Meet Our Team

Veterinarians

Paul McClellan
Paul McClellan
Paul McClellan

President & Founder

Email: paulmcclellan@sdequine.com

Dr. Paul McClellan is a graduate of Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. It was his good fortune to have attended a university that placed a premium on instructors who were patient and devoted to their students. It was his friend Dr. William Henderson who introduced Dr. McClellan to the wonderful environment of Northern San Diego County. In 1982, shortly after receiving his veterinary degree, Dr. McClellan moved to the west coast. Performance horse medicine was a growing and rapidly evolving science for equine practitioners in the early ’80s and Dr. McClellan saw it as a perfect fit for his interests. He has devoted his entire career exclusively to the challenges of performance horse medicine.

The use of sophisticated technology to enhance indispensable clinical skills has been championed by Dr. McClellan. He was encouraged by his association with renowned radiologist Dr. Norm Rantanen to author several papers on the use of diagnostic ultrasound in the early ’80s. Dr. McClellan helped pioneer the use of standing MRI as a diagnostic standard for equine orthopedic injuries, hosting the first in North America at SDEG’s clinic in San Marcos. Dr. McClellan has shared his knowledge on this modality with the equine community since the early 2000s.

Dr. McClellan served on the USEF Drugs and Medications committee for 2 decades. He is an FEI permitted treating veterinarian and served as the 2020 USA Dressage Team Veterinarian, helping to bring home a Silver Medal for the United States! Through the years he has had the pleasure of working with horses at the highest levels of competition in multiple disciplines. The memories of great horses are never forgotten, even if he seems mystified by most everything else.

Together with Dr. Mike Manno, San Dieguito Equine Group has grown to be a globally recognized center for the orthopedic care of horses. Most importantly it is a business that values, mentorship, leadership, and teamwork as evidenced by the passionate and committed staff of San Dieguito Equine Group.

Aside from the pursuit of excellence in his vocation, Dr. McClellan’s interests include music, writing, and gardening. He stays physically and mentally fit by hiking with his canine companion Bernie and spending time with his Irish Sport Horse Toby.



Michael Manno
Michael Manno
Michael Manno

Senior Partner

Email: michaelmanno@sdequine.com

Dr. Mike Manno received both his Masters and DVM degrees from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine.  Prior to graduation in 1981, he was a research instructor in reproductive physiology and taught graduate level biochemistry, veterinary physiology, and pharmacology courses at Purdue.  He also worked as a surgeon in the NIH Department of Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Besthesda, MD doing cardiac surgical research, including intrauterine fetal cardiac surgery.  Since 1982, Dr. Manno has worked on the racetracks and polo fields in Chicago, Northern and Southern California.  He has completed courses in both basic and advanced arthroscopic surgery and orthopedic fracture repair.

Outside interests include hiking, water and snow skiing, scuba diving, and polo.


Rebecca James
Rebecca James
Rebecca James

Associate Veterinarian

Email: rebeccajames@sdequine.com

Dr. Rebecca James graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. Prior to that, she received her Bachelors of Science degree in Animal Science with an equine emphasis. After graduating from Veterinary School, she completed a 1 year internship at San Luis Rey Equine Hospital. In 2012 she attended Options for Animals College of Animal Chiropractic and became certified by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Dr. James is interested in equine orthopedics (especially as it relates to performance horses), equine medicine, and animal chiropractic.

A native of Long Beach, Dr. James truly enjoys the Southern California lifestyle. She and her husband Jackie stay busy chasing after their two young boys Wyatt and Bode! Her other interests are traveling, riding, running, hiking, and reading a good book.


Jessica Robertson
Jessica Robertson
Jessica Robertson

Associate Veternarian

Email: jessicarobertson@sdequine.com

Dr. Jessica Robertson received an undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in Spanish and Sociology with a minor in Public Policy. Her desire to take her training and make a positive difference in the world, lead her into joining the Peace Corps as an agriculture and animal husbandry volunteer in Africa. During her time abroad she had the opportunity to work with many production animals and working equids. This unique experience, combined with her love of horseback riding, lead her to return to California and pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

Dr. Robertson graduated from the UC Davis school of veterinary medicine. She has broad training in equine sports medicine and has an interest in the emerging field of regenerative therapies. She is trained in equine acupuncture. She serves top equestrian competitors as an FEI treating veterinarian and has acted as the official treating veterinarian at numerous competitions in the Southern California area for disciplines including eventing, dressage, hunter/jumpers, and polo.

