The Ilona English Equine Performance Evaluation Facility (EPEF), the newest building on the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (Penn Vet) New Bolton Center Campus, was dedicated on Nov. 7 amidst a cold rain, weather which demonstrated just why such a facility is important to the Kennett Square, Pa., campus. The campus cares for large animals, and 85% of the patients seen by New Bolton Center veterinarians are horses.
"This kind of weather," said Elizabeth Davidson, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, associate professor of sports medicine at Penn Vet, in her opening remarks, "is exactly the reason we need this building." The facility is an 80 foot by 120 foot indoor arena that offers an even riding surface for the evaluation of horses. Shelter from the weather–from snow, ice, and rain to searing summer sun–provides a safer and more comfortable environment for patients, clients, clinicians, nurses, and students. The building is also capable of supporting mobile technology routinely used by sports medicine clinicians in lameness diagnoses.
"This building will be an integral element in our sports medicine program," explained Davidson, who was a primary force behind the building and its design. "As we continue to build one of the premier equine sports medicine programs anywhere, this facility will help us to excel in patient care by giving us the ability to evaluate horses, regardless of the weather, in a safe environment."
Ilona English, a Penn grad and breeder and owner of Summit Sporthorses and Sportponies in Ringoes, NJ, spearheaded the initiative to build an indoor arena and provided the initial funding f