Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists


Our Doctors & Staff

Full-time Clinicians

John Pigott, DVM, MS, DACVS

  • Board Certified Surgery Specialist
  • Hospital Director
  • Radiation Safety Officer
  • Biosecurity Officer
  • Dr. John Pigott

Dr. John Pigott is a specialist veterinary surgeon and 2009 graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.  He completed his equine surgery residency training at The Ohio State University and has performed research in equine orthopedics, regenerative medicine and upper airway disorders.  Before moving to CRES, Dr. Pigott was employed by a private practice referral hospital in Wisconsin where he worked in both elective and emergency orthopedic and soft tissue surgery, advanced imaging and lameness. Dr. Pigott joined the team at CRES in 2015 and has notable expertise in orthopedic surgery, upper airway surgery, complicated lameness, advanced imaging and regenerative medicine.  He has an extensive history as a competitor in the hunter/jumper field, and utilizes this unique knowledge daily as he approaches cases across disciplines.  As a recognized specialist, Dr. Pigott is an invited speaker at both national and international conferences on the topics of orthopedics, regenerative medicine, and lameness.

Tate Morris, DVM

  • Tate MorrisEquine surgeon
  • Emergency Clinician

Dr. Tate Morris grew up on the coast of Connecticut and spent time in the dairy barns of Vermont’s Champlain Valley. Upon graduation from the University of Vermont, he worked in Wyoming on cattle and horse ranches, where he developed his passion for veterinary medicine. This prompted a return to the Northeast in 2012, when he enrolled at the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.

At Cornell, Morris worked in the Equine and Nemo Farm Animal Hospital as a student technician, assisted clinical research in the Comparative Orthopedics Laboratory and treadmilled poor performance candidates in the Equine Performance Clinic. After receiving his doctorate of veterinary medicine, he spent the next year as an intern with Randwick Equine Centre in Sydney, Australia, and with Rood and Riddle in Saratoga, working with a mixed population of Thoroughbred racehorses and sport horses. Following an internship with CRES in 2017, Morris joined the New Bolton Center, the large animal hospital and campus for the Veterinary School of the University of Pennsylvania.

He now returns to CRES as an equine surgeon and emergency clinician, where he will continue to advance the elective, emergency and sports medicine case load. He brings with him an interest in airway and orthopedic surgery, novel therapy development and poor performance evaluation.

Rotating Clinicians with Cornell Ithaca

Edward Earley DVM, AVDC/Eq

  • Board Certified Dentistry/Dental Surgery Specialist

Dr. Edward EarleyDr. Edward Earley of Large Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, provides dental services at Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists. As a board certified Equine Dentist and Oral Surgeon, he treats a wide range of clinical conditions utilizing orthodontic, periodontal, endodontic, restorative, oral medicine and oral surgery procedures. He promotes minimal, conservative and focal odontoplasty (floating) correlated to a specific oral diagnosis which helps to promote longevity of the equine dentition. Dr. Earley has a developing interest in research for the increasingly prevalent disease of EOTRH (Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis). As a graduate from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University in 1985, he moved to North Central Pennsylvania and established a veterinary practice in Williamsport. In 2004, he started advanced training in Equine Dentistry through the Alternate Pathway Program of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry (AVD). In 2008, he completed the program and became an AVD Equine Fellow. In 2010, Dr. Earley started a Non-Species Specific Alternate Pathway Residency Program at Cornell University. In 2014, he became a founding Equine Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC/Eq). Over the years he has participated in several committees through the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), AVD and the AVDC/Eq to promote and develop Equine Dentistry within the Veterinary Profession.

