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Did you know that Torch Equine Vets is one of the few remaining practices in the area that is owned by the vets who run it? 

The veterinary profession is undergoing a rapid and profound change across the UK at the moment. It is taking place right here in this region and it’s happening mainly under the radar of the general public.

We asked Torch Equine Director Martin Hume to explain what’s going on, and what he thinks about it.

What’s happening?

“Traditionally the vast majority of veterinary practices in the UK have been owned by the senior vets working in the practice. As partners retired, talented young vets progressed, buying in to the practice and investing their money, time and hearts in developing its future.

We have one of the best developed veterinary services in the world – which is not surprising for a renowned animal loving nation. Recently, large corporate organisations have identified investment potential in the veterinary services market and entered the industry, buying up practices from the vet owners. This has accelerated dramatically in the last five years, and it’s predicted that by 2022, up to 70% of British practices may be under corporate ownership.

Practices frequently retain their original names and premises, so clients may be unaware that the owners are no longer vets working within the practice. 

Why should this matter to clients of a practice and their animals?

Ask yourself. If you own your own business are you more likely to go the extra mile when called on?

I believe that clients and their animals under veterinary care will always be better served where owners work within the practice. Many people really value the knowledge  that if there is a problem, they will be able to speak to an owner of the practice personally. Independent ownership offers vets the freedom to provide the treatments that are the best and most economic for patients, without the pressure of hitting corporate targets.

We all know the positive impact of ‘shopping local’, especially in rural areas. Profits made within vet-owned practice are re-invested by upgrading facilities and training staff to improve the service and care offered to clients. On the other hand, corporations and large investment funds exist to make money and distribute profits to their shareholders, making it inevitable then that significant portions of any profit made will leave the practice and the local area. 

So what are your plans for the future of Torch Equine Vets?

I have been a director of Torch Equine Vets since its inception in 2012, and for 30 years previously as part of the large animal team of Charter Veterinary Hospital Group. My fellow partners and I are proud of the practice that we have developed over, for many, a lifetime’s career. 

We have worked hard to get the practice to where it is; serving the needs of the animals and their owners under our care.  We are close to the local community which means we are more able to adapt, help and support our clients where needed. The practice is our baby that we have poured our heart and soul into. We do not want to pass it on to an anonymous organisation. 

As an independent practice we control our own destiny and our own budgets. We place huge importance on the training and development of our staff because after all, they are a reflection of our company and we take our reputation personally. We believe that nurturing the best vets and offering them a future stake in the business attracts the best talent to our practice. It also keeps them here – giving clients the continuity of care that is so important in delivering the outstanding clinical standards and customer service that we strive to provide.”

If you would like to speak to Martin to find out more about the future of veterinary practice, please don’t hesitate  to give him a call on 01271 879516 or email martinhume@torchequinevets.com.


You might be interested to know that we stock our own comprehensive range of equine supplements to help keep your horse in peak condition. 

From joint supplements and hoof help to gastric support, calmers, muscle-building formula and an extremely cost-effective multi-vitamin, the ingredients in our entire range are the result of extensive research and development with world-leading professors, vets and equine professionals. We use certified and sustainable ingredients together with scientific formulations for maximum nutritional and performance benefits.

All of the ingredients are fully declared, fully traceable and every single batch is tested for contaminants. Our products carry the FFPS logo too, which certifies that they have been tested against the presence of naturally occurring prohibited substances (such as caffeine for example) before their release to the market.

The range features incredibly high-specification ingredients, such as our Veterinary Elite Joint Supplement, which is one of the most powerful currently available in the UK.  Another, the Veterinary Complex Multi-Vitamin is a low sugar nutritional supplement formulated to promote and maintain optimum health for horses on box rest but also works brilliantly as very cost-effective alternative to a balancer for all types of equine, including those on restricted diets.

The product range is wide and comes highly recommended by our vets – take a look at the supplements page at torchequinevets.com or speak to the team on 01271 879516 for further information and advice. 


Q: Tell us about your role at Torch?

A: I’ve been working at Torch Vets Mullacott as an Animal Nursing Assistant for just over a year now. Animal Nursing Assistants share responsibility in the mucking out of inpatients, providing food and water, turning out to grass, grooming, trotting up/lunging for lameness work ups and assisting with procedures such as radiographs, gastroscopies, dressing changes and dentals. 

This month I am really excited to be moving into a Student Veterinary Nurse position and am looking forward to the challenges a career in veterinary nursing has to bring.

Q: What made you choose this career path?

A: I have always wanted to work with horses. I work frequently on the farm and small animal side of practice too, and love the variety of animals that working in a mixed practice allows me to care for. 

Q: Do you have your own pets? 

A: I have a very cheeky Appaloosa mare , Brownie who keeps me on my toes, as well as an Irish Terrier, Ginny and a Jack Russell called Tilly, plus a big ginger tom cat called Wilbur and Ted the rabbit!


Clients taking advantage of our Targeted Worming Programme and Equine Total Health Care Plans should have received their spring worm egg count kits by now, delivered straight to their front door. 

We are in the process of sending out the results plus veterinary reports and any necessary treatments, so if you haven’t sent back your sample, please do so soon.

We offer two preventative health care plans. The Targeted Worming Programme focuses purely on your horse’s individual worming needs throughout the year and utilises up to date veterinary knowledge and methods to ensure the most effective regime possible.

Our Equine Total Health Care Plans take care of all of the regular routine veterinary care over the year, such as vaccinations and dental work, that are necessary to maintain the general wellbeing of your horse. There are three plan options, two of which include bi-annual health check examinations and  can be vital in spotting any problems at an early stage. 

Costs for both preventative care plans are split over 12 months, allowing for easy budgeting throughout the year. We automatically send out worm egg count packs and will get in touch to book in appointments so no date remembering is required, hurrah!