A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center’s $2.8 million Equine Performance Testing Center took place March 29.

The new facility is designed to offer a full range of services to horse owners and enhance equine education for veterinary students.

Nearly 505 of the roughly 2,500 services provided annually by the Veterinary Health Center equine clinicians involve performance-related disorders. The Equine Performance Testing Center is designed to provide safe, year-round access to consistent footing and shelter for patients, clients, students, and clinicians.

The facility offers an indoor riding arena with hard and soft footing for use in evaluating and diagnosing lameness or performance limiting issues affecting equine patients. The facility also includes an indoor examination area, radiology suite, farrier space, and consultation room.

"It is valuable for us to have an indoor facility where we can evaluate horses under-saddle," said Beth Davis, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM,, interim head of the clinical sciences department in the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine. "We can teach veterinary students regardless of weather conditions. Our ribbon-cutting ceremony was a great example because it was a rainy day. We were easily able to accommodate our guests indoors, all while giving a live demonstration of the type of testing that we can do."

Added Liz Santschi, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, professor of equine surgery at Kansas State, "The center has wonderful footing, and it helps immensely to be covered from the elements and safe from the wind. It’s going to be a great place for people to safely ride their horses, so we can evaluate both their respiratory and, most importantly, their lameness conditions."

Private donations have funded more than $800,000 of the project, but Davis said there are still opportunities to help purchase important equipment and support the equine program. For more information, contact the development office at 785/532-4378.