Christopher Wilhite, DVM
Dr. Wilhite earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1996 from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1998, he founded Wilhite Equine Veterinary Services, P.C., which is now doing business as Wilhite and Frees Equine Veterinary Services. His is a member of: AAEP; AVMA; MVMA; KCVMA; and the Missouri Academy of Veterinary Practioners (MAVP).
In his spare time Dr. Wilhite enjoys spending time with his wife, Dana and their two children. His son is a University of Missouri graduate as well and his daughter currently attends DePaul in Chicago. His 4-legged family includes several horses, a miniature horse named Stanley, several underground fence trained cats, and a Terrier mix named Ida.
Karl. E Frees, DVM, MS, DACVS
Dr. Frees earned his DVM degree in 1997 from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed a 1-year internship in equine medicine and surgery at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky and a 3-year residency in large animal surgery at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. During the residency Dr. Frees also obtained a Master's degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences; his thesis was on hyaluronic acid. In 2003 Dr. Frees attained Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) as a Board Certified Surgeon. Dr. Frees has published articles in scientific journals and has served as a reviewer for the American Journal of Veterinary Research and the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
He often speaks on equine and veterinary subjects to groups ranging from local 4-H clubs to International Conferences. His interests include lameness, rehabilitation, joint therapies, arthroscopic surgery, abdominal and soft-tissue surgery, and regenerative medicine.
When not working with your horses, he enjoys time with his family; which usually means discussing chemistry and genetics with his boys and tending to their honeybees or any number of creatures they currently care for.
Ricky A. Trahan, DVM, MS
Dr. Trahan was raised in southwest Louisiana and acquired his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. Following graduation, he completed an extended internship in equine medicine and surgery at WFEH. He finished a 3-year residency in large animal surgery in 2017 at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia. Dr. Trahan’s Biomedical and Veterinary Science Master’s thesis was based on advancing laboratory models and treatments of osteoarthritis. Following completion of his residency, Dr. Trahan joined the Equine Field Service as a clinical instructor prior to returning to WFEH. His professional interests include lameness evaluation, arthroscopic/endoscopic surgery & integration of new technology into conventional treatment regimes. Standing surgical techniques and reconstruction of chronic wounds were also an important part of his surgical training.
He and his two dogs (Abita & Rue) are avid fans of LSU football and baseball, competition target shooting and most any outdoor activity.
Kelsey Davis, DVM
Dr. Davis was raised in central Illinois. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2019. Upon graduation, she completed a year long internship in equine medicine and surgery at Tennessee Equine Hospital in Thompson’s Station, TN. Following her internship, she pursued further training in equine ophthalmology as a fellow for Dr. Catherine Nunnery at Equine Veterinary Vision in The Plains, VA. Dr. Davis is a member of AAEP, AVMA, and Christian Veterinary Missions.
In her spare time, Dr. Davis enjoys hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, and any other outdoor adventure that she can enjoy with her two dogs – an Australian Shepherd named Ember and a rescue lab-mix named Tehya. She loves spending time with family and friends.
Taylor Johnson, DVM
Dr. Johnson is originally from South Florida, where she grew up riding hunter/jumpers. She attended Kansas State University, and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Animal Science, with an Equine Certificate in 2016. She then stayed at KSU and received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2021. Following graduation, Dr. Johnson completed an internship here at Wilhite and Frees Equine Hospital. Upon completion of her internship, she then moved to Lexington, Kentucky to join an all ambulatory equine practice. While in the Bluegrass, Dr. Johnson became familiar with Thoroughbred sales, heard health, broodmare and stallion management, as well as on-farm neonatal care. Dr. Johnson re-joined the WFEH team in June of 2023 as an associate veterinarian.
When she is not working, Dr. Johnson enjoys competing in strength training events such as powerlifting and strongwoman. She also enjoys being outdoors with her husband Clint, and their dog Jax.
Maddy Baron, DVM
Dr. Baron hails from the land of the strong and free- Canada! She grew up on a ranch in Alberta, moved to Saskatchewan for veterinary college, then continued eastward to Manitoba where she practiced as a mixed animal veterinarian for 2 years (polar bears not included). During these years, Dr. Baron realized she had a particular passion for horses and decided to pursue an internship with Wilhite and Frees Equine Hospital.
Dr. Baron and her husband Martin are devoted cat parents, love a good bonfire in the summer and a toasty wood stove in the winter, and enjoy being outdoors as much as possible. Dr. Baron also has a mare, “Arrow” who is currently living her best retired life back in Alberta.
Debra graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Animal and Dairy Science and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. She worked at Lane's End in Versailles, Kentucky and was the owner of a Thoroughbred breeding farm in New York. Debra's children include a dachshund, Gimlet, a Lab named Pina Colada, and her horse, River of Fortune. Debra joined Wilhite and Frees in November 2005.
