My Name Is... Stacy Whitton

Veterinarian cares for all kinds of equine creatures


A passion for horses

I’m an equine veterinarian. I take care of horses, donkeys, mules and miniature horses.

I grew up in Franktown, and spent much of my youth riding horses. My dad and brother are engineers, and I thought that’s where I was headed.

Instead, I ran away from undergrad and wound up in Americorps. I helped with disaster response after hurricanes Charlie, Francis, Ivan and Jean. I love emergency response and animals, and I decided to become a veterinarian.

I loved emergency medicine, but horses were my passion. I assisted at an endurance race, and I noticed heart murmurs in several of the horses, and it made me want to turn away from research and head right into working with horses.

All the pretty horses

Our clinic is in Elizabeth, and sometimes people bring animals to me, but most often I’m headed out into the field in a truck. I cover a lot of Elbert and Douglas counties.

We have people with show horses, and people with horses in their back yards.

But I’m also the primary care veterinarian for the Harmony Equine Center of the Dumb Friends League. I treat a lot of starved or feral horses, and those that need new homes.

It’s easy to end up with a wild horse if you just don’t pay attention to them. Not so much in this area, but in the mountains, the Western Slope or on the eastern plains, you can end up with large herds of horses who don’t know what people are.

A matter of demeanor

Approaching a hurt or nervous horse is all about your demeanor. If you’re scared, they get scared. It’s about not getting psyched out and staying relaxed in a crappy situation. Some will lose their minds regardless. But if you’re an animal person, they can pick up on that. Medications can help too, of course.

Sometimes we are doing surgery in the field. The most common field surgery is castration — it’s the fastest surgery you’ll ever see. Wound repairs are common. For more specialized issues, we do have a surgery center.

It’s made me realize how much just a very small interaction can make such a difference, for horses and people. I appreciate when an owner calls in tears, and I can reassure them that I can make it better. That’s one of the best parts.

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