She is excited her professional career has enabled her to be near her hometown of Encinitas and spend more time with her family. In her free time she enjoys hiking, traveling, and scuba diving in addition to spending time with her husband and dogs! 


 

Brett Robinson
Brett Robinson
Brett Robinson

Associate Veterinarian

Email: brettrobinson@sdequine.com

Dr. Brett Robinson developed a passion for horses growing up as a competitive three-day eventer based in the Los Angeles area. She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in psychology, and is a 2015 graduate of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Also in 2015 she became certified in Veterinary Medical Acupuncture (cVMA) through Colorado State University. After graduating from veterinary school, she completed a one year rotating internship at Littleton Equine Medical Center in Colorado, and then worked in a two doctor ambulatory practice north of Denver before joining San Dieguito Equine Group in 2017.

Dr. Robinson loves learning and developing as an equine practitioner. She has special interests in the multitude of uses for acupuncture as well as equine sports medicine and rehabilitation. In her free time she practices yoga and enjoys outdoor activities with her dog Cooper, including hiking and camping. She has a passion for through-hiking and recently completed the John Muir Trail!


Paul Bienz
Paul Bienz
Paul Bienz

Associate Veterinarian

Email: paulbienz@sdequine.com

Dr. Paul Bienz graduated from Western College of Veterinary Medicine located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 2017. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the Fraser Valley located in Abbotsford British Columbia. Paul is a native of Colorado and it was there on his family ranch that he decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Before entering veterinary school, while gaining work experience, Paul was influenced by Dr. Neil McKenzie to pursue a focus in equine dentistry. It was this passion for dentistry that brought Paul to San Dieguito Equine Group.

Together with his wife, three children, and troublesome Frenchie, he enjoys exploring all that Southern California has to offer! 

Dana Cleff
Dana Cleff
Dana Cleff

Associate Veterinarian

Email: danacleff@sdequine.com

Dr. Dana Cleff attended undergraduate school at University of California, Davis and continued on to gain her veterinary degree from the Royal Veterinary College, London. She developed an interest in large animals spending time at her grandparents’ cattle farm. During her undergraduate degree she developed a passion for horses. She continues to expand her knowledge in the areas of orthopedics and internal medicine. In her down time she enjoys spending time with her dog, Inca, as well as hiking, scuba diving, and traveling.

Registered Veterinary Technicians

Jennifer McKinney
Jennifer McKinney
Jennifer McKinney

Registered Veterinary Technician, Director of Operations

Email: jmckinney@sdequine.com

Jennifer McKinney received her B.S. in Agriculture Sciences and Management, Animal Science emphasis, from U.C. Davis.  She started working as a veterinary technician in 1988 and got her CA RVT license in 1991.  She worked at Helen Woodward Animal Hospital in the equine department for 13 years before joining San Dieguito Equine Group in 2001.

Jennifer’s interests include gardening and spending time with her family.


Sue Naugle
Sue Naugle
Sue Naugle

Registered Veterinary Technician

Email: snaugle@sdequine.com

Although Sue's first love has always been horses, she received her B.A. in English and went on to work in the legal field.  She eventually left the corporate world to earn an A.S. in Mesa College's Animal Health Technology program.  Sue is a registered veterinary technician in the state of California and her previous experience includes working in small animal practices and veterinary hospitals.  Her main focus will be assisting with treatments and diagnostic procedures performed at San Dieguito Equine Group's clinic.

 
Sue enjoys riding her horse, reading a good book, swimming, taking off-roading trips with her husband, and spending time with her dogs and cats.
 

Jenna Powell
Jenna Powell
Jenna Powell

Registered Veterinary Technician

Email: jpowell@sdequine.com

 

Jenna joined the San Dieguito Equine Group team in June of 2014 as an ambulatory and surgical technician. Jenna grew up in Marin County, California and has been riding since the age of three. She has competed in jumpers, eventing and dressage, and is a graduate of the United States Pony Club. Jenna attended UC Davis, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Equine Studies, with a focus on Equine Nutrition.

While in college, Jenna worked at the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Hospital Large Animal Surgery unit and at the on-campus Equestrian Center, and has worked in Equine Ambulatory Medicine since graduating from college in 2010. Jenna returned to school at Santa Rosa Junior College attending their Veterinary Technician program and received her RVT license in November 2014.

