Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Edward H. Fallon, October 11, 2007

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: All right, this is Kim Lady Smith. Today is October--what is it? The 11th?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Edward Fallon talks about his father working for Hal Price Headley as a manager at Keeneland Racetrack. He talks about his family and siblings. He talks about Hal Price Headley and Alice Chandler's business successes.

Keywords: Alice Chandler; Alice Headley Chandler; Hal Price Headley

Subjects: Allen, James Lane, 1849-1925; Chandler, Alice, 1931-; Headley, Hal Price, 1888-1962; Keeneland (Lexington, Ky.); Racetracks (Horse racing)--Kentucky; Veterinarians.

00:05:12 - Following the family veterinarian line

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Partial Transcript: So how'd your father um--did he enjoy working with horses? How did he move into that area of, of farm management?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about the success of Hal Price Headley in managing a horse breeding business and racing. He talks about his mother's family's involvement in veterinary medicine which inspired his interest in becoming a veterinarian. He talks about his early family life and their receipt of a home and land from Hal Price Headley.

Keywords: Alice Chandler; Alice Headley Chandler; Charles Hagyard; Hal Price Headley

Subjects: Chandler, Alice, 1931-; Families.; Headley, Hal Price, 1888-1962; Keeneland (Lexington, Ky.); Racetracks (Horse racing)--Kentucky; Veterinarians.

00:11:51 - Memories of his grandfather

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Partial Transcript: Let's go back a little bit. Now, your grandfather, uh, is mis--is Edward--

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about his grandfather, Edgar Wendell Hagyard. He talks about his grandmother's father's death in the Battle of Big Hole.

Keywords: American Indians; Edgar Wendell Hagyard; Family; Great-grandfathers; Native Americans; Nez Perce

Subjects: Big Hole, Battle of the, Mont., 1877; Families.; Nez PerceĢ Indians.

00:16:40 - Veterinary practice as the Hagyard family business

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Partial Transcript: Do you--you said you remember a little bit about he was still practicing then?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about veterinary care provided by his grandfather when he was elderly, and about how his uncle Charlie took over the business. He talks about wealthy families with whom his family has worked in the horse industry.

Keywords: Broodmares; Charles Hagyard; Edgar Wendell Hagyard; Fisher family; Hal Price Headley; Palpation; The Gluck Center; Wagner family; Whitney family

Subjects: Families.; Headley, Hal Price, 1888-1962; Veterinarians.

00:21:00 - Growing up around horses / Growth of the veterinary practice

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Partial Transcript: The, uh--how--you, you're in this kind of unique sort of experience w, with the vets and the farm. How did your interest develop in working with horses?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about growing up on horse farms and how his natural enjoyment of the farm led to a career in veterinary medicine. He talks about the history and growth of the Hagyard family veterinary practice.

Keywords: Charles Hagyard; Hagyard Equine Medical Institute; Hagyard, Davidson & McGee; Tobacco

Subjects: Horse farms.; Veterinarians.

00:26:54 - Equine reproduction and general healthcare

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Partial Transcript: As a, uh, equine vet, uh, say back in the 40s, late 30s, 40s, um, what kind of--what were you expected to do?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon describes the development of techniques to determine if a broodmare was in foal. He says equine twin pregnancies are undesirable and discusses the reasons why. He talks about how the introduction of ultrasound technology avoids twin pregnancies. He talks about multiple births in various species. He discusses veterinary care for parasite control, vaccines, and other health management issues.

Keywords: Adrenaline; Anaphylactic shock; Broodmares; Charles Hagyard; Dr. William McGee; Epinephrine; Neonatal isoerythrolysis; Parasites; Rectal examinations; The Gluck Center; Twins

Subjects: Horses--Care; Vaccines.; Veterinarians.

00:38:34 - Relationship with the Gluck Center

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, explain to me, um, I know we don't--it still surprises me that we don't have a veterinarian school in Kentucky...

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about his work with the Gluck Equine Research Center, including conducting equine autopsies and research.

Keywords: Charles Hagyard; Dr. James Rooney; Gluck Equine Research Center; Salmonella; Typhoid fever

Subjects: Horses--Care; Veterinarians.

00:42:21 - Childhood fun on the farm

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Partial Transcript: Growing up, on the farm, and I'm, I'm going to lead you in an entirely different direction. What did you do for fun?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about playing in the barn among the hay bales for fun as a child. He talks about people he knew on the horse farm as a child.

Keywords: Broodmares; Overbrook Farm; Richard Taylor Blackburn

Subjects: Childhood; Young, William T.

00:46:40 - Keeneland racetrack

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Partial Transcript: What do you remember about, um, Keeneland? Do you remember when Keeneland opened?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about his childhood memories of riding ponies at Keeneland. He talks about the founder, Hal Price Headley, and his father's involvement in the management of the Keeneland Foundation. He talks about his memories of Alice Headley Chandler from his childhood days on the farm and at Keeneland. He talks about low stakes gambling games for entertainment on the farm, as well as pranks and formal affairs.

Keywords: Alice Chandler; Alice Headley Chandler; Hal Price Headley

Subjects: Chandler, Alice, 1931-; Childhood; Headley, Hal Price, 1888-1962; Keeneland (Lexington, Ky.); Racetracks (Horse racing); Racetracks (Horse racing)--Kentucky

00:54:46 - Equine examinations and care

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, I think I've seen a picture of, uh, he and Alice, um, and a group of people on a hunt but she said she didn't do it, but...

