Meet Our Team
For these people horses are not just animals – they are friends and their passion!
Brandi Wurtz was raised on a small farm in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. She spent all her time on horseback exploring back country trails with her dad or participating in various horse events. Brandi's love for horses carried her on to obtained her veterinary technician associates degree through Penn Foster College. She has been part of the McKinlay and Peters team since May of 2012. She enjoys assisting Dr. Schneider with lameness exams and in the surgery room. When Brandi isn't busy working at the clinic, she is spending her time with her family. Husband Tom, daughter Haylie, and son Clayton all share in her love of anything out doors. Her daughter has her passion for horses and together they participate in trail challenges and other riding events.
Nichole grew up riding horses in the mountains of Northern Idaho. Her love for horses came early and naturally for her. Nichole first worked in the veterinary field at a mixed animal practice for 3 years, until she had her son. Riding bikes and horses with her son Mussy are some of her favorite activities. Though all horses are special for her, she has a passion for the pure Spanish horse (Andalusian), and has been a breeder for 17 years. Nichole joined McKinlay & Peters in March of 2008 and enjoys her work deeply as a continued source of connection with the equestrian lifestyle.
Morgan was born & raised in North Spokane where she developed her love for horses. Morgan spent many years working as an instructor & trainer for beginner riders, where she watched many young people progress into competent horse people. Now working at MPEH she enjoys being part of a team that is dedicated to improving the lives of horses. Horses give so much to humans & working at MPEH gives her a chance to give something back to them. Outside of work & horses Morgan enjoys anything that keeps her active. Her spare time is filled with anything from gardening to bike rides, or taking the dogs for a walk.
Rachel grew up on a small farm on the outskirts of Post Falls, and has always been passionate about horses and just animals in general. She was a member of 4H for 10 years and still calls the fairgrounds home during the last few weeks of August each year. After serving a stint in the military she decided Post Falls is where she wanted to be and joined the McKinlay and Peters team in September of 2014. As well as working closely with the doctors, Rachel is also a part of the MRI team. She prefers the outdoors to just about anywhere and is always looking for the next adventure either trail riding or backpacking.
Alyssa is from Yakima, WA where she grew up riding and being involved with horses for most of her life. She earned her AA in Veterinary Technology at Yakima Valley College in 2019. When she's not working Alyssa enjoys riding and showing horses, going on hikes, camping, and spending time with friends and family.
Sarah was born in the Bay Area of California and moved to the outskirts of Spokane at a young age. Sarah learned how to canter on her first welsh pony before she could trot. Many hours were spent everyday romping around on ponies barefoot and bareback with her sisters. Going fast and jumping high was what she loved most about riding as a kid and it carried throughout her life. When she was 10 years old she became interested in three day eventing and spent the summers on the west side training and competing. She has competed upper levels in eventing and dressage and learned how to gallop racehorses. Being homeschooled her whole life, she went into college at the age of 16, through running start. She also participated in gymnastics in high school. Sarah has had a fascination in veterinary medicine and wanted her career path to be in that field. She joined MPEH in 2014 as a stall cleaner and vet assistant. 2018 she earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from EWU, got married and became a full time tech at MPEH. When she's not working, she is usually riding, training horses or enjoying other outdoor activities.
Katie was born and raised in a small town on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington. She started riding horses as soon as she could sit in the saddle. Her love for horses has stuck with her, and turned into a passion. Growing up Katie traveled all over Washington State to trail ride and pack into the high country with her grandfather, who is a skilled teamster. Katie has also worked for several outfitters where she has driven sleigh in Leavenworth and given tours on horseback in Winthrop. While attending Washington State University, Katie had the opportunity to ride and compete on the WSU Equestrian team. She traveled to shows with other colleges at the IHSA level. Katie fell in love with Eastern Washington as a kid and again in college. She decided to move to Spokane in 2019, just prior to starting at MPEH. Katie also enjoys skiing, hiking, and likes beachcombing when visiting back home.
Krista grew up in Coeur D’Alene Idaho, watching her dad train wild mustangs. Her passion for horses started early, observing the magic unfold as a horse learned to trust a human and bond with them. Krista was always doing something daily with horses from training them, to running barrels, drill team competitions, or leisurely trail rides. Though she loves all horses, the foundation Appaloosa breed is her favorite! She married the man of her dreams, Bryce, in 2009. They have two children, son Colby and daughter AnnJolie. Their children are enjoying learning about horse ownership. Besides horses, her family is very active in all outdoor activities. They love all the seasons that the Pacific Northwest has to offer - fishing or tubing the lakes in the summer and hitting the slopes in the winter.
Kelsey has lived in Spokane for the majority of her life. She knew from a young age that horses were her passion, and began learning to ride and jump at the age of seven. She showed in the hunter/jumper world for a large portion of her childhood, and spent some time in various Western disciplines as well. Kelsey stuck with her love for horses all the way through college - she obtained her degree in Equine Science from Montana State University, where she also participated in and was a TA for numerous horsemanship classes. Kelsey also showed on the IHSA Hunt Seat team at MSU for three years, and got several opportunities to learn and ride under accomplished horsemen and women all over the country. In her free time, she enjoys fishing, hiking, riding horses, and spending time with friends and family. Kelsey joined the MPEH team in September of 2020, and loves getting to pursue her passion and continue learning every day.
