meet our technicians and staff
Ella Littlefield, Veterinary Technician
Ella grew up in New Hampshire where her lifelong passion for horses began. From a young age, she rode whenever possible, spent long hours at the barn, participated in 4-H, and competed at local horse shows. Ella attended Morrisville State College and majored in Equine Science and Management with a western training concentration. During that time, she competed on the western IHSA team for four years. After that, she pursued her dream of showing at AQHA shows nationally, traveling and mentoring with some of the industry’s top trainers.
Since then, she has worked for a respected equine sports medicine practice as an equine veterinary technician traveling to the Winter Equestrian Festival and Spruce Meadows. She gained invaluable experience and knowledge in lameness, surgery, and urgent care. In addition, she has worked as an underwriter for an equine insurance company.
When Ella is not at the barn, she enjoys cooking, gardening, CrossFit, and spending time with family and friends.
Ella works with Dr. Kremberg and can be reached at email@example.com
Kacey Buckley, Veterinary Technician
Following in her mother’s shoes, Kacey fell in love with horses as a young girl. Growing up in Connecticut she became a well-rounded and versatile rider as a member of Connecticut Valley Pony Club. She discovered her primary passion to be for dressage in which she has continued to ride and compete.
Kacey earned her Bachelor's Degree from Delaware Valley College where she majored in Animal Science and Equine Business, with a minor in Environmental Science. During her four years there Kacey competed and acted as secretary of the Intercollegiate Dressage Team and earned second individually in the nation for 2013 in her division.
After graduating Kacey worked as an animal control officer for several years before joining GPE. In her free time Kacey enjoys riding her pony, Jack and caring for her other three horses. She also volunteers at a local horse rescue and at local horse clubs, and appreciates hiking and nature. Kacey now loves her career as a vet tech and especially enjoys the horses, the clients, and learning and working with the veterinarians.
Kacey works with Dr. Abell and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Burrows, Veterinary Technician
Heidi grew up in northern New Jersey, where her love for horses started at a young age. She spent every spare minute working and riding at the barn and competed locally on her off-the-track Thoroughbred in the jumpers.
Heidi then attended Cazenovia College with a focus on Equine Business Management. After college, Heidi worked for a large show barn in New Jersey and later worked for a small animal veterinarian when she moved to Connecticut. Heidi found her way back to her passion with horses when she joined Grand Prix Equine.
When Heidi is not working she enjoys spending time with her husband and their dogs, cooking, and still loves spending time at the barn where she rides in Easton.
Heidi works with Dr. Baus and can be reached at email@example.com
Tori Travers, Veterinary Technician
Tori has been around horses for most of her life, and spends her happiest moments riding and working with horses. She grew up in Eastern Massachusetts where her love of equine sports began.
Tori brings lots of diversity to Grand Prix Equine. She has experience riding and showing saddle seat and hunter pleasure. As a wrangler in Montana she rode western, and she has gained lots of experience driving horses. Breeding, breaking, and herding horses are some other memorable and fun times.
In both pleasure and equitation, Tori competed in Saddle Seat and Hunt Seat on a national level. Some of her top achievements were at The Morgan Grand National and World Championship Horse Show in Oklahoma. Tori has worked with some of the best trainers in the industry gaining extensive knowledge in the field.
Tori received an Associates in Animal Science concentrated in Equine and a Bachelor’s in Resource Economics from the University of Connecticut. When she is not working, Tori enjoys spending time with her retired horse, her dog, and she loves hiking and skiing.
Tori works with Dr. Rothacker and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Olivia Rutigliano, Veterinary Technician
Born and raised on Long Island, Olivia grew up in a family of horse lovers and spent all her free time at the barn with her mother’s retired jumper and her grandmother and great aunt’s trail horses. At fifteen, Olivia finally got her own off-the-track thoroughbred who she still has today.
Throughout high school and college, she spent every opportunity working for a variety of trainers and everything from all around sale horses to high-level jumpers, all over Long Island and in Wellington, Florida.
