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New equine sports performance complex for Florida vet school

An architect's rendering of the new UF equine sports performance complex.

An architect’s rendering of the new UF equine sports performance complex.

A new equine sports performance complex in Florida is to be dedicated at a grand opening ceremony early next month.

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine’s new complex will be officially opened at 4.30pm on June 6 at the university’s campus in Gainesville.

Located behind the main Large Animal Hospital building, adjacent to existing barns, the new complex will be large enough for most performance disciplines, such as show jumping, dressage, western sports and driving.

In addition to being a resource to the horse owners, the new complex will provide educational benefits for faculty and veterinary students.

College dean Dr James Lloyd

College dean Dr James Lloyd

“We are excited to be able to offer this new venue for performance horses that arrive at UF with issues that are often difficult to identify without direct observation of them under saddle,” said Alison Morton, DVM, director of the hospital’s lameness and imaging service and an associate professor of large animal surgery at UF Health.

“We will now have a better environment for equine athletes and their riders.” 

Horses are often more comfortable, better behaved and therefore safer in a familiar environment, such as a riding arena, with a contained fence line and sure footing, Morton added.

Among those scheduled to speak at the event are James W. Lloyd, DVM, PhD, the college’s dean; David Guzick, MD, PhD, UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health; and Jack Payne, PhD, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources. 

The public are invited to the opening day, and a reception will follow the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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