his nineteenth-century farmhouse over to someone else, leaving himself more free time to train bird dogs, fish with his son Ian, and hike with his wife Jean.

Staff Specialists

Sarah Dukti


Dr. Sarah Dukti DACVS, DACVECC was born and raised in Michigan. She grew up showing Quarter Horses in local shows and 4-H. Following the completion of vet school at the Ohio State University in 2002, Dr. Dukti completed an internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. This was followed by residencies in surgery and emergency and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. Dr. Dukti moved to Virginia to become a clinical assistant professor at Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center. Dr. Dukti joined the Piedmont Equine Practice in 2001. Dr. Dukti has published in veterinary journals, presented at national meetings, trained veterinary students, interns, and residents, and received numerous teaching awards and recognitions. Dr. Dukti and her husband Daniel enjoy their farm in Hume with their dogs, horses, donkeys, chickens, and ducks.

Courtney Bolam


Courtney Bolam, DVM, DVSc, DACVS-LA has joined Piedmont Equine Practice to provide regular in-hospital emergency and surgical relief with Dr. Sarah Dukti. She will be sharing her time between our clinic and Woodside Equine Clinic in Ashland, VA.

Dr. Bolam grew up in London, Ontario, Canada, and from a very early age was horse crazy!! She began riding at the age of 5, initially taking dressage lessons, then joining Pony Club and eventually exploring some lower-level eventing during her high school years. Dr. Bolam attended veterinary school at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ontario before completing a rotating, hospital internship at Peterson and Smith Equine Hospital in Ocala, FL. She then returned to the Ontario Veterinary College for a large animal surgical residency; in 2006 she became board-certified in large animal surgery. Dr. Bolam has spent the last 8 ½ years working for Wisconsin Equine Clinic & Hospital in Oconomowoc, WI. There she provided elective and emergency medical and surgical care, as well as attending to routine wellness and sports medicine cases. While she has always enjoyed working both in the field and in-clinic, her passion for emergency equine medicine and surgery is an important and integral part of who she is as a veterinarian, making her a great fit for this position. Dr. Bolam is very excited to be joining Piedmont Equine Practice to provide emergency equine veterinary care. Outside of work, Courtney has revisited her enthusiasm for eventing in the last few years, something she looks forward to continuing here!! She is excited to explore Virginia, especially all the great outdoor activities that our beautiful state has to offer!! Please welcome Dr. Courtney Bolam to the Piedmont Equine Practice team!!

Referral Specialists

Catherine Nunnery

Ophthalmology Specialist

(Catherine Nunnery joins us as a consulting ophthalmologist on a regular basis. She served as President and Ophthalmologist of Equine Veterinary Vision, Inc., an ambulatory large animal ophthalmology practice in Maryland and Virginia. She was also Staff Ophthalmologist at VCA Referral Associates in Gaithersburg, MD. Dr. Nunnery graduated from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. She completed an internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in 2006 and a residency in Comparative Ophthalmology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in 2009.

Dr. Amy Polkes

Internal Medicine Specialist

Dr. Amy Polkes is a board certified Equine Internal Medicine specialist. Dr. Polkes received her Bachelor in Science from Cornell University and her degree in Veterinary Medicine from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. She was in private equine practice for several years before continuing her training at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine with a residency in Large Animal Internal Medicine. In 2002, after completing her residency program, she established an Equine internal medicine mobile consulting practice in Maryland and Virginia. Dr. Polkes has now grown her referral practice, Equine Internal Medicine and Diagnostic Services (Equine, to provide mobile equine internal medicine services in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut. Her goal is to provide an alternative to referral institutions, allowing for evaluation at your farm or at your primary care veterinarians facility.

Dr. Polkes is also the Equine Veterinary Diagnostic Specialist for Antech Diagnostics. She has helped to facilitate the expansion of Equine Diagnostic testing within Antech to provide more comprehensive and advanced equine diagnostic testing.

Dr. Polkes resides in Maryland with her husband (who specializes in small animal internal medicine), her 2 teenage children and her 3 dogs. She enjoys hiking, biking and skiing and spending time with her family at all of the various sports activities!

The most common cases that are referred for an internal medicine consultation are:
• Respiratory disease – Including poor performance, chronic cough and difficult respiratory cases.
• Gastrointestinal diseases- Gastroscopy, intestinal biopsy, weight loss, colic, chronic colic, other.
• Neurological disease- Comprehensive neurological evaluations, CSF taps. Ophthalmology-difficult ophthalmology cases.
• Cardiac- Evaluation of murmurs, arrhythmia’s, PPE including echocardiography, ECG and holter monitor.
• Other complex medical cases

Associate Veterinarians

Stephanie Wilkinson


Dr. Stephanie Wilkinson was born and raised on the small island of Bermuda. At the age of 18, she moved to Ontario, Canada to complete her B.S. Honors degree in Bio-Medical Science from the University of Guelph. She went on to earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, graduating at the top of her class and fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian.

