Text only version:

Announcing the retirement of Martin Hume

We are very sad to announce that Martin Hume will be retiring from Torch Vets Directorship and front-line clinical work in January 2021. Martin will remain in touch with the practice and will be overseeing many of the local riding stable inspections.

As many of you know, Martin fell from his bike and sustained a complicated fracture of his femur 18 months ago. This was compounded by the fact that this was the leg which he had a successful hip replacement on 2 years previously. In typical style, Martin jumped back into clinical practice, surprising the surgeons with his rapid progress.

After 34 years of full clinical practice, Martin’s retirement was already planned for 2022. This has been brought forward due to the risk of reinjuring the leg again whilst dealing with our unpredictable patients, something which the surgeons have said he can’t afford to do. Martin leads an extremely active life outside of work and it is our priority that he continues this into his retirement.

Martin started his career at Horsepond Vets in South Molton back in 1986. An adventure vetting and travelling with Alison in New Zealand followed.

When they returned to the beaches of North Devon Martin became a partner in Charter Veterinary Group, and he has been pivotal in its exceptional growth and success for over 30 years including of course, the formation of Torch Farm & Equine Vets.

He has poured his heart and soul into the practice to get it where it is today; serving the needs of the animals and owners under our care. Martin’s positive can-do attitude and considerable range of clinical skills from general equine practice to colic surgery is a rarity these days where clinicians specialise in certain areas. This outstanding range of skills has built him a very large following amongst clients, professional and amateur alike. His ability to treat the expensive racehorse or child’s pony with the same care and attention underlines his commitment and love for veterinary science. Despite his experience the constant attention to science and staying up-to-date with new techniques has been an inspiration to all of his colleagues.

Martin’s humour and zest for life is obvious to all. His love of travel, socialising and sports means that his retirement will be very full, shared with a large number of friends in North Devon. Alison, who has worked alongside Martin at Mullacott as principal small animal vet for over 30 years, has also taken the decision to retire in 2021.


Whilst we are extremely sad at Martin’s retirement, we are delighted that Jennifer Rodliff (nee Green) has become an owner of Torch Equine as Associate Director.

Jennifer saw practice with us a student and joined the team upon qualifying (with distinction) in 2010. She has attracted a large following due to her clinical expertise and practical compassionate approach, and in 2018 became an Advanced Veterinary Practitioner in Equine Practice.

Currently on maternity leave, Jennifer is working behind the scenes in the management of Torch and returns to clinical work in January 2021. This succession leaves us in a healthy position and able to ensure patient continuity. Remaining in Vet ownership enables continued personal responsibility and pride in the reputation and success of Torch Equine Vets.


It has been my enormous privilege to have enjoyed my veterinary career in what I believe to be the best part of the UK.

I will miss all the clients who have become friends over the 30+ years with the practice and I will also miss many of my equine patients who I have been tending to for large parts of their lives.

My decision to retire slightly earlier than originally planned has been prompted by a genetic progressive arthritis which led to an initial hip replacement followed by a serious fracture of my leg and arm in a bike crash. It has become apparent that I am not quite nimble enough to continue as an equine vet in the way I would want. So it’s out to pasture for me.

My decision has been made significantly easier in the knowledge that I am leaving the practice in such excellent hands. We have always been able to attract some of the most talented vets and nurses and I believe that our current support staff and overall management is the best that I have seen over my 34 year career. Your animal’s health will be in good hands.



If you own an equine and reside in the UK, it is now compulsory that they are microchipped regardless of age. Their details will be live on the Central Equine Database, run by Equine Register, and as their owner, you are legally required to ensure those details are kept up to date.

We recommend you visit the site and ensure your horse’s details are correct and up to date.

Who is Equine Register and what is the Central Equine Database?

Equine Register is a trusted partner of the UK Government. They provide and manage the Central Equine Database and National Chip Checker for Defra.

There are 81 Passport Issuing Organisations in the UK generating over 1.5 million equine records. These records are managed in one place – on the Central Equine Database. The CED is the home of identity for all equines in the UK. Owners can create an account, associate themselves with their equines and manage all their documents in one ‘digital stable’.

It’s also possible to register for alerts of disease outbreak, report animals lost or stolen and set your equine’s status on National Chip Checker (such as on loan, with another keeper or not for sale) which will make their theft or illegal sale much more difficult.

For more information, visit: www.equineregister.co.uk/home


Our star patient this month is Mojo, a  very sweet miniature donkey under the care of vet Nathalie.

This young man had the unfortunate fate of being born with abnormally shaped teeth. As his permanent teeth grew out, gaps developed between his back teeth, painfully trapping food.

Xrays taken with our portable Xray machine revealed the only way to restore a healthy and comfortable mouth would be to extract the offending teeth. This was going to be a very tricky business as young miniature donkeys have very small mouths yet very long teeth!

So Nathalie called in the help of a leading equine dental specialist: Chris Pearce from the Equine Dental Clinic. After moulding a new surgical instrument especially for Mojo’s unusual size requirements, Chris was able to travel down and operate at our Mullacott clinic.

Both offending molars were expertly extracted without the need for a general anesthesia. We are thrilled to say Mojo made a brilliant recovery and is now happily chomping away with his donkey buddy Banjo.

Donkeys and small ponies commonly suffer from dental pathology yet are very good at hiding pain, so problems often get missed until it is too late. Thanks to the diligence of his owner Helen, Nathalie’s quick diagnosis and Chris’s expert skills, Mojo’s problem was nipped in the bud and he can now enjoy a long life of pain-free munching.


hank you to all who attended our

virtual client events in October and November.

Both internationally renowned speakers offered a fascinating insight into sarcoids & wound management (Derek Knottenbelt OBE) and sports horse injuries (Jessica Kidd).

They kindly gave their time to raise money for Dr Knottenbelt’s charity, Vets With Horsepower (www.vetswithhorsepower. com)

Look out on our Facebook page for a third event in January with David Rendle on the hot topic of equine obesity.


We are delighted to support the team at Taw River Equine Events with the launch of their winter arena eventing series through sponsorship of the events.

Dates have altered slightly with (at the time of going to press) the first event in the series taking place on 6th December at Downe Farm Event Centre. There are senior and junior classes running from 70cm through to 90cm, check out Taw River Arena Eventing via HorseMonkey.com for more information and to enter. Wishing all competitors an enjoyable and successful first round!


Look out for your winter dose of Equest Pramox coming to you in the post over the coming weeks if you are a member of our Equine Total Health Care Plan or Total Worming Programme.

We recommend all horses receive a winter dose of moxidectin to target encysted small red worm larvae with tapeworm treatment included if it hasn’t already been given earlier in the year.

Wishing all of our clients a safe, happy, healthy Christmas and a prosperous New Year