Laura joined our practice in 2015. She is an Overland Park, KS native and attended William Woods University before moving back to the Kansas City area. Laura loves to ride and has 3 horses and 3 ponies of her own. She has a passion for training project ponies and spends most of her free time at her barn doing just that. Laura's two dogs, Axel and Daisy complete her 4-legged family.
Chloe grew up in a small town outside of Kansas City where she fell in love with horses at a young age. She grew up riding all around quarter horses. She attended William Woods University and graduated in 2016 with a degree in equine administration and a minor in equine science. Soon after college she got a job at a mixed animal veterinary clinic where she found her passion for animal medicine. This drove her to go back to school to become a registered veterinary technician. She attended Maple Woods and completed her veterinary technician degree in 2021. She joined the team at WFEH in May of 2021 just after completing school.
In her free time you can find her horseback, roping calves, or hitting the trails across the country.
Mia rode a horse before she could even walk so it was only fitting that she grew up showing her family's Tennessee Walking Horses at local and national shows. After gaining experience training horses she decided that she had an interest in veterinary medicine and pursued a career as a veterinary technician. Mia joined our team in September 2022 and has a special interest in medicine and surgical cases.
When she isn't scrubbed in for a colic surgery you can catch her riding her own horses (she has 13!) or going to the lake with her fiancé, Dakota.
Ivy grew up in Sabetha, Kansas riding horses on her families ranch. Her passion for horses continued through school and college as she showed western dressage and taught lessons on her quarter horse, Jack. Ivy graduated in 2023 from Northwest Missouri State University with a double bachelors degree in animal science and agricultural business. Ivy joined the WFEH team in June of 2023.
In her free time, Ivy enjoys riding her horses, spending time with her fiancé, reading books, and taking care of her plants.
Bethany grew up in Florida and graduated with a bachelors in biology from Florida State University in May of 2023. She recently moved to Missouri in order to pursue her dream of going to vet school. While in Florida she worked as a small animal tech but decided she wanted to pursue equine medicine as it has always facinated her, especially since she used to ride and jump.
Bethany is very interested in equine internal medicine and surgery. In her free time you can catch her hanging out with my hedgehog, Gizmo or playing pickleball with her boyfriend and parents.
Originally an Oregon native, Holly joined the WFEH team in April of 2023. She was the president for the Maple Woods Veterinary Technician program and graduated in May of 2023. She has a passion for equine medicine that stems from growing up showing and riding her own horses. Though she is currently only part time at our hospital Holly stays busy, working as a technician at an emergency and specialty hospital in the Kansa City area as well. When she isn't busy saving large and small animals you can find Holly spending time with her husband and her own pets.
Photo coming soon!
Lola joined our technician team in May of 2023. She is currently a student at Kansas State Univeristy and her goal is to attend veterinary school. Lola's has a small animal and mixed animal practice background and has experience riding and training in a dressage barn. When she isn't working at our hospital Lola gives private swimming lessons during the summer.
Sydney grew up in rural Southeast Nebraska, where her love of large animals blossomed on her family's farm. She worked at her home town veterinary clinic, a mixed animal practice, from junior high until she graduated from high school. Following high school she moved to Kansas City to attend Maple Woods Veterinary Technology Program. Sydney completed the program in May 2014 and joined Wilhite and Frees in August 2014. Outside work she enjoys team roping and raising roping cattle with her husband. Sydney has four Quarter Horses, a Border Collie/Blue Heeler mix named Max, an Italian Greyhound named Weasel, Border Collie named Sam, and a cat named Carl.
Contact Sydney: [email protected]
Kristin grew up in Arkansas where she began riding as a child. She joined our practice in 2021. Outside of work she and her husband keep busy with their crew of 3, attending basketball games and taking trips as a family. She has a retired Quarter Horse gelding at home named Tony Macaroni and a hunter/jumper gelding named Ben that she shows. Kristin fosters dogs through a local rescue when she can and has two French Bulldogs of her own named, Doug and Jim.
Contact Kristin: [email protected]
Haleigh grew up in Marshall, MO and attended William Woods University before moving to the area and joining our team in 2021. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her husband and their Red Heeler named, Mincy. Haleigh has three Quarter Horses named, Molly, Texas, and Wilson.
Contact Haleigh: [email protected]
Holmes and Watson- Office Greeters
Holmes and Watson are brothers who joined our staff in July 2021. Our late cat, Louie left behind big shoes to fill but we know these boys are up to the job! Watson (black and white) is an extroverted go-getter who loves time with clients and Holmes (white and grey) is an observer who is a little more reserved. If you stop in to the office, be sure to ask about them!
In loving memory of Louie
Louie joined the Wilhite and Frees team in the Summer of 2014. He had previously shared a home with an older member of Laura Frees' family. He arrived a somewhat quiet and timid cat; this lasted approximately 13.5 hours at which he obtained the FIC (Feline in Charge). Anyone who has visited our hospital knew Louis as the consummate greeter and entertainer; ready for any occasion as he was always wearing his formal attire. He passed away in July 2021 of cancer.