In Memory

Dr. Edward H. Fallon - Class Of 1949

Edward Hagyard Fallon, DVM, died on Friday, October 12, 2018 surrounded by his loving wife of 60 years, Priscilla, and his family in his home. He was born on October 10, 1931, the second child of John Harold Fallon and Esther Louise Hagyard Fallon. He spent his childhood on Hal Price Headley’s Beaumont Farm in a house that still stands on Fallon Road - Ed remembered Mr. Headley walking the fields and pushing walnuts into the ground with his boot; many of which have now grown into fully majestic and mature walnut trees, providing beauty and shade for the Beaumont neighborhood. Ed’s father, Harold, was Mr. Headley’s farm manager, bloodstock advisor, and business manager. His mother, Esther, was an early female graduate of the University of Kentucky’s Journalism department and the first woman to serve on the Vestry at Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington. Ed attended St. Catherine’s Academy, and graduated from Lafayette High School in 1949. After attending the University of Kentucky, Ed attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He returned a year later to UK (where he was active in Sigma Chi), and in 1952, he entered the Veterinary College of New York at Cornell University in Ithaca. He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1956 and returned home to work for his Uncle Charlie Hagyard (Doc Charlie) at the family firm, then known as Hagyard, Davidson, and McGee. This made him the fourth generation of veterinarians in the family. In a career that lasted over half a century, “Doc” grew into one of the most respected and admired thoroughbred reproductive specialists in the world. He was a pioneer in field surgery, in the technique of digital palpation, and in the use of lights to affect a mare’s reproductive cycle. Along with his best friend and brother-in-law, Dr. John T. “Jack” Bryans of the Gluck Equine Research Center, Ed 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 not a coincidence that he chose the same car as the local police!) His days would begin well before dawn, and he often operated on just three or four hours of sleep each night for many months at a time. He cared deeply about ALL of the people with whom he worked, from the farm and horse owners to the folks who cleaned the stalls. He loved his chosen vocation, the people, the horses, and he was very, very good at what he did. Ed 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. He was enshrined in the Lafayette High School Hall of Fame. However, all of these were not the sum total of his existence. He was passionate about many things. He loved a well-written book penned by one of his favorite authors (Teilhard de Chardin, Shakespeare, Merton and Chesterton, in particular), a well-phrased poem (“Glory be to God for dappled things”), a well-aged Stilton cheese, and a well-composed opera (he was partial to Puccini and Verdi). He loved sailing on the lakes of the Adirondack Mountains in New York and in the waves at Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. He loved the beauty of God’s creation and was fascinated by the “divine ratio” and the Fibonacci sequence present in so much of nature. He was a passionate fan of the Fighting Irish. He was passionate about running - he loved a pre-dawn jog down Military Pike before it became “quite the thoroughfare.” He was a genteel man of manners and proper decorum (men should always stand when a women enters the room, and they should ALWAYS remove their hats while indoors!) He was a lover of the Latin language and a wordsmith par excellence - quite an amateur etymologist. He was particularly fond of “in hoc,” “excelsior,” “sublime,” and “carpe deim.” He was also a remarkably creative and guileful practical joker. Legion were the victims of his ingenious stunts and tricks. This was all courtesy of... “The Phantom!” As a vet, he could not help but love all animals. Throughout his life, he surrounded himself and his family with pets, the last of whom, Laurie and Roxie, stayed by his bedside constantly. Raised in both the Catholic and Episcopal traditions of his parents, at the age of discernment, Ed made the choice to become a committed and faithful Roman Catholic. He held a special place in his heart for the Blessed Mother, and he was sustained until the end by his rosary and his devotion to the Eucharist. He was the third generation of Fallons at St. Paul Parish in Lexington. Most of all, however, he loved his family. He was a devoted husband. He married Priscilla Roberts, the love of his life, on his birthday, October 10, 1958 and remained smitten with her until the end (they met at an ice skating party at Winganeek Farm, where Priscilla spent her childhood). He and Priscilla raised four children, all of whom survive him: Lillian Elliott Fallon, Esther Roberts Fallon Breeding (Bruce), Alma Hagyard Fallon Ferrier (Walter) and Luke Hagyard Fallon (Nancy). He was a wonderful and loving “Oompah” to seven grandchildren: Elliott Thomas Ferrier, Emma Roberts Ferrier, Strohmann Whittaker Breeding, Audra Eleanor Ferrier, William “Liam” Hagyard Fallon, Benjamin Lee Fallon, and Ava Katherine Fallon. He is also survived by his sister, Louise Elliott Fallon Bryans. His loss is also felt by his extended family and by his colleagues of many years throughout the thoroughbred industry and at what is today Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Visitation will be held Monday, October 15 from 430-8pm at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home – Harrodsburg Rd. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father Chris Clay and Father Norman Fischer at St. Paul Church at 2pm on Tuesday, October 16. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery, and grave side services will be private. In lieu of flowers, you are encouraged to make a gift in Ed’s memory to St. Paul Catholic Church, Steeple Fund, 501 West Short Street, Lexington, KY 40507; or to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, 821 Corporate Drive, Lexington, KY 40503 at: