Leann Kuebelbeck, DVM, Diplomate ACVS – Surgeon and Practice Owner

Dr. Leann Kuebelbeck, Board Certified Surgeon, received her veterinary degree from Kansas State University and completed her internship and surgical residency at Peterson and Smith Equine Hospital in Ocala, Florida. She then came to Brandon, Florida to co-found Brandon Equine Medical Center, then known as Surgi-Care Center for Horses, in 1995. She became the sole-owner of the practice in March 2009. In 2014 she changed the name of the practice to Brandon Equine Medical Center to fully encompass all of the services the practice has to offer. Dr. Kuebelbeck’s professional interests include both orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. Dr. Kuebelbeck was the 2009 President of the Florida Association of Equine Practitioners (FAEP) and serves on the Symposium Committee for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). Dr. Kuebelbeck is also serving a three-year term on the North American Veterinary Conference’s (NAVC) Board of Directors. The NAVC promotes intensive continuing education for veterinarians. In December of 2016, Dr. Kuebelbeck was presented with Kansas State University’s Alumni Recognition Award “in recognition of her time and effort devoted to advancing veterinary medicine and for being an exemplary role model for future alumni in a professional and community setting.”

Dr. Kuebelbeck is a self-professed “equine geek” who knew by the age of 5 that she wanted to become a horse veterinarian and she never wavered from that goal. She grew up riding in Kansas so of course she rode Western and quickly fell in love with barrel racing and pole bending. Family economics did not afford the opportunity for extensive showing, but she competed locally as often as possible and 4-H was an important part of her formative years. Now, a mother herself, Dr. Kuebelbeck gets tremendous joy watching Grace, her 6 year old daughter, ride Lightning, the saintly pony, around the home property. She is hoping to foster a love for barrel racing with Grace, but for now Cinderella and Rapunzel are winning out! Dr. Kuebelbeck enjoys spending time with her family and participating in outdoor sports. She has completed two Ironman triathlons (Louisville and Kona) and achieved a personal best in the Ironman 70.3 in Lawrence, Kansas in 2010.

You may contact Dr. Kuebelbeck at: lkuebelbeck@brandonequine.com.

We would love for you to get to know the team at Brandon Equine Medical Center. Click on each team member below to learn more about them!

Ruth-Anne Richter, BSc (Hon), DVM, MS – Surgeon

Dr. Richter received her veterinary degree from the Atlantic Veterinary College on Prince Edward Island, Canada in 1995 after finishing a Bachelor of Science (Hon) degree. Dr. Richter did an equine internship at Mississippi State University, and following a year in private practice began a surgical residency at the University of Illinois. She completed her surgical residency and concurrent Master of Science degree in 2000. Since then, Dr. Richter has worked as a staff surgeon at Reid and Associates in West Palm Beach, the Equine Specialty Hospital in Ohio and East End Equine in Long Island, New York. Dr. Richter joined Brandon Equine Medical Center in 2005 as a staff surgeon. Prior to attending veterinary school, Dr. Richter was farm manager for Christilot Hanson-Boylen, a member of Canada’s Dressage Team. Dr. Richter’s specialties include equine sports medicine, diagnostic imaging – particularly ultrasound, lameness and surgery. She also has an interest in regenerative medicine techniques (stem cells, platelet-rich plasma and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein), and is certified by Vet-Stem®. Dr. Richter recently wrote a book chapter for Current Therapy in Equine Practice, 7th Edition on the use of therapeutic shoes in horses with tendon and ligament injuries.

Dr. Richter is a member of the AVMA, CVMA, AAEP, ISELP (International Society for Equine Locomotor Pathology) and NAVRMA (North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association). Dr. Richter is also a member of the FVMA’s FAEP board of directors. She is certified by Vet-Stem®, and is a member of the Vet Stem advisory committee.

You may contact Dr. Richter at rrichter@brandonequine.com.

