Veterinary profession mourns two respected equine vets

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The veterinary profession has lost two of its most distinguished members in recent days, with the passing of Brian Singleton in the UK, and Ed Fallon in Kentucky.

Brian Singleton
Brian Singleton
Brian Singleton

Dr William Brian Singleton CBE, Dip ACVS, FRCVS, died at his home in Blakeney, Norfolk on October 23, at the age of 95. Singleton was a past president of the British Equine Veterinary Association, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, as well as being a founding member of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA).

Singleton had a private practice in Pont Street, with BSAVA co-founder Woody Woodrow. He was later a Director of the Animal Health Trust, and was an honorary Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, a rare distinction for a private practitioner working in the UK.

It was while he was at the Animal Health Trust that he joined the BEVA council, before being elected to its Presidency in 1988. “His determination to acquaint himself more closely with the equestrian world during this period was exemplified by his riding out every morning in Lanwades Park on Rosie, a chestnut mare, wearing an old pair of jodhpurs,” said colleague Timothy Greet.

In an obituary for BEVA, Greet said that after retirement from the AHT, Singleton followed his major hobbies, sailing, birdwatching and photography. “In fact, he was awarded an Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society in 2001 for photographic work including a series of shots of an operation we carried out on a stifle bone cyst at Rossdales Equine Hospital.”

In his lifetime he received many awards including a CBE, an Honorary Doctorate from Edinburgh University, a Thoroughbred Breeders Special Award for services to the Thoroughbred industry and the Dalrymple-Champneys Cup, the highest award of the British Veterinary Association.

Singleton’s wife of more than 60 years, Hilda, died six years ago. He is survived by three children, including his daughter, Maxine Wood, who cared for him during his last years; five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Ed Fallon
Ed Fallon
Ed Fallon

Edward Hagyard Fallon died at the age of 87 at home in Kentucky on October 12, just two days after his birthday. His wife of 60 years, Priscilla, and his family, were at his side.

Fallon was born on October 10,  to Esther Hagyard Fallon and John Harold Fallon, who maintained the famous racing stable of H. P. Headley of Beaumont Farms.

A natural horseman like his father, and an aspiring veterinarian from his youth — “I had always intended on working for my uncle, Dr. Charlie Hagyard” — Fallon received his veterinary degree from Cornell University in 1956 and became the fourth generation member of the Hagyard family to join the family firm, then known as Hagyard, Davidson, and McGee. Fallon’s son, Luke, is the fifth-generation veterinarian in the Hagyard legacy.

During his more than 50-year career, Fallon was a respected thoroughbred reproductive specialist, and a pioneer in field surgery.

Ed Fallon in 1956
Ed Fallon in 1956

Along with his best friend and brother-in-law, Dr. John T. “Jack” Bryans of the Gluck Equine Research Center, Fallon helped to develop innovative and effective treatments for many of the most stubborn and problematic equine conditions and diseases, including virus abortion, “shaker foals,” and neonatal interoculitus. During the long days of the foaling and breeding season each spring, Ed would put thousands of miles on his white Ford LTD; it was no coincidence that he chose the same type of car as the local police.

Fallon was also active in the Lexington community. A member of the Keeneland Club, the Thoroughbred Club of America (which recognized him in 2015 as one of its “Honored Guests”), the Lexington Club, the Lexington Country Club (sustaining member), life member of the Kentucky Arboretum, the Metropolitan Opera and Lexington Opera, Spindletop, the Knights of Columbus, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association. He was a past member of the Idle Hour Country Club and Iroquois Hunt Club. He held the rank of captain in the United States Army Reserve.

As well as Priscilla, Fallon is survived by four children, Lillian, Esther, Alma, and Luke, and seven grandchildren.

 

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