She discovered her passion for horses at a very young age and began competitively riding at the age of 6. She has represented Bermuda in showjumping in many different countries, including the UK, Spain, and the Caribbean. She continued to compete during her years in university, both on the U.S. and Canadian A circuit.

Dr. Wilkinson enjoys all facets of equine medicine but has a strong interest in sports medicine. At the beginning of 2018, she started her own equine veterinary practice in Bermuda, where she travels periodically to provide services to the equine community there. She successfully completed the animal chiropractic course at the Options for Animals College of Animal Chiropractic at the beginning of 2020 and is certified with the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association.

Her free time is in fact filled with more horses and her dog, Nova. She simply cannot get enough of horses and feels so fortunate to have found a career as fulfilling as veterinary medicine.

Christy Moss


Christy Moore grew up locally in Fairfax, VA. She began riding horses at a young age, training and competing in Dressage until she went to William and Mary for her undergraduate studies. There she continued to pursue her love of animals, and especially horses, by majoring in Biology and riding with the Hunter/Jumper Equestrian Program. She then ventured north to New York for veterinary school, graduating from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018 with Honors.

Christy performed her internship at Piedmont Equine after graduating vet school and has stayed with the team ever since, now serving as an associate. Christy enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine, especially internal medicine, neonatology, and reproduction. Christy is proud to help Piedmont Equine offer such reproductive services as management and breeding of mares with frozen semen.

In her free time, Christy enjoys running and hiking with her dog Barzy, as well as visiting local breweries and wineries. She lives in Bealeton, VA with her husband, Ashton.

Lizzy Aksten


Bio to come

David Johnson


Dr. Johnson is currently on sabbatical. Please call us at 540-364-4950 for any dental needs.

Dr. David Johnson has been associated with The Piedmont Equine Practice since 2002. He earned degrees in Equine Science and Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. Upon graduation in 1992, Dr. Johnson operated a solo equine practice for 6 years.

Attracted by the brisk eventing community around Middleburg, Dr. Johnson moved to Virginia in 1998. At that time he began to shift his professional focus from general medicine towards a practice limited to equine dentistry. He has devoted all of the continuing education hours required for veterinary licensure to the advancement of his skill and knowledge in this field.

Outside of work, Dr. Johnson spends most of his time training event horses but also enjoys scuba diving and tinkering with all things mechanical. Dr. Johnson and his wife Katy live in Upperville with their young daughter, Reagan.

Cheyenne Sams

Rotating Fellow

Cheyenne was born and raised in Loudoun County, Virginia and has been an extern on a regular basis at Piedmont Equine since 2013. She has been involved with horses in some way since she was old enough to walk. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016 with a B.A. in Biology, where one of her favorite activities was volunteering at a program that worked with children and horses. Cheyenne finally ventured out of her home state to attend veterinary school at the University of Illinois, where she had the opportunity to experience what Midwest winters are like. In veterinary school, Cheyenne was involved in various clubs, including the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Cheyenne is overjoyed to be back at Piedmont, working side by side with the practitioners that she has spent years looking up to. In her spare time, Cheyenne enjoys hanging out with friends, and running and hiking with her dogs, Roo and Pippa.

Office Staff

Ann Pawlak

Chief Operating Officer

Ann was born in Easton, Maryland and there her love of riding began at the age of ten. She attended both Southern Seminary College for Women and Salisbury State College and received a BS degree in Animal Husbandry. Ann has managed hunter/jumper show barns and fox hunter barns. Ann started with Piedmont Equine in 2003 as a veterinary technician and is currently the Clinical Administer.

She is married to Randy, a farrier. They have two sons, David and Cole, and live near Boyce, VA. In her spare time, Ann loves to play tennis.

Elaine Brissette

Equine Office Team Leader

Elaine grew up in Ellsworth, Maine where she actively competed in both English and Western disciplines with the local 4-H and pony club. Pursuing her love of horses, she attended Post College in Waterbury, Connecticut where she majored in equine studies. Following graduation, Elaine had several horse farm jobs before she met and married her husband Craig and settled in Culpeper.

She subsequently worked at Child Help teaching underprivileged children horsemanship skills before joining Piedmont Equine in 2005. Elaine schedules and assists Drs. Bowman, Davis, Nolan and Adams.

Elaine loves playing tennis in her spare time.

Juliet Graham

Office and Webmaster

Juliet was born in England and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She was sent to Virginia to attend high school at Foxcroft School in Middleburg. She rode on the Canadian Eventing team for 10 years, competitions included Burghley, Badminton, three World Championships and one Olympic Games. Juliet hunts with MOC Beagles and teaches local eventers and fox hunters.

