Birth of Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures AVJ

Birth of Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures AVJ

Featured Image L to R: Murray Bain and Peter Fallon. The photo of Murray was taken by a photographer accompanying legendary racing journalist Bert Lillye to Scone. The ‘snapshot’ of Peter Fallon is from a photograph of the triumphant Sydney University Rugby Team in 1945.

I direct you to the following link URL

If ever I leave a solid ‘Hoof Print’ then this is it. Ours is a small nepotistic and incestuous profession with both local and global outreach. Being ‘small’ can have its advantages. We all know one another; at least in the English speaking world.

An esteemed professional colleague Dr Anne Fawcett has very kindly written:

“Scone really was a truly remarkable intellectual hothouse…some amazing concepts, techniques and personalities emerged…and so many great stories!”

I have written extensively about this elsewhere. I append the following tributes to both Murray Bain and Peter Fallon.

Murray Bain

Murray Bain died at Scone in New South Wales on 18 March 1974 after a long and painful illness courageously endured.

Murray graduated from the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School, Edinburgh, in July 1937 and after service with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in the Middle East during World War II, followed by brief periods spent gaining experience of thoroughbred breeding in Kentucky and New Zealand, he settled at Scone, NSW, in 1950 where he worked until his death. In this time he built up a large group practice, based primarily on work with thoroughbred breeding. His particular interests were infertility in the mare, diseases of new born foals and the many management problems associated with thoroughbred breeding. He kept detailed records of all his cases and over the years published many authoritive papers based upon his observations. He took an active interest in post-graduate education and was one of the foundation members of the Post-Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science of the University of Sydney. He was a gifted speaker and gave many interesting lectures to veterinary surgeons and horse breeders throughout Australia, New Zealand, America and Great Britain. He was awarded the Seddon Prize by the Australian Veterinary Association for his major contributions to clinical veterinary medicine.

Despite many years of life in Australia, Murray was always a proud Scot, remaining conscious of his early upbringing in Scotland and his training at ‘The Dick’. He was strong, agile, energetic and tremendously able as a practicing veterinary surgeon. By the time of his death he had acquired a great fund of knowledge and experience in equine veterinary medicine which gave him the confidence and decisiveness so well known to all those who knew him as a friend or sought his professional help and advice. He had an ordered mind and was clean and tidy in his work. He enjoyed life to the full and always encouraged others to join in with him. He took a lively interest in a wide field of activities and was especially prominent in making Scone the active centre of thoroughbred breeding as well as racing in Australia that it is. He was full of praise for things well done and equally intolerant of anything that he thought was wrong.

Murray became ill at the height of his career and to this end felt frustrated and disappointed that his life should ebb away when he still had so much more to contribute. He hated the sickness that overtook him and fought hard and courageously against it.

The following obituary was made for Peter Fallon.

Peter Fallon, B.V.Sc., M.A.C.V.Sc.

Peter Fallon died suddenly at his home in Burwood, Victoria, on 25 June 1974 on the eve of his departure to attend the Equine Reproduction Symposium on Cambridge.

A native of Christchurch, New Zealand, Peter studied Agricultural Sciences at Lincoln University, Christchurch, before transferring to the School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, where he graduated in 1948. Following a period as resident veterinary surgeon on two major Thoroughbred Studs in Victoria, Peter established a private practice at Tallangatta in north-east Victoria in 1955. Three years later he moved to Burwood in Melbourne where, up to the time he died, he admirably served the veterinary needs of many important Thoroughbred Studs in Victoria and major racing stables in the metropolitan area of Melbourne.

A man of great drive, energy and common sense, Peter was always outspoken in his opinions which were backed by more than 30 years of hard work, experience and keen observation on Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding. While not a man of the written word, he nevertheless frequently presented the results of his original research and clinical investigations in his own inimitable style at numerous meetings of veterinary surgeons throughout Australasia. As a result, other veterinary surgeons engaged in equine stud practice greatly benefited from his long experience and clinical acumen.

These remarkably percipient and eloquent tributes were placed by the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the First International Symposium on Equine Reproduction in 1974; Murray’s great friend Professor W. R. ‘Twink’ Allen of Cambridge University. They emphasise from quite a distance many of Murray and Peter’s special qualities including record keeping, cleanliness, hygiene and observation. Murray forever impressed on me: “the keeping of adequate records is every bit as important as the observation of the in season mare in the teasing yard”. Some things one never forgets!

‘Twink’ Allen achieved great international acclaim as one of the greats in his field and a most eminent scientist. It was as a father-in-law that he found popular fame in the thoroughbred world however! His daughter married champion jockey Frankie Dettori and as befits the offspring of an eminent reproduction specialist produced five grandchildren! You can always attract a bite and more than a few expostulations if you ask him whether he is ‘Frankie’s father-in-law – or is Frankie your son-in-law’! There are a few extra G & T’s required after that!