Our team is devoted to improving the health and well-being of all equine partners; from backyard companions to elite athletes of all disciplines.
True North Equine takes a collaborative, integrative approach, utilizing the specialties of all members of our team to customize an individual support plan for you and your horse. We offer the best of conventional and alternative modalities to enhance performance, improve quality of life, and foster the horse-rider bond. Owners and their horses are welcomed as part of our family, and clients can trust that in our practice, the well-being of your horses always comes first.
Ann-Marie Hancock, DVM, EDO
Dr. Hancock was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was active in Pony Club, competing in lower level three day eventing. Dr. Hancock completed her studies at Colorado State University, graduating with a BS in Equine Science, an MS in Anatomy and Neurobiology, and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2003.
She spent 10 years as general equine practitioner in Eastern North Carolina where she built her skills in emergency, dentistry, performance horse and lameness evaluation, reproduction, preventative medicine and integrative health. She also trained with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and completed her EDO certification with the Vluggen Institute to become an equine osteopath.
Eager to offer progressive and superior services, she continually strives to improve her veterinary diagnostic, integrative medicine, and performance horse education.
In 2013, Dr. Hancock purchased Rectortown Equine and permanently relocated the practice to Warrenton, Virginia at which point the practice changed to True North Equine Veterinary Services.
Dr. Hancock’s goal is to nurture successful partnerships with horses and their owners that can last a lifetime.
True North Equine works with a team of practitioners to support equines in all life stages or disciplines. We strive to provide an authentic and collaborative work environment for dentists, farriers, massage therapists, nutritionists, saddle fitters, and other horse health care professionals.
Callie Heinle, Osteopathy Associate
Callie Heinle was raised in Pennsylvania, where she acquired her love of horses at a young age due in part to her mother’s role as head trainer at North Arabians. She grew up riding hunters for much of her childhood, then transitioned to reining horses in her teen years. As an adult, Callie strives to further her horsemanship and knowledge by studying under some of the top horsemen in the industry. She regularly travels the National Reining Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) circuit with nationally ranked trainer Trevor Carter.
In 2016, Callie attended Animal Dynamics in Ocala, Florida obtaining a certification in Massage and Electro-Acupressure which led her to apprentice in osteopathy with Dr. Hancock in 2018.
Callie’s other interests include: hiking, camping, and traveling. She is an avid reader who enjoys collecting various equine and history books.
Stephanie Carter, Office Assistant / Nutritionist
Formally educated in the realm of human functional medicine, Stephanie brings to animal nutrition a fresh and unique perspective. Using a species appropriate, nutrient dense, whole foods approach, she has successfully supported equine and companion animals suffering from ulcers, Cushing’s, Lyme disease, Insulin Resistance, laminitis, EPM, squamous cell carcinoma, poor hoof and coat quality, diabetes, arthritis, hypothyroidism, allergies, fatigue, and various other ailments.
Beyond her functional nutrition experience, Stephanie has worked in the Veterinary Medical field for over a decade. Her equestrienne career began as a child, being developed by former Olympic medalist and coach, Major Robert Borg and his proteges. She taught and trained in the hunters, jumpers, and dressage under the name Storybrooke Farms for many years in Raleigh, North Carolina before moving to Northern Virginia to fulfill her dream of opening an equine rehabilitation facility.
Stephanie’s passion is helping our beloved fur friends achieve optimal health. Her purpose is to transform lives. One animal, one bucket or food bowl at a time. Through this process, if she can inspire others to do the same, then together we will create a movement to change the world and all the lives of those living in it.
Laurie Eller, Billing Manager
Laurie was born and raised in Arizona where she spent her youth showing Quarter Horses on the AQHA circuit. She became an accomplished team roper and was the Arizona Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Barrel Racing Rookie of the Year. Before finishing college, Laurie was crowned Miss Rodeo Arizona and runner up to Miss Rodeo America. While attending Colorado State University, Laurie worked at the Colorado State University Stallion Lab and rode young cutting horse prospects for Tee Cross Ranches in Pueblo, CO.
After graduating from Colorado State with her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, Laurie was the Communications/Marketing Director for the Colorado Cattle Feeders Association, Executive Vice President of the American National Cattle Women’s Association, and after marrying and moving to the northern Virginia area, became the Executive Director of the Animal Industry Foundation.
Later in life, Laurie took time away from her professional life to raise and homeschool her two daughters while teaching them to ride and show hunter ponies at local and A-rated shows.
Debbie Romero, Human Bodyworker
Debbie began her career with a National Certification in Therapeutic Massage. In 2005, Debbie added Certification in Orthopedic Massage and maintained a full time private practice specializing in injury and surgical rehabilitation of connective tissue (soft tissue, muscle, tendons, ligaments and fascia). From 2010-2012 Debbie became the lead instructor at the Virginia School of Massage, sharing her extensive knowledge of human anatomy and movement. Seeing a need to help people move pain-free in daily activities, Debbie became a Certified Alexander Technique practitioner in 2014.
How we use ourselves in our daily activities can affect our bodies in a positive or negative way (pain, tension, stress). It is in movement where we need to re-educate people on how to use themselves well to remain pain-free and fit. Debbie is passionate about teaching others how to move with ease.
Debbie lives on an organic farm in Central Virginia with her husband of 40 years where she loves to practice Alexander Technique while riding her horses.