Purdue University on Tuesday (Oct. 20) broke ground for the $8.8 million Centaur Equine Diagnostic and Surgical Center, located in Shelbyville near Indiana Grand. The state-of-the art facility will serve as a satellite facility of the College of Veterinary Medicine, providing specialty medical and surgical services for horse owners and supporting equine research and education of future equine specialists. “This is an exciting day that marks a major milestone in our dream of creating a state-of-the-art equine referral hospital on location in the heart of Indiana’s horse racing industry, enabling our college to bring advanced medical and surgical services directly to the equine athletes and their owners,” said Willie Reed, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and professor of veterinary anatomic pathology. “This center will house the most technologically advanced medical equipment to diagnose and treat equine patients while also facilitating groundbreaking research and vital educational opportunities for students preparing for careers as equine specialists.
“The location in proximity to Indiana’s two race tracks is especially significant for treating emergency and critical cases, and conducting research on the health needs of performance horses. It also will facilitate educational opportunities for students preparing for careers as equine specialists.”
Site work for the center began earlier this month, so the invitation-only ceremony took place at the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino.
The facility, expected to be completed by the end of 2016, is being built on land purchased by Purdue Research Foundation with $2.3 million in support from Shelby County and city of Shelbyville. Centaur Gaming, which owns and operates Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, has pledged $3.1 million to name the facility.
Located just a few miles from the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino’s track in Shelbyville, and within an hour’s drive from Hoosier Park in Anderson, Indiana, the center will be part of the Purdue Equine Sports Medicine program based on the West Lafayette campus. It will offer advanced diagnostic imaging, shockwave therapy, regenerative medicine, endoscopy laser surgery and specialized equine orthopedic surgery and specialized equine surgery in a one-story, 18,000-square-foot center.
“This new facility compliments Purdue University’s longstanding commitment to serving the equine industry and will continue to build on what the Indiana Horse Racing Commission and so many in Indiana’s horse racing industry have worked toward for the last 20 years – making Indiana a top-notch racing state and a recognized leader in the sport,” said Rod Ratcliff, Centaur Gaming chairman and CEO.
Indianapolis-based Centaur Gaming, founded in 1993, owns and operates Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville; Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson; the Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis as well additional off-track betting operations in Clarksville and New Haven, Indiana.
“Shelbyville and Shelby County are excited about the groundbreaking for the new Centaur Equine Diagnostic and Surgical Center,” said Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun. “This project is a great model of public and private partnerships between the City of Shelbyville, Shelby County, Centaur Gaming and Purdue University. Now that construction is beginning, we look forward to the completion of a beautiful equine specialty referral hospital that will have a significant positive impact on our community.”
The facility will build on the College of Veterinary Medicine’s longstanding commitment to serve the equine industry. Purdue’s Large Animal Hospital was the site of the first arthroscopic surgery – a joint procedure – on a horse in the mid-1970s. In 1996 the college opened the Equine Sports Medicine Center with a technologically advanced high-speed equine treadmill. The facility resulted from a provision supporting Purdue equine research that was part of the state legislation establishing pari-mutuel horse racing.
Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine is the only veterinary school in Indiana and one of only 30 in the country. In addition to the doctor of veterinary medicine degree, the college offers associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in veterinary technology, postgraduate internships and residencies for doctors of veterinary medicine seeking specialty training, and graduate degrees in the departments of basic medical sciences, comparative pathobiology and veterinary clinical sciences. Home to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, the college serves as a major referral center for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of all species of companion, equine and food animals, as well as exotic pets and wildlife.