Michael Maher, DVM, DACVS-LA, CVMMP – Surgeon and Certified Veterinary Medical Manipulation Practitioner

Dr. Michael Maher is a native Floridian who grew up with his three sisters on a small hobby farm in Plantation, Florida. The joys of farm life and growing up with horses left him with no doubt that veterinary medicine was the only path he wanted to travel.

And travel he did! He left the warmth of Florida for Colorado where he earned his Bachelors in Animal Science and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees at Colorado State University.

From Colorado, Dr. Maher went to California to intern with Pioneer Equine in Oakdale, California, a practice with a predominantly performance horse clientele that sees ~5,700 horses annually. There he honed his veterinary skills and took a particular interest in surgery which led him to pursue a surgical residency.

Adding to his travels and returning to cold winters, Dr. Maher went on to do a three-year surgical residency at Cornell University in upstate Ithaca, NY. While at Cornell he was a co-investigator looking at the correlation between transesophageal ultrasound findings and recurrent laryngeal neuropathy, and he became proficient at performing transesophageal ultrasound examination of the equine larynx.

Following his residency, and not yet deterred by the harsh winters, Dr. Maher accepted a position at the University of Minnesota in Saint Paul as surgeon and clinical instructor of large animal surgery. During his tenure at U.M. he earned the university’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching as well as becoming a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons – Large Animal.

In 2016, after having experienced life in the United States’ central, western and farthest northern reaches, Dr. Maher joined the Brandon Equine Medical Center team and happily planted his roots back in the warmth of Florida. He continues to add to his skill set and in 2018 he earned his certification as a Veterinary Medical Manipulation Practitioner licensed to perform Spinal Manipulative Therapy.

Outside of equine veterinary medicine, Dr. Maher enjoys fishing, hiking and being out on the water.

Dr. Maher can be contacted at mmaher@brandonequine.com.

Melissa Restifo, DVM, DACVIM – Internal Medicine Specialist

Dr. Restifo is a self-proclaimed “barn rat.”   Throughout her life, she did anything she could to spend her time being surrounded by horses. From cleaning stalls and grooming horses, to working on farms that bred, trained and showed Shire draft horses, Dr. Restifo was continually inspired to pursue her love for horses through veterinary medicine and teaching.

Dr. Restifo’s education and training is extensive and includes Cornell University; the School of Veterinary Medicine at Ross University; School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University; a combined academic and private practice internship between Tufts University and the Massachusetts Equine clinic; and a large animal medicine residency also at Cummings of Tufts University.

Her love for veterinary medicine motivated her to share her knowledge through teaching. Dr. Resitfo has taught Large Animal Medicine to clinical year veterinary students on topics including modules on colic, ultrasonography and clinical case studies and conduct seminars on Equine Multinodular Pulmonary Fibrosis, Insulin Dysregulation, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. During her time at Ross University she was a radiographic anatomy teaching assistant and tutor for the Anatomy Department. Dr. Restifo has published several articles and has been invited to lecture on metabolic diseases of the horse. 

Dr. Restifo is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the American Shire Horse Association. Dr. Restifo’s clinical interests are in Endocrinology; Emergency and Critical Care Medicine; Neo- and Perinatology; and Nutrition.

Dr. Restifo’s exemplary knowledge, internal medicine training, amazing work ethic, and dedication to the horse make her a gifted veterinarian who understands and appreciates her clients and their equine partners.

Dr. Restifo sees patients in the clinic and on the farm and can be contacted by calling 813-643-7177 or email mrestifo@brandonequine.com.

Download What is a Large Animal Internal Medicine Specialist?

Alexandra Young, DVM – Ambulatory Clinician

Dr. Alexandra “Alex” Young received her undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida and continued her education to obtain her veterinary degree from the University of Florida. As an undergraduate, she conducted a research project on the immune system of house sparrows and took riding lessons in her spare time. While in veterinary school, Dr. Young was an active member of the student chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), attending educational lectures and participating in many hands-on labs. Her areas of interest include internal medicine and reproduction.

