U of M's Leatherdale Equine Center Grand Opening
For Immediate Release
October 9, 2007
For more information contact: Jan Williams (612) 624-6228, Pager: (612) 534-4740 firstname.lastname@example.org or Karin Winegar (651) 645-7547 or (651) 303-9887 cell (media use only)
University of Minnesota’s Leatherdale Equine Center Grand Opening October 15, 2007
What: Join the Minnesota horse community for the grand opening of the new $14 million University of Minnesota Leatherdale Equine Center, a pioneer of excellence in equine education, research, and care.
When: Monday, October 15, 2007
Time: 2:00 pm ribbon cutting/program
2:30 to 4:30 p.m. live demonstrations and walking tour
Where: 1801 Dudley Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota
Northeast corner of the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus.Follow the signs on Larpenteur and Gortner Avenues for free parking.
Ribbon cutting by University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks
Governor Tim Pawlenty (invited)
Representative Ellen Anderson
Mayor Susan Gehrz of Falcon Heights
Deputy Mayor Ann Mulholland, on behalf of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
Barbara Johnson, Council President, on behalf of Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak
We Can Ride therapeutic riding and carriage driving group
University of Minnesota Mounted Police Patrol
Dr. Stephanie Valberg, Director of the Equine Center
Ames Farm six horse percheron hitch
music by Canterbury Downs track trumpeter
Long Lake Hound Club
silent auction of Maneighs --prints by Hercules (1800 lb. equine blood donor and artist)
(St. Paul, MN)--- The University of Minnesota will welcome horse lovers into its state of the art new $14 million facility on Monday, October 15 at the grand opening celebration of the Louise and Doug Leatherdale Equine Center on the St. Paul campus.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Falcon Heights Mayor Susan Gehrz and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak have proclaimed the date “University of Minnesota Leatherdale Equine Center Day” in the metro area.
The public is invited to the free event that begins at 2 p.m. with a procession led by the Ames Farm six percheron horse hitch and official ribbon cutting. From 2:30 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.
“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 of Minnesota. 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’s every breath and heartbeat to 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, DVM, PhD, 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 equine program, including undergraduate equine education, continued devotion to educating the next generation of equine veterinarians, and 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.”