Juliet started working at Piedmont Equine in 2004, first as a technician and now in the front office, organizing seminars, social media and the website. Juliet lives in The Plains with her dogs Peanut Butter and Jelly and spends her free time hiking and taking photos in our beautiful countryside.

Sandy Cole


Sandy grew up horse-crazy in a non-horsey family in South Bend, Indiana. She got her first pony at 13 and competed in local shows and 4-H, with that pony and several other horses, until going to college. She received a Bachelor of Science in Equestrian Studies at William Woods College (now University) in Fulton, Missouri. After graduation, she worked in Barrington, Illinois at a thoroughbred rehab and training facility, then moved near Cincinnati, Ohio, working at Warrenton Farm, preparing thoroughbred yearlings for the Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton sales.

She co-owned and ran a business importing, competing and selling event horses for over 25 years, and then worked as a bookkeeper for friends Karen and David O'Connor and assisted at Stonehall Farm with various horse care duties for over 4 years.

The chance to work at Piedmont Equine came in 2018, and she works in the office on both the Equine and Small Animal sides of the practice. She lives in the village of Orlean with her corgi mix, Beau and cat, Maggie.

Sophie Sites


Sophie was born, raised and educated in Montreal. Following high school and the University of Quebec, where she studied linguistics. Sophie received her Canadian Certification to train riders of the western discipline. She studied reining under some top trainers before moving to Virginia and started her own training business, which she still does part-time. Sophie started at Piedmont Equine in 2006 and assists Drs. Theiss, Porto and Diehl with scheduling and paperwork.

She and her husband Michael live in Luray on their farm.

Melissa Pendleton


Melissa grew up in Fauquier County, started riding when she was 6 and bought her first horse at the age of 21. She has been a long time client and fan of Piedmont Equine. Melissa attended Virginia Tech for Animal and Poultry, and currently lives in Clarke County with her husband and 2 young children. She joined Piedmont Equine as a technician in July 2020. In her very rare spare time Melissa loves playing with her kids, trail riding and playing volleyball.

Wanda Allison


Wanda is the newest addition to the front office. She grew up in Fauquier County and graduated from Fauquier High, after which she worked at various office jobs. Wanda has a daughter and loves spending her spare time with her and friends and family, as well as going to Virginia Beach on weekends. She would like to visit every state in the US at least once. She has two dogs named Ruckus (a Mountain Cur) and Bandit (a Chihuahua- Papillon mix.)

Tech Staff

Casey Curtis Keesler


Casey graduated from St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC in 2012 with a BA in Business Administration, after which she interned at a small equine practice, and took a greater interest in veterinary medicine. In 2014, she graduated from Sanford-Brown College, in Tysons Corner, VA with an AAS in Veterinary Technology as well as becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician.

She then spent time at a local university equine hospital administering emergency and elective anesthesia as well as performing specialized diagnostic imaging before becoming a small animal radiation anesthetist and ER technician. Casey joined Piedmont Equine in the spring of 2019 and was reintroduced to equine anesthesia and nursing..

Casey and her husband live on a farm in Northern Virginia, and enjoys spending her spare time with her 3 horses and showing in dressage and combined training competitions.

Gretchen Hummer


Gretchen grew up in Tallahassee, FL, where she hunted and obtained a coveted “A” rating from Ochlockonee River Pony Club. Gretchen moved to Virginia in 1980, and whipped-in for Glenmore Hunt while attending Mary Baldwin College for a year, and then received her Veterinary Technology degree from Blue Ridge Community College.

Gretchen spent her preceptorship at New Bolton Center, working part-time for an upper-level event rider as well as doing tack and blanket repairs. At New Bolton, she developed a strong interest in equine anesthesia, and upon graduation, was hired at a private equine practice near Charlottesville, VA. In August of 1985, she joined the staff at the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center where Gretchen first worked the night shift, then moved into the anesthesia department in April of 1988 until August 2010. Having done some anesthesia for elective surgeries at PEP over the years, Gretchen was happy to join the nursing staff part-time in 2012, helping with emergency anesthesia coverage.

Gretchen is married and has 2 horses, which she pleasure rides. She and her husband live in Star Tannery and enjoy riding the Blue Ridge Parkway and other scenic roads on their “steel horses”- a Suzuki Intruder for Gretchen and a Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad for her husband.

Jill Sites


Jill was born in South Carolina and moved multiple times since her dad was in the Marine Corp. When she was 12 her parents bought her a horse and she has been riding ever since. She was active in 4-H and worked on a ranch for several years. In 2014 she graduated from NOVA and obtained her veterinary technician license. In July of 2014, she started working at Piedmont Equine. She lives in Front Royal, Va on a farm with a menagerie of animals. She enjoys team roping, trail riding and four-wheeling.

