Meet our Veterinary Surgeons

  • BVEC

    Ben Coles

    Clinical Director

    BVSc CertAVP(Lameness) MRCVS

    Ben graduated from the University of Liverpool, after which he completed a surgical internship at Scone Equine Hospital, Australia. Since then, Ben has worked in sole equine practice in Gloucestershire, joining the team at Bourton Vale in January 2018. In August 2021 Ben completed his RCVS Certificate in Equine Lameness Diagnosis and Therapeutics.


    Ben is passionate about optimising performance in sport and race horses; enjoying lameness evaluation and poor performance investigations as well as prepurchase examinations for horses of all disciplines.


    Ben has followed his interest in eventing from his time as a rider and groom into his veterinary career, initially working with the Australian Eventing Team from 2015-2018. Since 2018 Ben has been a part of the veterinary support team for the British Equestrian Federation primarily as assistant vet to the Senior Eventing programme, which has involved attendance at many international eventing competitions in the UK and Europe, including many Nations Cup events. Travelling to Tokyo with the British horses for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Test Event was a particular highlight, as well as being a part of many successful team and individual British results both at home and abroad. Ben also is regularly on duty at Newbury Racecourse where he is able to get his racing fix.

  • BVEC

    Millie Stewart Wood

    Associate Clinical Director


    Millie was born and bred in the Cotswolds and has lived in Oxfordshire all of her life. She graduated from The University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, and started her career in mixed practice. Millie then moved to an equine practice in Lambourn for 6 years before joining us in July 2018. She has a breadth of clinical interests, and is often found driving around the Cotswolds with our gastroscope in the back of her car. She is currently undertaking a certificate in advanced veterinary practice.

    Millie has owned and competed horses from a young age, and very much enjoys her spare time with her horses. She can often be seen out Eventing, Hunting and Team Chasing.

  • BVEC

    Aled Thomas

    Associate Clinical Director


    Aled graduated from the University of Nottingham and then completed his internship at Troytown Greyabbey Equine Hospital in Ireland. Following this he completed a stud season in Australia.


    Upon returning to the UK, Aled worked in a specialist racing practice in Berkshire before joining Bourton Vale Equine Clinic in February 2017 as part of the stud team. Aled is head vet at many of our national hunt and flat racing stud yards as well as having many Artificial Insemination clients. Since joining Bourton Vale Aled continues to develop his stud skills and is currently studying towards his certificate in Equine Stud Medicine. Up until 2020 Aled travelled over to New Zealand every winter to complete a stud season out there at a large standardbred stud. 


    Aled's particular area of interest is in reproduction and internal medicine, and outside of work he enjoys horse racing, football and skiing.

  • Lydia Coles

    Lydia Coles

    Managing Clinical Director


    Lydia grew up in the Cotswolds and studied for her degree in veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge. She worked as an intern at an equine hospital in Devon following graduation before moving to join us at Bourton Vale in 2017. Lydia generally works based within our hospital; anaesthetising surgical patients, performing MRIs and looking after critical care and post-operative patients. She is passionate about internal medicine and is working towards her certificate in advanced veterinary practice in this area. Alongside her clinical interests, she supports the administrative team in running the practice and strives to ensure our clients are taken care of.


    Outside of the clinic, Lydia can be found baking, and exploring the countryside with her little dogs and daughter. 

  • a

    Ollie Crowe

    Specialist Surgeon

    BVSc CertES(Orth) DipECVS MRCVS

    Ollie qualified from Liverpool Vet School in 1997.  He worked in Newmarket for 2 years before undertaking a 3-year advanced surgical training programme at The Royal Veterinary College in London. After a brief stint in Lambourn, Ollie moved to Gloucestershire and helped to develop The B&W Equine Hospital.  After 20 years there, he has moved up into the Cotswolds to join the team at Bourton Vale Equine Clinic.  His main interests are in surgery and poor performance.  He has published studies into treatments for suspensory disease, coffin joint arthroscopy and kissing spines. He has extensive experience of all types of surgery, particularly minimally invasive surgery and fracture repair.  Ollie holds the RCVS Certificate in Equine Surgery and is a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons.  He is recognised as a European and RCVS specialist in Equine Surgery.  He regularly speaks at national and international conferences and has lectured and operated in several European countries,  USA and Iran!


