Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center

The Alamo Pintado Story

Alamo Pintado and mountainsWelcome to Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center, one of the premier equine referral hospitals in the United States.

LobbySince it’s establishment in 1972, Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center has become one of the foremost equine clinics in the country and abroad. It combines state-of-the-art equine hospital facilities and programs such as rehabilitation, teaching and research with an outstanding field practice that cares for many of the horses in the Santa Ynez Valley. Our staff has played a pioneering role in the advancement of veterinary medicine, striving to develop and refine many of today’s equine treatment procedures and techniques. Our goal remains to provide the best and most advanced in equine medical technology, diagnosis, treatment and care to our patients and to further the depth of veterinary knowledge through research.

Horses and exteriorMore than 3,500 horses – from beloved family pets to show horses, to Olympic team athletes, to thoroughbred racehorses – pass through the gates of Alamo Pintado each year, to be placed back on the path to health and peak performance.

Thank you for visiting us, we hope you enjoy our facility. You can access the different sections of our website by clicking the tabs above. For more information about the nutrition program developed at Alamo Pintado, please visit the Platinum Performance website. We welcome your questions or comments so please feel free to contact us.

Our History

Snow overheadAlamo Pintado Equine Medical Center started in 1972 as Dr. Doug Herthel’s one-man equine practice in California’s Central Coast. That first year the practice was limited to field calls in the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Arroyo Grande, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo.


Then, in 1973 Doug and his wife Sue Herthel began construction of the original 5,000-square feet Alamo Pintado medical and surgical facility in the heart of California’s “horse country,” in the town of Los Olivos.

Today, over 35 years later, the Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center has grown from a one-man practice to a state-of-the-art equine referral center with 12 veterinarians plus staff. The original 6-acre grounds have expanded to over 100 acres, offering a variety of diagnostic and treatment options as well as cutting-edge technology and equipment.

Snowy entranceSome 3,500 horses pass through the gates at Alamo Pintado for treatment each year. Our clinic can house close to 100 horses at any one time, and it is not unusual for more than 30 horses to arrive in one day seeking diagnosis and treatment for a variety of medical conditions and injuries.

During the past three decades, Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center has proven to be a nationally recognized leader in orthopedic surgery, soft tissue and abdominal surgery, equine nutrition, lameness, reproduction, and sports medicine. The success of our clinic has been due to a team effort on the part of the entire clinic staff. The dedicated individuals that form the Alamo Pintado team share the same passion and love for horses that Doug and Sue Herthel have had since they started. This approach to teamwork is what makes Alamo Pintado the truly special place that it is today.

Zebra cat scanAlamo Pintado Equine Medical Center has always been at the forefront of equine medical technology. Our clinic was the first private equine hospital to install and use nuclear scintigraphy in 1989, design and use a water recovery pool to facilitate recovery from orthopedic surgery, use computer aided tomography (CAT Scan) and now utilizes the first Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber designed for horses.

Entrance hallwaySome of the other “firsts” the Alamo Pintado were the first partial large colon resection in a mare, the first colostomy in a mare, and the first use of stem cell transplant to treat tendon and ligament injuries.

Please feel free to visit the different areas of our clinic by following the different links. These will allow you to explore the exciting applications of our cutting-edge medical technology as we offer the ultimate in veterinary care to our patients.

M-F 8 am-5 pm PST
Sat. 8 am-2 pm PST
Emergency Clinic Available 24X7