Kaatje Potter


Kaatje is originally from upstate New York and graduated from St. Lawrence
University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Environmental Studies.
After graduation, she immediately transitioned into SUNY Canton for veterinary
After obtaining her Veterinary Technician license, she worked as a small animal
emergency and surgical specialty technician for five years. She had always
dreamt of being an equine LVT and she and her husband made the move to
Virginia in 2020 to make those dreams a reality.
Kaatje now resides in Middleburg with her husband Nick, pups Howie and Dixie,
and cat Kona. When she isn’t at the barn with her horse, Mike, she can be found
hiking in the George Washington State Forest or floating in an inner tube down
the Shenandoah.

Carin Wahl

Vet Tech

Carin, born and raised in Ohio, has always surrounded herself with animals. She has a degree from Hocking College in Backcountry Horsemanship and Wilderness Skills. Her husband’s time in the army led them to Alaska and North Carolina and various jobs, including veterinary receptionist, doggie daycare attendant, and pharmacy technician. Her employment in the horse industry has ranged from dressage groom to barn manager at a carriage driving and fox hunting barn. Carin lives in Jeffersonton with her husband Eric and two dogs, Jaina and Bucky. In her free time she enjoys hiking and dog training.

Tory Shepard

Vet Tech

Tory graduated from The University of Findlay with a dual BS degree in Equestrian Studies - Western riding/training emphasis and Equine Business Management. She is certified in Equine Massage and Rehabilitation and is currently undergoing the Penn Foster veterinary technician licensing. Tory enjoys riding both reiners and western pleasure horses, and in her free time she takes her dog, Kyda, kayaking and hiking.

Georgia Osborne

Vet Tech

Georgia lives in Culpeper VA and has been riding horses since she was 7. She graduated from Bridgewater College in 2020 with a degree in Biochemistry. Georgia worked for many horse farms over the years as well as shadowing her equine vet. She previously worked as a small animal assistant. Her goal is to get into vet school.
In her free time Georgia to rides her OTTBs. Cubby, her young horse does some showing and Lingo, who is semi-retired goes for trail rides. She also enjoys fishing and hiking.

Po Tatham

Pharmacy Technician

Nicknamed Po because as a young child she would repeatedly ask to ride Po when referring to her pony, Po was born and raised in Vienna, Illinois. After completing her education Po began her professional career as an instructor/trainer of event horses and riders. During that time, Po evented through the Advanced 3-day level.

In 1987, Po received the Harry T. Peters award for winning the National Young Riders Championships. During that year she also won the Courtney Reeves Award for best sportsmanship. In 1990, Po was granted the Markham Trophy young riders award. She also successfully completed the 3 Star Rolex International event.

Currently, Po lives in Middleburg, Virginia, and shares her time between training event horses, running an equine rehabilitation center, and as the pharmacy technician for Piedmont Equine.

Mary Ficklin

Pharmacy Technician

Mary grew up in Delaplane, VA where her love for horses started at a very young age with weekly lessons and then leasing ponies. She started showing locally at the age of 10 and then progressed to successfully showing on the A circuit in the hunter division, with Sebastian being her main horse. She became a professional when she turned 18, her first job being at Sandstone Farm in Millwood as a teacher and coach. She has won many year-end awards as a trainer and rider. She currently has her own stable near Boyce, VA.

Mary started at Piedmont Equine as a veterinary technician in 2014 and is currently one of the pharmacist technicians.


Ben Leahy


Ben Leahy is originally from Oneonta, New York where he grew up in a very animal centered household. His grandfather and great-uncle were mixed animal veterinarians, his father is a now-small animal vet after a decade and a half of mixed animal work, and his mother regularly rehabbed wildlife on behalf of the Audubon Society. One of six boys, Ben grew up going on farm calls to local dairy farms, working in the small animal practice, and riding horses at a local stable. Ben’s love for horses started at a very young age and he rode and competed Morgan horses for many years before purchasing his own untrained Morgan. It was on his Morgan gelding “Indy” that Ben found his love for eventing. Ben attended Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York, graduating with a B.S. Honors degree in biology in 2017. He then went on to earn his DVM degree from The Ohio State University in 2021.

Ben enjoys many aspects of veterinary medicine but has a strong interest in equine lameness and sports medicine. He hopes to continue working with sport horses for many years, especially event horses. When not working, Ben enjoys being outside hiking, playing soccer or golf, or finding a quiet place to read a good book. He feels incredibly blessed to be at the Piedmont Equine Practice and is thankful every day to wake up and work with such amazing horses and people.