Nowadays, you can find Jenna working primarily at SDEG’s clinic, where she where she frequently runs Advanced Imaging modalities including MRI and Nuclear Scintigraphy, and truly enjoys providing excellent patient care. When not at work, she loves to spend time with her husband, John, their dog Herbie, and her horse Comic. Jenna and John love barbequing and hosting their friends and Jenna is always trying out a new recipe for some delicious baked good.


 

Andrea Shepley
Andrea Shepley
Andrea Shepley

Registered Veterinary Technician

Email: ashepley@sdequine.com

Andrea obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Economics before deciding to follow her true passion to work with animals. She went on to receive an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology and became a Registered Veterinary Technician in 2002. Soon after this Andrea moved to southern California when the production company Cavalia, where she was employed as Head of Veterinary Services, had a run of performances in Del Mar. Andrea has extensive experience in sports horse medicine, advanced diagnostic imaging, patient ICU care, neonate care and hospital/clinic management. She is also certified in equine dental prophylaxis and equilibration through the Academy of Equine Dentistry. This demanding course was completed over a two-year period involving ten weeks of hands-on technical training, in-class theory plus many additional hours of shadowing other certified colleagues. Andrea has had dentistry related case studies and written articles published by the American Veterinary Medical Association and Modern Equine Vet. She enjoys sharing her knowledge in a teaching capacity and has spoken at the AVMA, International Association of Equine Dentistry and the AAEP/AAEVT Annual Conventions.

Emily Mayer
Emily Mayer
Emily Mayer

Registered Veterinary Technician

Email: emayer@sdequine.com

Emily grew up in Washington and is a graduate of Washington State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology (2012). She worked in zoos for several years before transitioning to small animal vet med. She then went on to receive an additional degree in Veterinary Technology in 2017 and became an Registered Veterinary Technician.  Emily found her passion for horses at a young age, growing up with western pleasure horses trail riding - she knew she would love to work with horses in the veterinary setting.  
In 2018 she and her husband Jesse moved to California to pursue career goals and enjoy more days of riding their motorcycles without rain! They enjoy hiking with their dog Sydney and frequenting San Diego's many breweries. 

Sanandry Simpson
Sanandry Simpson
Sanandry Simpson

Registered Veterinary Technician

Email: ssimpson@sdequine.com

Sanandry began her career in small animal medicine, specializing in ophthalmology. She received her RVT license in 2018 and began working in small animal emergency and specialty medicine. Sanandry grew up in Orange County and began riding at the early age of six. She is excited to transition into the equine side of veterinary medicine. Sanandry assists our doctors with their ambulatory appointments and also at our clinic. She is currently training in MRI and Nuclear Scintigraphy.

 

In her free time, she enjoys leisure riding, hiking with her cattle dog, and riding her motorcycle with her husband.

 


Heidi Brown
Heidi Brown
Heidi Brown

Registered Veterinary Technician

Email: hbrown@sdequine.com

Heidi grew up in Southern California and began riding at age 6. Through high school she enjoyed rodeo and working for both hunter/jumper and dressage trainers. For over 10 years Heidi ran her own training business and riding school. Medicine has always been Heidi's true passion so in 2014 she combined her love of medicine and horses and entered the equine veterinary field. Heidi qualified for California's alternative RVT route completing 300 classroom hours and 4416 documented clinical hours to be eligible to sit for the RVT boards. Heidi successfully passed her RVT boards in August of 2021 and is loving her work at SDEG! 
Zoe Zeller
Zoe Zeller
Zoe Zeller

Veterinary Assistant

Email: zzeller@sdequine.com

San Dieguito Equine has been like a second family to Zoe since she was young. Growing up with the practice sparked Zoe’s interest in veterinary medicine early. She is excited to sit for her RVT boards winter of 2021/22 , as she recently completed her degree in Veterinary Technologies Animal Health at Mesa college. Zoe has grown up with horses and has been competing in various disciplines from a young age.

Being exposed to three day eventing in the United States Pony Club, Zoe has competed through the preliminary/2* level with her horse Tristan, while currently bringing along young horses. When she is not working, Zoe can most always be found riding, working out, spending time outdoors, and baking.


 

Administrative Team

Stephanie Lassalle
Stephanie Lassalle
Stephanie Lassalle

Administrative Supervisor & Director of Marketing

Email: slassalle@sdequine.com

Stephanie is a San Diego native who grew up in the local horse community.  She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Arizona State University focusing on Human Development and Psychology.  She along with her family compete on the American Quarter Horse Association circuit and have an active breeding program. 

