Three Mayors Proclaim Equine Center Day
For Immediate Release
October 9, 2007
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Three Mayors Proclaim Monday, October 15 University of Minnesota Equine Center Day
(St. Paul, MN)---St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Falcon Heights Mayor Susan Gehrz and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak have proclaimed Monday, October 15 “University of Minnesota Equine Center Day” in the metro area.
On that date, the $14 million state-of-the-art Leatherdale Equine Center holds its grand opening celebration on the St. Paul campus.
The public is invited to the free event that begins at 2 p.m. with a procession led by the Ames Farm six horse hitch and official ribbon cutting. From 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. there will be demonstrations of the new high-tech systems in the 60,000 square foot facility by University equine clinic staff.
“Falcon Heights has always been proud to have the outstanding College of Veterinary Medicine in our city,” said Mayor Gehrz. “The new Equine Center with greatly enhanced care, research, and education will be a wonderful addition and asset to our city and the entire region.”
“The comprehensive Equine Center has been designated as a Program of Excellence at the College of Veterinary Medicine and is squarely aligned with the University's goal to become one of the top three public research universities in the world,” said University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks. “But more than that, it meets a growing need of our state: Minnesota ranks among the top 10 states in horse population and the equine industry contributes almost $1 billion annually to the state economy, sparked by the passion and support of horse lovers like us.”
The facility will be named in honor of Louise and Doug Leatherdale of Medina who made a generous lead gift to the University. Tad and Cindy Piper of Long Lake made the lead gift for the Piper Performance Clinic, a performance medicine and reproductive clinic in the facility, which will be christened in their names.
The Center’s new technology includes computerized gait analysis and high speed cameras to test for lameness, an aqua treadmill used in rehabilitation, a state of the art reproduction wing and a high speed treadmill that allows a horse be monitored while galloping up to 30 mph.
Throughout the afternoon, members of We Can Ride therapeutic riding group will be on hand to demonstrate the highly successful program that teaches riding and carriage driving to children and adults living with cognitive and physical disabilities. The new facility will be home to the first metro site of this popular program, which has a waiting list of more than a hundred.
The University Mounted Police unit will also be housed in the facility, which offers a conference center and a 100 by 200 ft. indoor arena and a similar size outdoor arena for demonstrations, meetings and programs by community horse organizations.
“This state of the art facility will become a home for the Minnesota equine community,” said Dr. Stephanie Valberg, Director of the Equine Center. “No other facility has been designed to give such compassionate, comprehensive care and to give so much back to horse owners. The Equine Center represents our dedication to an expanded and comprehensive equine program, including undergraduate equine education, continued devotion to educating the next generation of equine veterinarians, a focus on equine research that will change the lives of horses worldwide, all while providing cutting edge care for horses. Horses will benefit from some of the best in equine care, research, and veterinary education found anywhere in the world.”