After attending Hofstra University and earning a degree in Journalism, and working a brief stint in editorials and publishing, she returned to the horse industry, managing a large show barn in Nassau County before finding her place at Grand Prix Equine.
In her free time, she can be found riding her horse, affectionately called The Bean, trying to keep up with her Belgian Malinois, Whip and Mahi, or wandering around a new city or the nearest car show.
Olivia works with Dr. Batterton and can be reached at email@example.com
Jill Masten-Urbain, Inventory & Equipment Coordinator
Jill grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut and attended Colby Sawyer College. She studied business and competed on the intercollegiate equestrian team. While growing up, Jill rode and competed with Peter Lutz and Peter Wylde in the local horse show scene. She also had the opportunity to work with Olympic Gold Medalist Melanie Smith and Grand Prix rider Jeffrey Welles.
After considering a career in marketing, Jill decided to continue riding and working full time with horses. She joined Dr. Baus and Fairfield Equine in 1989, eventually managing the ambulatory technicians in this large and successful equine practice. She has continued working with Dr. Baus during the creation of Grand Prix Equine in 2009.
Jill’s other interests include Bikram Yoga and traveling to unusual places throughout the world. She occasionally rides horses when time allows and is always interested in nature and the outdoors.
Jill can be reached a firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandy Leslie, Office Manager
Sandy grew up in Stratford, Connecticut and attended the University of Connecticut where she earned her BS in Animal Science. She started riding at the age of 15 and during her time at UConn was a member of the intercollegiate riding and drill teams.
After graduating Sandy worked for a large equine practice recognized throughout the nation as one of the top practices in its field. During her 23 years there, she gained a vast array of experience while serving in various roles; including as a technician, a front office manager, a manager of operations, and a client services coordinator.
Sandy's expertise includes knowledge and skills in lameness, assisting in surgery, providing emergency care, practice management, and customer service.
In her spare time, Sandy likes to spend time with her horse Avy, and her American bulldog Meaty, as well as her family and friends. She enjoys the outdoors and especially enjoys time at the beach in Maine, where she travels every summer.
Sandy can be reached at email@example.com
Paige Nelson, Customer Care Associate
Paige has been a devoted animal lover from an early age. She was introduced to horses by her mother early on and her family quickly realized her unwavering dedication to the horse world. Paige was president of her 4-H Club and a working student in the Farmington valley region where she gained invaluable experience in and out of the saddle. In high school, she was captain of the Avon Valley Show Stables IEA team and was on the riding team at Lynchburg College in Virginia.
Paige returned to Connecticut to work and ride in the Litchfield county area where she worked in the small animal veterinary world as a technician and manager. She not only enjoys riding and competing in the hunters and jumpers but is also interested in draft horses, primarily Percherons, and developed a skill for driving and managing a carriage horse farm.
In her spare time, Paige enjoys spending time with her thoroughbred, Timber, and her miniature horse, Chipotle. She also enjoys skiing, kayaking, and hiking with her dogs, Teddie and Bean.
Paige can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Petronelli, Customer Care Associate
Helen is a successful entrepreneur and equestrian who grew up in England before moving to the United States in 1993. She initially moved to the US to work as a nanny for one year but ultimately chose to stay and build her life here.
Helen discovered her love for horseback riding in her early twenties, thanks to a recommendation from a friend who worked at New Canaan Mounted Troop. Her involvement with the sport led her to meet her future husband and business partner. Together, they founded Justamere Pony Farm in Bethel, CT, in 2010, with Helen managing the business operations while he focused on training. Helen's passion for horses has also been passed down to her 13-year-old daughter, Leah, who is a competitive rider in the hunters, jumpers, and equitation.
In 2022, Helen decided to transition away from her business and joined our practice in January 2023. When she's not working at Grand Prix Equine, Helen enjoys spending time with her daughter and their beloved German Shorthaired Pointer, Maverick.
Helen can be reached at email@example.com