The University of Guelph celebrated the grand opening of a new health-care facility for equine athletes June 7.

The Equine Sports Medicine and Reproduction Centre (ESMRC) is designed to improve the quality of life and performance of horses through health care, education, and research. Located at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) but separate from the main hospital, the ESMRC will offer care in equine sports medicine, lameness evaluation and treatment, reproduction services, and diagnostic imaging.

"The OVC has been Canada’s leader in equine health care and research since the college was founded in Toronto in 1862," said University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee. "As we celebrate the OVC’s 150th anniversary year, I am delighted to announce the opening of the ESMRC. The new facilities and the work that goes on here will help ensure that Ontario’s equine industry continues to grow and prosper."

Construction of the ESMRC is supported by private donations and bequests, and builds on earlier industry and government research investments.

The center includes a new 70-by-140 foot exercise arena for evaluation of horses with lameness or other performance issues. Existing barn and stable areas have been upgraded and four new examination rooms have been added, including a radiology exam room and ultrasound treatment/exam room.

Through the ESMRC, specialists will offer advanced lameness evaluation and therapies; diagnostic equipment for cardiopulmonary, orthopedic, and other performance-limiting conditions; and reproductive services such as fertility evaluation, artificial insemination, and embry