    Outside work, Ollie is kept busy trying to convince his wife and daughter not to buy any more horses, and operating an extensive taxi roster for both of his teenage children.  Just occasionally he gets to enjoy cycling and open water swimming.

  • Hattie Barnes

    Hattie Barnes

    Specialist Surgeon


    Hattie joined BVEC in March 2023 as part of our surgical team.


    Hattie is originally from the Cotswolds and went to University in Liverpool. Following graduation, she worked in ambulatory equine practice in the North West and completed two equine internships, firstly at Leahurst Equine Hospital and followed by Rainbow Equine Hospital in Yorkshire. Hattie then undertook a three-year residency in equine surgery at the University of Liverpool and became an ECVS Diplomate of Large Animal Surgery in February 2024. She has since spent 6 months as an additional surgeon during the Southern Hemisphere breeding season at Matamata Veterinary Services in "the Newmarket of New Zealand". Hattie enjoys all aspects of surgery but particularly abdominal and laparoscopic surgery.


    Outside of work Hattie has evented to 3* level and enjoys bringing on young horses in her “spare” time. She will normally be found outdoors whenever not at work, usually on another adventure!

  • Lucy Collins

    Lucy Collins

    Veterinary Surgeon


    Lucy graduated from Nottingham Vet school and since then, she has worked solely in ambulatory equine practice - predominantly doing stud work - as well as a stint in the southern hemisphere on a busy stud developing her main area of interest; equine reproduction. She is a certificate holder in this area too; always striving to learn and drive forward new advances in equine reproduction.


    She joined us at BVEC in March 2023 and is quickly becoming a familiar face on all of the studs we work closely with.


    Outside of work, she loves family time, sports, gardening and the outdoors. 

  • Charlotte Oastler

    Charlotte Oastler

    Veterinary Surgeon


    Charlotte was born in the UK but spent her teenage years living in Australia, and studied Veterinary Science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. After a stint in mixed practice in rural Victoria, she returned to the UK to pursue a career in equine practice. She completed an internship in the racing hub of Lambourn, and spent several years at a busy polo practice in Berkshire, before joining BVEC in 2022.


    Charlotte is particularly interested in equine medicine and anaesthesia. Outside of work she enjoys good food, exploring the world and socialising with friends.

  • Valentina Aresu

    Valentina Aresu

    Veterinary Surgeon

  • Ben Harries

    Ben Harries

    Veterinary Surgeon


    Ben was born and raised in the South Wales Valleys and graduated from the University of Liverpool. He began his career at an ambulatory practice in Cornwall, before joining Bourton Vale in April 2023. Ben has an interest in internal medicine and poor performance but enjoys the variety being out on the road brings.


    Outside of work, Ben can usually be found on a rugby pitch. He also enjoys CrossFit, horse racing and travelling.

  • Kelsey Cook

    Kelsey Cook

    Veterinary Surgeon


    Kelsey graduated from the University of Surrey, and has previously completed a bachelors degree in Biomedical Science and masters degree in Veterinary Microbiology. Before joining the Bourton Vale team as an ambulatory in August 2022, she spent the summer working with the racing vet team in South Africa and has a special interest in sports performance, reproduction and foal medicine.


    Outside of work you will find Kelsey walking her dogs Jeff and Lily, open water swimming, travelling and going home to Scotland to see her family as often as she can!

  • Polly Sishton

    Polly Sishton

    Veterinary Surgeon


    Polly graduated from the University of Bristol after spending much of her life in Oxfordshire. After a short stint locuming as a small animal vet, she joined the team here at Bourton Vale Equine Clinic. After completing her 12-month internship with us, Polly stayed on at Bourton Vale as part of the ambulatory team. She enjoys all aspects of equine work with a specific interest in internal medicine. Polly is a whizz with our gastroscope and is often found in theatre anaesthetising patients for our surgical team.

    Outside of work you will find Polly walking her Jack Russell Ted, riding her horses, skiing and running.

  • Ellie Rowland

    Ellie Rowland

    Veterinary Surgeon

  • Abbie Mitchell

    Abbie Mitchell

    Veterinary Surgeon