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Equine - Our Team



Dr. Emma Webster DVM

Emma grew up on a hobby farm with two draft horses and a miniature horse in Milton, Ontario. While studying at the University of Guelph, Emma worked at a thoroughbred breeding facility and gained experience in equine practice with the Rural Area Veterinary Services and Genesee Valley Equine Clinic in New York. Emma joined the equine team at Heartland Veterinary Services in 2009 following graduation from the Ontario Veterinary College. While working in the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Emma expanded her knowledge in equine internal medicine, dentistry, neonatal care and lameness diagnosis. Emma has gone on to complete comprehensive courses in opthalmology and dentistry, areas in which she has a special interest and growing experience. Emma also enjoys the challenge of equine reproduction and looks forward to breeding season every year.  Outside of practice, Emma trains in dressage and enjoys spending time with her family on their hobby farm in Drayton. Emma shares the farm chores with her husband Rob, three children (Miles, Sidney and Samantha), their dog Kajun, their cat Spencer and about 20 chickens.

Dr. Mary Walker DVM

Mary came to work for Heartland in the spring of 2011. She is originally from Brampton, Ontario but spent many summers on the shores of Lake Huron at her family’s cottage in Point Clark. She is currently enjoying the rural lifestyle working at Heartland affords her. During her studies at the Ontario Veterinary College, Mary developed an interest in equine breeding management after spending a summer breeding and flushing mares as part of a research project. In her free time, Mary enjoys horseback riding, traveling, and relaxing at the cottage. She currently lives in Listowel with her two dogs, Wylie and Birdie and two cats, Harriet and Rookie.

Dr. Melanie Thompson DVM

Melanie grew up in rural Flamborough near her grandparents dairy farm and began riding horses at a young age. She attended the University of Guelph for her undergraduate degree, and graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2018. During her time at the veterinary college, Melanie worked in the OVC Large Animal Clinic, which gained her lots of valuable experience in complicated cases. After graduating, Melanie worked in her hometown as a large animal veterinarian for her first year of practice. Melanie joined the large animal team at Heartland in 2019 for both food animal and equine practice. She enjoys ruminant medicine and surgery, and working with farmers. Melanie also enjoys equine practice, with an interest in primary care, emergency care and equine reproduction. 
In her free time, she enjoys running, riding horses, playing the piano and painting. Melanie lives in Drayton with her husband Will, and their cats “Mimi” and "Maisy". 

   Technicians & Assistants

Chantelle VanderPloeg RVT

Chantelle graduated from UoGuelph Ridgetown College in 2017 and later joined the Heartland                
team in 2018. She splits her time primarily as a large animal RVT and also part of the small animal team. She grew up on a farm near Owen Sound and that is when her love for animals (of all sizes) began! When given the oppourtunity she loves outdoor activities and sports, being involved in her church community and spending time with her boyfriend, Nick, her family and friends. 

Crystal Cullen RVT

Crystal graduated from Northern College-Haileybury Campus in May 2004. After graduating Crystal worked in a small animal practice in Elora until she joined the Heartland team in October 2016. Crystal grew up on a dairy farm outside of Kenilworth and always knew she would work in veterinary medicine. With her years of experience in the dairy industry she was very excited when the opportunity came up to become a member of our large animal team. She now divides her time between farm visits and small animal at both our Listowel and Mount Forest location.  Crystal lives in Listowel with her husband Dave and their 2 girls Avery and Cassidy, and their son Wyatt and an Australian Cattle Dog named Wiser. When Crystal isn't at work she keeps busy taking her kids to figure skating and spending as much time outside as the day will allow.

Sarah O'Grady

Sarah joined the Heartland Team as a part-time student in 2013 after completing a high school co-op with us.  In 2017, she graduated from the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus with a diploma in Agriculture, and returned to Heartland full-time.  Sarah spends her time at Heartland working alongside our veterinarians and technicians, and is very passionate about equine care and management. Sarah lives on a hobby farm consisting of six horses and a growing herd of Speckle Park cattle.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her dogs Bentley and Nova, riding horses or watching her cows and calves on pasture.