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about providing routine equine healthcare for Hal Price Headley, including dental examinations and de-worming. He talks about socializing with Headley and his family. He talks about assisting his uncle in providing equine healthcare and examinations. He talks about castrating horses with his uncle Charlie.

Keywords: Alice Chandler; Alice Headley Chandler; Castration; Hal Price Headley

Subjects: Chandler, Alice, 1931-; Headley, Hal Price, 1888-1962; Horses--Care; Keeneland (Lexington, Ky.)

01:00:51 - Working on the racetracks and farms / Developing surgical experience

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Partial Transcript: When, uh, okay, well, let's say your uncle, when, maybe the '40s or '50s, uh, did they work on the tracks as well as the farm?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about the veterinary practice during the 1940s and 1950s. He talks about different specialties such as lameness, breeding, and surgery.

Keywords: Art Davidson; Charles Hagyard; Chloral hydrdate; Tranquilizers

Subjects: Anesthesia.; Horse farms--Kentucky.; Horse farms.; Horses--Care; Horses--Surgery.; Horses--Wounds and injuries.; Keeneland (Lexington, Ky.); Radiography; Veterinarians.; X-rays.

01:04:51 - Veterinary education

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Partial Transcript: When, um, when you decided to, uh--on to become a vet, now you say you started at UK?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about taking basic science courses at University of Kentucky as a pre-vet student since there was no veterinary school at UK. He talks about having a good time as an undergraduate at UK, and about being more studious at Notre Dame. He talks about attending vet school at Cornell. He talks about various educational models for specialization and general studies. He talks about the use of lighting to improve fertility in chickens and horses. He talks about surgical procedures on newborn horses and broodmares, including joint and abdominal surgery.

Keywords: Foals; Lighting; Veterinary school

Subjects: Cornell University; Horses--Care; Horses--Surgery.; Horses--Wounds and injuries.; University of Kentucky; University of Notre Dame; Veterinarians.

01:14:42 - The appeal of equine medicine

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Partial Transcript: Well, what was it about working, um, as an equine vet that appealed to you the most when you just started? When you first started? What did you enjoy doing?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about what appealed to him about being an equine veterinarian: learning the methods of examining horses for pregnancy.

Keywords: Broodmares; Ovaries; Palpating; Palpation; Pregnant; Ultrasound

Subjects: Horses--Care; Horses--Reproduction.; Veterinarians.

01:17:55 - Equine reproduction care

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Partial Transcript: So, when you got out in '56, this was an area where you were excited about trying to improve.

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about his interest in exploring improvements in equine reproductive evaluation when he began practice as a veterinarian, including palpating ovaries. He talks about the difficulties presented by equine twin pregnancies.

Keywords: Equine abortions; Lighting; Ovaries; Palpation; Twins

Subjects: Horses--Breeding.; Horses--Care; Veterinarians.

01:24:56 - Courtship, marriage, family, and career

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Partial Transcript: I'm going to take you back a little bit, maybe it's back. Uh, when did you meet your wife?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about meeting his wife at a pony club social function after he completed college. He talks about his four children and his family life. He talks about the reasons why there is not a veterinary school in the state of Kentucky.

Keywords: Hagyard, Davidson and McGee; Marriage; University of Kentucky; Wives

Subjects: Families.; Keeneland (Lexington, Ky.); Veterinarians.

01:30:38 - Scope of veterinary practice

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Partial Transcript: When you--did you ever practice on any other animals besides horses?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about practicing veterinary medicine on animals such as cattle, but his focus was on equine medicine. He talks about the breeding characteristics of Standardbred and Thoroughbred horses.

Keywords: Kentucky Horse Park; Walnut Hall Farm; Walnut Hall Stud

Subjects: Horse farms--Kentucky.; Horse farms.; Horses--Breeding--Kentucky--History.; Horses--Breeding--Kentucky.; Horses--Breeding--United States--History--20th century; Horses--Breeding.; Horses--Care; Standardbred horse.; Thoroughbred; Veterinarians.

01:35:23 - Extent of veterinary practice / Artificial insemination and breeding

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Partial Transcript: Um, so, when you got out in '56, did--you said you were interested in, in, you know, the timing, the palpitation of the mares--am I pronouncing that right?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about his early professional interest in equine reproductive medicine. He talks about working some at Keeneland Racetrack. He describes the process of artificially inseminating horses which is no longer in wide use. He talks about the work involved in breeding and caring for horses. He talks about the regular work day routine and hours.

Keywords: Broodmares; Foals; Herd health; Stallions

Subjects: Horses--Artificial insemination; Horses--Breeding--Kentucky.; Horses--Breeding.; Horses--Care; Horses--Wounds and injuries.; Keeneland (Lexington, Ky.); Vaccination.; Veterinarians.

01:43:51 - Working with clients / Derby winners

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Partial Transcript: Now would, um, clients contract with your practice, or would they ask for a specific veterinarian, or both?

Segment Synopsis: Fallon talks about the relationship of trust between client and the veterinarian. He talks about the famous horses he cared for as a vet. He talks about the temperament of various horses both good and bad. He talks about horses kicking during examinations and getting injured in the process. He talks about the good quality help of employees at horse farms.

Keywords: Affirmed (Race horse); Citation (Race horse); Dixiana Farm; Faultless (Race horse); Kentucky Derby; Mata Hari (Race horse); Reflected Glory (Race horse); Shutout (Race horse); Sir Ivor (Race horse); Spy Song (Race horse)

Subjects: Horses--Breeding--Kentucky--History.; Horses--Breeding--Kentucky.; Horses--Breeding.; Horses--Care; Veterinarians.