Lisa A. Fortier, DVM, PhD

  • Board Certified Surgery Specialist
  • Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Lisa A. Fortier

Dr. Fortier is the James Law Professor of Surgery at Cornell University and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cartilage and Joint Preservation. She received her doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) from Colorado State University in 1991, and then completed an equine surgery internship at Illinois Equine Hospital. She completed a surgical residency and PhD at Cornell University. She is the Director of Equine Programs and Associate Chair for Graduate Education and Research at Cornell University. Dr. Fortier holds clinics and performs surgery in the Equine Clinic at Cornell in Ithaca, NY, and as a Staff Surgeon at the Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists hospital in Elmont, NY. Dr. Fortier’s primary clinical and translational research interests are in equine orthopedic surgery, tendonitis, and arthritis with expertise in regenerative medicine including platelet rich plasma (PRP), stem cells, and IRAP. She has authored over 200 scientific papers and book chapters on topics related to regenerative medicine, arthritis, and tendonitis.

2021-2022 CRES Interns

Abigail Blanton, DVMAbigail Blanton

Dr. Blanton grew up surrounded by horses, donkeys, goats, and cattle in North Florida. After completing her undergraduate degree in Animal Science at the University of Florida, she moved to Edinburgh, Scotland to attend the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. After graduation in 2020, Abigail returned to the US to complete a large animal rotating internship at Texas A&M University. Her special interests include lameness and both orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. When she is not at work, she enjoys taking care of her plants, knitting, spending time with her cat, and long-distance trekking.   

Maddie Boyes, DVM

Maddie Boyes

Dr. Boyes grew up in the northwest corner of Washington State and spent her time showing performance horses, camping and trail riding in the mountains.  While obtaining her bachelor’s degree at Washington State University, she began working for the veterinary hospital as a large animal technician; which sparked her passion for large animal medicine. She attended St. George’s University (Grenada, West Indies) for veterinary school, completed her clinical training at Texas A&M University and subsequently completed an equine internship at Oakridge Equine Hospital in Oklahoma.  Dr. Boyes has a particular interest in surgery (both soft tissue and orthopedic), emergency and critical care.  Outside of work she enjoys exploring new places with her golden retriever, hiking, spending time with friends, and brunch.

Laurel Saldinger, DVM

Laurel Saldinger

Dr. Saldinger grew up riding the hunter/jumper circuit in the bay area of California. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Animal Science at the University of Vermont, after which she returned to California to enroll at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. After finishing her veterinary degree, she completed an internship with Steinbeck Peninsula Equine in Menlo Park, CA; with a heavy emphasis on sports medicine and lameness. Dr. Saldinger is especially interested in surgery, emergency medicine, and lameness. When she’s not at work, Dr. Saldinger enjoys running, riding her horse, and spending time with her friends and family.

Meet our Staff

Jill Nordberg, BS LVT: Practice Manager, Licensed Veterinary Technician

Jill NordbergJill grew up in the thumb of Michigan riding and showing Arabians and working on her family's cash crop/hog farm. She attended Michigan State University and received her Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Technology. Upon graduation she moved to Lexington, Kentucky and worked at a high volume equine practice where she furthered her interest in anesthesia, surgery and MRI. After getting married she moved to Long Island, NY and started working for Dr. James Hunt at Belmont Park when the opportunity to work with Cornell presented itself after their acquisition of Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists. She soon joined Cornell's team and assisted with the opening and operating of the facility. She quickly moved into the role of Practice Manager and also performs technical duties such as anesthesia and patient care. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her growing family and riding her horse.

Kaley Rave: Customer Service Representative

Kaley RaveKaley is one of our Customer Service Representatives here at CRES. She is a friendly face to everyone who comes into or calls the hospital and joined the CRES team in 2018. She has always loved horses, and rode when she was younger. Both of Kaley’s daughters have inherited her love of horses, her oldest even has a horse of her own, a rescued thoroughbred named Falcon. When she’s not working, Kaley loves to be with her family and spend time outside gardening.

Sonia Serrano: Customer Service Representative

Sonia SerranoSonia started riding at the age of 6 and showed competitively through high school and college. She worked as a groom at Clairmont Riding Academy and taught both English and Western riding at New York City Riding Academy. Sonia attended college in New York City and Amherst, MA where she earned an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Sciences. She worked as small animal emergency technician for over 10yrs and was a veterinary insurance specialist for 2yrs; prior to joining our administrative team in 2021.  Her passions are hiking, camping and traveling; she has lived in 10 different states and has driven through 46 of the United States' 48 contiguous states

Lindsay Conologue: Licensed Veterinary Technician

Lindsay ConologueLindsay grew up riding and showing hunter/jumpers on Long Island.  She pursued horses as a career after graduating in 2009 with her bachelors in both English Equestrian Studies and Animal Science from The University of Findlay.  After graduation, Lindsay moved around filling different working student and training positions at hunter/jumper, breeding and dressage barns in Alabama and California.  In 2011, Lindsay returned to Long Island to obtain her veterinary technicians’ license.   She is one of our LVTs and has become proficient in many areas of the hospital, most notably surgery and MRI.  Lindsay is very passionate about her job and very excited to have been a part of CRES from the beginning. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys spending time with her dogs and staying active through rock climbing and hiking.

Katelyn Trzcinski: Licensed Veterinary Technician

Katelyn TrzincinskiKate first developed her love for horses while taking lessons and competing as a young rider. Before coming to CRES in 2017, she spent 7 years taking care of and training horses in Suffolk County. During this time, she found herself drawn to sport horse medicine and rehabilitation. This lead her to pursue a career in equine veterinary medicine. While working in Suffolk County, Kate was able to adopt and retire an OTTB turned lesson horse, Baylee. She also repurposed a second OTTB, Copee. Kate spends her time away from work riding her horses, taking family motorcycle trips, and spending time with her fiance, Dan. 

Martyn Blackmore: Licensed Veterinary Technician

MartynMartyn Grew up around horses and had his first pony ride at 5 months old and never looked back. He competed for many years in the Westchester, Dutchess, and Long Island show circuits with his childhood barn, Pelham Bit Stables in the Bronx. When he was finished competing, Martyn worked as a trail guide and a riding instructor. His deep love of animals fueled his pursuit for a career in caring for them. After receiving his veterinary technicians license Martyn worked in small animal care until he found his way to Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists Hospital in 2019, which he describes as his dream job.

Cathleen Brennan: Licensed Veterinary Technician

Cathleen BrennanCathleen has been an equestrian since the age of 6 and continues to be an active competitor in both English and Western disciplines. She graduated from Suffolk Community College in 2019 with an associate's degree in veterinary technology and joined our team of Licensed Veterinary Technicians in August of 2021.  Her love of animals extends beyond just our hospital; in her spare time Cathleen also volunteers at the North Shore Horse Rescue. Her hobbies include reading science fiction and fantasy novels, crocheting, and hiking

Veronica Caravella: Veterinary Assistant

Veronica CaravellaVeronica was born and raised in New Jersey where she grew up riding and showing hunters. She spent most of her summers going with her family to Saratoga Racetrack, where her love for thoroughbred racehorses first began. During her undergraduate career at Finlay Veronica participated in a study abroad internship at Randwick Equine Center in Sydney, Australia which sparked her interest in equine veterinary medicine. After college she worked for 7 years as an equine therapist at multiple racetracks around the country before settling down and calling Belmont Racetrack home. The opening of Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialist across the street from Belmont reignited her interest in pursuing a career in equine veterinary medicine, so Veronica enrolled in a program to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. In August 2019, while working towards her veterinary technician’s license, she became a member of the CRES team.

Mellisa Pedreros: Veterinary Assistant

Mellisa PedrerosMellisa grew up on Long Island where she began working with horses as a teen. She volunteered and interned at a therapeutic riding center for many years. Mellisa began volunteering at CRES in the winter of 2017, and joined the team as a veterinary assistant in the summer of 2020. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and dogs.

Jerome Jackson: Animal Attendant

Jerome JacksonJack started with CRES in early 2015 and joined the animal attendant team. He is a Kentucky native and has worked with horses for decades and is very interested in maintaining the standard of daily care that they require. When not at work Jack enjoys following the racing industry and time with his family.