Dr. Young completed her internship at Brandon Equine Medical Center and, impressed by her medical talents and her enthusiasm for her profession and her patients, was hired permanently to focus on our northern service area which includes Brooksville, Dade City and other locations within Pasco, Hernando and Sumter counties.

Dr. Young’s love of horses first began as a young girl when she took riding lessons at a discounted rate in exchange for arriving early to groom and tack up lesson horses and muck stalls. Born in Florida, she enjoys jogging, hiking, time on the beach and on boats, reading, and snuggling her two dogs.

You may contact Dr. Young directly at ayoung@brandonequine.com

Kelly Stewart, DVM, CVA – Ambulatory Clinician

Dr. Stewart grew up in Santa Barbara County, California where at the age of 11 she was introduced to horsemanship. Thus began her lifelong love for horses and the desire to become a veterinarian. Dr. Stewart attended the University of California where she earned her Bachelors of Sciences in Biology prior to earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. From there she entered the University of Florida for a clinical year of study followed by a reproduction internship at Peterson and Smith Equine Reproduction Center under the mentorship of Dr. Phil Matthews. Upon completion of her reproduction internship she immediately began an ambulatory internship, also with Peterson and Smith. Dr. Stewart rounded out her veterinary studies with the completion of equine acupuncture training at the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Stewart’s education, training and hands on experience have given her the skills to manage farm calls, both routine and emergency, and to grow relationships with her patients and her clients. Dr. Stewart believes that exemplary client communication is crucial to the doctor/patient relationship. Her special interests are in reproduction, lameness, acupuncture and ophthalmology.

Dr. Stewart and her fiancé, a small animal emergency veterinarian, fell in love with Sarasota and have made their home there. Their family includes Mona, an island cat from the streets of St Kitts; and Goose, a bully mix found wandering the farms of Ocala. Dr. Stewart has traveled extensively throughout the world and enjoys learning about new cultures. Closer to home she enjoys spending time at the beach, diving, hiking and enjoying the outdoors.

You may contact Dr. Stewart directly at kstewart@brandonequine.com

Consulting Specialists

Tammy Miller Michau, DVM, MS, MSpVM, DACVO – Consulting Ophthalmologist

A native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Miller Michau received her Doctor of Veterinary (D.V.M.) and combined masters (M.S.) degrees from The Ohio State University in 1999. Following veterinary school, she then completed a rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at Colorado State University. Dr. Miller Michau completed her specialty training in a 3-year comparative ophthalmology residency and masters (MSpVM) program at North Carolina State University in 2003. Following the completion of her residency, she joined the faculty at NCSU as an assistant professor of ophthalmology before joining BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa in 2008. While at NCSU, Dr. Miller Michau spent a great deal of time as senior clinician on the Equine Ophthalmology service. She was also involved in research looking into equine corneal disease, squamous cell carcinoma, and uveitis. Dr. Miller Michau also serves as a board member of the International Equine Ophthalmology Consortium (IEOC). The IEOC is a group of leading equine ophthalmic clinicians and researchers dedicated to the advancement of the science of equine ophthalmology. The IEOC’s mission is to improve the care of equine patients by promoting development and sharing of innovative knowledge and therapies.

Michael Canfield, Diplomate ACVD – Consulting Dermatologist

Dr. Canfield graduated from Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. After a number of years in practice, Dr. Canfield’s interests in dermatology flourished ultimately leading him to accept an American College of Veterinary Dermatology approved dermatology residency with Animal Dermatology Clinic located in Tustin, California. Following two years of intense training, Dr. Canfield completed his residency with Animal Dermatology Clinic. Dr. Canfield continued with Animal Dermatology Clinic in Marietta, GA on a regular basis until March of 2008 when he relocated to Tampa. Dr. Canfield is a member of the AAEP and is excited to have the opportunity to work in equine dermatology at Brandon Equine Medical Center.