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  Home > About the Equine Center Program

About the Equine Center Program

Frequently asked Questions

Q: Why build this Equine Center now?

A: Expanded facilities have been needed for some time. The number of horses treated annually by the College has grown six-fold from 500 in 1980 to more than 3,000 last year. This growth has spurred the development of equine technology to keep pace with the growing, diverse needs of horse owners and others. Nearly 30 similar equine facilities have already been built throughout the United States. In Minnesota, the equine industry continues to grow and has become an important economic and social factor throughout the state. Home to nearly 500 state and local horse clubs, Minnesota has the tenth largest horse population in the United States.

Q: What new programs are being funded?

A: This campaign will help position this Center for research and sports medicine as a premier equine facility nationwide. It will include a new faculty chair and professorship in sports medicine and a unique collaboration with the Medical School and the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences in areas such as muscle disease, nutrition, and forage management.

Q: What new facilities or services will be a part of this center that are not available now?

 A: The Equine Center will focus on several key areas, including sports medicine, research, teaching, and community outreach. Center features include 50,000 square feet dedicated to equine care, health, and performance; 50 horse stalls; an indoor arena and a lunge arena; classrooms and laboratories; and custom-designed clinical space for lameness testing and diagnosis and reproductive medicine programs. A wide range of new technology, including digital limb MRI and a high-speed treadmill, will be in use at the Center. The facility also features a specially designed loading and exercise area. The current facility does not have a convenient, secure area for safe loading and unloading of horses. There will be space for vital research and new program development in subjects such as sports medicine, nutrition, pasture and forage management, and complementary therapies, as well as more community outreach programs and workshops for horse owners and others. Updated equipment, including an upgrade in surgical equipment in the current large animal hospital, will also be funded by this campaign.

Q: Is this center focusing on specific horse health and care areas?

A: This Center is designed to complement current facilities, offering new technology, expanded classroom and laboratories, and new or expanded programs for the equine community. Comprehensive sports medicine, encompassing nutrition, performance, and overall care, is a growing area of emphasis. Two areas in which the College is already well-recognized – lameness testing and diagnosis and reproductive medicine – will be expanded to better s erve horse owners and others in these vital areas.

Q: What are the plans for the current large animal facilities? How will the existing l arge animal hospital be used?

A: This campaign will also fund new equipment for the current equine facilities and an updated surgical suite. The current facilities will remain in use and continue to provide equine-related services, probably even after a new large animal hospital is constructed. Current facilities will continue to provide services to treat and care for dairy cows, cattle, llamas, alpacas, goats, and other large animals, including horses.

Q: What is the total cost for the center?

A: The total cost for building construction, endowments, and equipment is $10 million. More than $4 million has been raised to date.

Q: When will the new facilities open?

A: This campaign is now underway and faculty and staff members are actively seeking private gifts and donations. The Leatherdale Equine Center and Piper Performance Clinic are now open. Click here for more details.

Q: What role is the University playing regarding this center?

A: The University enthusiastically endorses this Center and has provided the land needed for the Equine Center. Located in St. Paul, the site is adjacent to other campus buildings.

Q: Is this the only new building planned?

A: The Equine Center is the first of two phases for equine facilities and services at this location. The second phase, as yet unscheduled, calls for the construction of a new, additional large animal hospital.

Q: How are funds being raised?

A: Donations are actively being solicited from the equine community, including alumni, clients, friends, and others. Donations or giving opportunities exist at every level. Substantial gifts made by individuals or groups will be recognized in designated areas of the Center.

For more information or to make a donation, contact Interim Dean Trevor Ames, 612-624-6244, or Stephanie Pommier, development officer, at 612-625-8480 or spommier@umn.edu. An excellent overview of the need for this campaign is available on video or DVD and print materials are also available and posted on the  College Web site.

Floorplan of the New Equine Center Facility

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