Top Equine Therapy Technicians Offer Advanced Care at The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Center

Friday, October 31, 2014
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One of The Sanctuary’s staff members works with a horse on the Aqua Pacer Treadmill.
One of The Sanctuary’s staff members works with a horse on the Aqua Pacer Treadmill.

Ocala, FL - The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Center of Ocala, Florida, is well-known for its state-of-the-art conditioning and rehabilitating equipment. Horses and riders travel from across the nation to receive the incredible treatments available at the facility. Even more sought-after than the therapeutic equipment is the experience, superior knowledge, and concern that The Sanctuary’s staff offers every horse that it encounters. “The thing that puts them a cut above is the knowledge and the people they have working there,” explains international eventing coach Sara Kozumplik-Murphy, who uses The Sanctuary faithfully for her competition horses. Brenda McDuffee, General Manager of The Sanctuary, has been involved in the equine industry for decades and understands that equestrians’ beloved horses deserve the absolute best care possible.

“Providing the top level of care, service, and sports therapy technology offered by The Sanctuary requires highly trained, certified, experienced, and caring staff— ones who understand what is necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for each individual and how best to achieve that goal,” McDuffee states.

“When we hire technicians, The Sanctuary looks for people who have a degree in one of the Animal/Equine Sciences or Equine Therapy degrees. They also must have a background with horses and a lot of hands-on experience. They are trained on all of our different pieces of equipment by myself and the staff, and they take certification courses on certain pieces of equipment, as well,” McDuffee explains. The Sanctuary is devoted to staying up-to-date with changing technology and medical practices in order to always offer clients the most advanced care. McDuffee says “Continuing Education (CE) is part of our commitment to allow our staff to continue to learn and excel through seminars, webinars, certification programs, and hands-on training.”

McDuffee’s own history in the equine industry prepared her well for her position at The Sanctuary. She has a bachelor’s degree in Range Animal Sciences with a minor in Business, and spent over thirty years as the co-owner of her training, showing, and breeding facility McDuffee Quarter Horses. McDuffee was hired as General Manager of The Sanctuary when it opened in 2007. She has completed the Hyperbaric Medicine Team Training course and the Veterinarian Hyperbaric Medicine Training through International ATMO, is a Certified Laser Technician through the American Institute of Medical Laser Applications, and is a certified MagnaWave practitioner.
The rest of the highly-qualified team at The Sanctuary includes the Equine Therapy Technicians Erin Shaffer, Sarah Doran, Shannon Nail, and Melissa Copeland. All four are Certified Laser Technicians through the American Institute of Medical Laser Applications.
Shaffer has a dual concentration bachelor’s degree in Equine Studies and Equestrian Studies, and a strong equestrian background (including reining, eventing, and western pleasure). She has completed Hyperbaric Medicine Team Training through International ATMO, and is a certified MagnaWave practitioner.
Doran has a degree in Equine Studies. Her equestrian background includes owning and showing Hunters/Jumpers and Arabians, and working with eventing horses. Nail has a degree in Equine Reproduction, and is skilled in reproductive services. Her thirty-six years in the equine industry have included training Quarter Horses and owning reiners. Copeland earned a degree in Animal Sciences. She has been an active part of the equine industry for over twenty years, working with both Hunters and Quarter Horses. The MagnaWave certified practitioner is also certified in Equine Ultrasound for Reproduction, and has spent five years working in reproduction services.

“Everyone at The Sanctuary comes from an equine background, so we understand from the owner, trainer, and competitor’s perspective how important the best outcome is in being able to return to the top level of heath and fitness,” McDuffee explains. For more information about The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Center and what its experienced and knowledgeable team can do, visit