Meet the Professionals of Hoofbeats Equine Service

Brandy Phelps Ashman, DVM - Owner and Veterinarian
Dr. Brandy Phelps was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina.  She quickly developed a love for animals.  Her desire to become a veterinarian evolved as she cared for several sick animals on her family’s farm.  As a result, she began working for a veterinarian at the age of 13.  She continued to gain veterinary experience throughout high school and college.  She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science in 2002 and graduated from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. Dr. Phelps remained focused on horses throughout veterinary school.   After graduating and moving to Virginia, she developed a special interest in chiropractics and graduated from animal chiropractics school in 2008.  After successfully completing the course in both small and large animal chiropractics, she received her certification by the International Veterinary Chiropractics Association.   In addition, Dr. Phelps has an interest in emergency management and disaster relief and serves as a member of the National Animal Health Emergency Response Corp.

Dr. Phelps always dreamed of practice ownership and began Hoofbeats Equine Service, LLC in 2009.   She strives to treat your family as if you were her own.   Dr. Phelps’ four legged family includes 2 dogs, named Ringy and Willow. She also currently owns 2.2 horses, 2 paint horses, Mo and Ozzy and a miniature horse named Rooster.  Dr. Phelps enjoys marathon running, outdoor activities, and crossfit in her free time. 

Dr. Melissa Smith

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Melissa Smith to our practice. She was Dr. Ashman's classmate at NCSU! Her bedside manner is incredible, her knowledge and surgery skills are impressive, and her kindness is unmatched. Help us in welcoming her! Here is her official introduction.

From her earliest memories, Dr. Smith has always known that she wanted to be a veterinarian. She was bitten by the horse bug by age 2 and has been involved with them ever since. After working with horses and veterinarians through high school and college, she was accepted by North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine to pursue her dream to become an equine veterinarian. Dr. Smith graduated NCSU with a BS in Animal Science in 2002, and continued on to vet school, graduating from NCSU CVM in 2006. She then completed a surgical internship at Rhinebeck Equine in NY in 2007. After her internship Dr. Smith worked in a mixed animal practice in southern Virginia caring for large animals and then a predominantly small animal clinic in western NC improving her surgical skills. She has returned to Virginia to continue to learn and care for equine patients. Her interests include surgery, both large and small animal, ophthalmology and nutrition.

When not at work Dr. Smith can be found at the barn riding or driving her draft crosses, Ash and Elf, or trail riding her mule, Henry. She also has two dogs, Finn and Radar, and several cats (but not quite enough to qualify as a crazy cat lady yet). She enjoys traveling, photography, and unwinding with yoga.

Tina Chavis - Veterinary Assistant
Tina Chavis, otherwise known as “T,” realized her love for horses at age 12 when learning to ride on a neighbor’s horse.  Tina’s family began representing the Native American population by dressing in custom Native American attire and riding their horses in local parades.  Her love of horses continued as she began to pursue a career as a veterinary assistant.  She has been working in veterinary medicine for over 10 years.   She currently has 9 horses of her own.  Tina has a special interest in Foundation Quarter Horses and bloodlines.  She enjoys trail riding and cooking in her free time. 

Angela Morris - Office Staff
Angela was born in Lynchburg Va and grew up in Chesterfield Va. Thanks to her family her love affair with horses began around age 4 and she began showing in local shows at age 5. As she got older she would spend her summers back in Lynchburg with family showing in Western Pleasure and Game Classes. She currently has three Quarter horses, Cody, Poco, and Bill and she also has a mini named Little D. She currently enjoys taking her horses on trail rides and trail competitions. After working in the medical field for 20 years she decided she wanted to work in animal health field. In addition to her love of horses she loves her dogs, cats, chickens and turkeys. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She is very excited to be part of the Hoofbeat’s team!

Lee Horgan - Veterinary Assistant
Lee started her love affair with horses at a very young age. Her Daddy was a farm boy and had been in the last VMI Calvary. She started with a mare pony and her foal. By age 12 , she had a yearling to raise. Lee was married, divorced and raised a daughter so for many years couldn't afford a horse of her own. She would ride any horse offered to her. After her daughter graduated from college, she saved her money and bought a quarterhorse. Currently she has two horses, a QH gelding and a Rocky Mountain mare. Lee loves trail riding in and out of state with friends. Lee has always dreamed of becoming an equine veterinary assistant and we are happy to welcome her!

Vets First Choice

Julie Penny
Julie grew up loving all animals. She rode horses occasionally as a child and fulfilled her dream of owning a horse in 2008. Her equine herd has expanded from 1 horse to 6. She worked for a veterinarian in high school and loved every minute. She currently works full time as a 911 dispatcher but assists us on her days off. Julie has many other species at her farm. Her compassion for animals if apparent when you meet her.

Brandy Phelps
Melissa Smith
Tina Chavis
Angela Morris
Lee Horgan
Lee Horgan