Caitlin was raised in Liberty Lake, WA and has always had a love and passion for horses. She spent most of her childhood in the barn gaining knowledge of horses any way she could. She attended Northwest College in Powell, WY for equine business and equine riding and training. Caitlin worked at MPEH before moving to Nashville with her husband. Following the birth of their daughter, they returned home. Caitlin is excited to be part of the MPEH team again. In her free time she enjoys riding her horses, fishing, and spending time with friends and family.
Charity grew up in Hayden, ID with a love of all animals but a special devotion to horses. This love of animals led her to start working in veterinary clinics at a young age. After high school, she completed her degree in veterinary technology and came to work at MPEH in 2003. She has passed on her love of horses to her two daughters and takes great pleasure in exploring the backcountry with them. Charity, her husband and three children keep busy running their small animal veterinary practice, camping/backpacking, and participating in 4H. Charity feels very fortunate to work at a job that combines her love of horses and excellent veterinary care.
Diane was raised on a 257 thousand acre cattle and sheep ranch in southwestern Montana. From a very young age, she was involved in the care of animals. Diane fed sheep dogs, bum lambs and bum calves. She moved to Coeur d'Alene in 1999. She worked 13 years in the small animal field and joined McKinlay and Peters in 2012. Diane and her husband Steve have three children and four grandchildren. They share their home with two dogs, five chickens, a hive of honeybees and a cat. During the summer they are usually gone camping. Diane enjoys being outdoors. She loves to bike, hike, kayak and fish.
Sam was born and raised on the Oregon Coast, but moved to Idaho in his early teens. In his early twenties he purchased a five acre farm where he raised Goats. This is also where his love of horses started. He had three horses that were used for trail riding. Sam then moved to Colorado to go to college where he studied Early Childhood Education and taught preschool and school age children for about 15 years. He is a certified scuba diver and enjoys spending time in and around the water. He also enjoys traveling with his spouse of almost 20 years and spending time with family, friends and his three wonderful grandchildren. Since coming to work at McKinlay & Peters Equine Hospital, he has gained a new appreciation for all that is entailed in caring for horses.
Shelby grew up in North Spokane riding horses from a young age. As a young girl she always wanted horses and when she got her first pony she was hooked. She was a member of Pony Club for many years with her Appaloosa mare and started competing in 3-Day Events. After high school she worked as a groom for an Olympic rider competing in 3-Day Eventing. In 2014 she got married and in 2017 she and her husband moved to SouthEast Asia for his job. They recently returned in the spring of 2020 and in October 2020 she joined MPEH. In her free time she enjoys playing with and riding her horses, going on adventures with her husband and their dogs, and spending time with her family.
Ashley grew up in a very small cattle ranching town on the Central Coast of California. She spent her childhood around cows and riding horses, competing on her school's horse judging team in FFA, and continued competitive horse judging in college. She studied animal science and agriculture business in college while working in small animal veterinary clinics in the Central Valley of California and then in Central Texas. Now living in Idaho with her husband and two canine "fur-kids", she spends her free time hiking, camping, and backpacking.
Ruth was born & raised in the Chicago Illinois area and after attending college for a brief time, moved to the Pacific Northwest (Puget Sound area) to work as a Pharmacy Technician. During this time she met her husband Frank with whom they have raised two grown children and just celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary. Ruth has always had a love for animals – from an incident as a teenager where she helped a mother duck with her ducklings cross a crowded Illinois arterial-to her two pets at home; she has always had a passion for animals. Her previous job gave her the opportunity to work with many local veterinary clinics and inspired her to get more involved in caring for animals. When Ruth is not at work in the Pharmacy at MPEH, she is outside in the early morning running. Those who know her well enough know that she is always running. 5k’s, 12k’s, 30k’s and half marathons have kept her feet moving forward. When she is not running, Ruth is usually out for a walk with her spastic golden retriever Macy. What’s next you ask? Well, it’s a toss-up: either a full marathon or skydiving. Go Ruth!
Maxima was born and raised southwest of Mexico City. At a very young age he was surrounded by different types of animals as his family raised cattle, goats and pigs. His grandfather also started and raised colts. He wanted to go to school to become a veterinarian but during that time boys were expected to help around the ranch and we're not allowed to go to school. In 2001 he immigrated to California and went back and forth to Washington State working different jobs. He met his wife Sonia in November of 2004 and they married that following year; they have four beautiful children. In December of 2005 they moved to Washington State. Max worked different jobs for the next couple years until he found a job with a horse trainer in Spokane. He has always said he wanted to be around horses which have been his passion all his life. Max joined the MPEH team in 2015. He loves working here and in his heart he knew this is where he wanted to be and he wouldn’t change it for the world!
Born and raised in Pend Oreille County, Washington, Emily has loved horses ever since she was old enough to walk. She was the rodeo queen for both Pend Oreille County Fair and Rodeo in 2018 and the following year was the 2019 Newport Rodeo Queen. On top of those titles she has also completed 9 years in 4-H and four years of equestrian team going to state in both activities. Emily has completed her AA degree and is continuing to complete a veterinarian technician degree. Starting in 2016 she began working with MPEH at the Colbert Hospital and loves seeing and taking care of all the patients visiting the clinic. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two horses Sweetie and Stormy, countless hours with family and friends, along with working on projects outside.