Stephanie previously worked in the small animal industry and is excited to combine her passion for business, marketing and horses. As the administrative supervisor, Stephanie is involved with all aspects of the practice and works closely with our clients, Doctors, RVT's and Admin Staff to provide the best possible care and service for our clients. 

In addition to her duties at SDEG, Stephanie is on the advisory committee for the FACE Foundation as well as the Mesa College Animal Health Technology program. Stephanie is also an active member on the Twin Oaks Valley Equestrian Association board of directors - dedicated to preserving open space for equestrian recreation.

In her free time, Stephanie enjoys traveling, live music and adventuring with her boyfriend and her dog, Bones. 
 

Laura Zeller
Laura Zeller
Laura Zeller

Administrative Assistant

Email: lzeller@sdequine.com

Laura Zeller has been a part of the San Dieguito Equine team since 2011 with a brief hiatus to run her family Bakery. She has worked in a diversity of fields, including the surf industry, owning a small business, and becoming a certified Equine Massage therapist.

Laura first became interested in horses as a child, taking riding lessons in Illinois, but it wasn’t until much later in life when her two sons left for college that Laura truly got the itch. Along with her husband, Laura has made their rural Valley Center home a refuge to many horses, dogs, and various other farm animals, including pigs and goats. Laura has two grown sons and has recently been promoted to the title of Grandma! 

Laura brings compassion and attention to detail to her role as an administrative assistant and wellness coordinator.


Kayla Bocanegra
Kayla Bocanegra
Kayla Bocanegra

Administrative Assistant

Email: kbocanegra@sdequine.com

Kayla was born and raised in Southern California. Her love of horses began when she was a young child. She quickly started competing at the local level and served as secretary of the 4H club. She soon moved on to compete on the American Quarter Horse Association circuit where she shows in the all-around events. Her passion for horses had her spending many days at the barn where she spent significant time talking and listening to trainers, veterinarians, and farriers. This gave her a well-rounded knowledge of the equine industry. Kayla is eager to combine this knowledge with her educational background in psychology and communications to assist San Dieguito Equine Group’s clients, veterinarians, and administrative team.

In her downtime, Kayla enjoys spending time with her now retired horse, Cruzer, her German Shepherd, Kiera, and days on the lake with her family.

Holly Krugger-Garcia
Holly Krugger-Garcia
Holly Krugger-Garcia

Administrative Assistant

Email: hkruggergarcia@sdequine.com

A Northwestern Pennsylvania native, and life-long animal lover, Holly’s equine experience began in childhood as a member of her local 4-H club. Graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania; Holly has worked with children from Preschool age through the 5th grade level. She taught beginner lessons in horsemanship and pony riding for several years; and experienced firsthand the meaningful connection that develops between horse and rider.

 

Outside of the office, Holly enjoys doing fun stuff with her family, spending time outdoors, walking her dogs, gardening, reading and creative endeavors.

Shelly Drake
Shelly Drake
Shelly Drake

Administrative Assistant

Email: sdrake@sdequine.com

Bio coming soon. 

Clinic Team

Bob McClellan
Bob McClellan
Bob McClellan

Project Coordinator

Email: bmcclellan@sdequine.com

Bob brings 45 years of professional experience to the SDEG clinic. His duties include keeping the facility in order, and coordination of our long-term projects.  As a farrier and a prior ranch owner, Bob additionally brings a wealth of hands-on knowledge about how to get things done. His varied skills keep the operations of the facility running smoothly. His expertise in managing enhancement projects is a great asset to the organization.

Bob spends his free time keeping Mo Ready and Little Joe his two roping horses, in top condition. You might catch him running around in the gator with his buddy, our feline clinic mascot, Carlos.

Rafa Garcia
Rafa Garcia
Rafa Garcia

Lead Groom & Assistant Clinic Foreman

Email: rgarcia@sdequine.com

Rafa joined San Dieguito Equine Group after a long career in the thoroughbred racing industry where he worked as a groom.  He is responsible for horse care, stall management, assisting doctors with orthopedic evaluations, and assisting with advanced imaging procedures.  His love for the horse is obvious in all that he does.  He loves to learn and is always keeping his eye open for ways he can improve his skills.  He completed his education in Mexico and has been working with horses for over 25 years. 

He enjoys taking part in activities that will allow him to learn and progress in his field and also enjoys spending time with his family.