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Grand opening for new equine sports performance complex will be June 6

Equine lameness arena

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

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine will dedicate a new equine sports performance complex during a grand opening ceremony June 6 at 4:30 p.m.

The event is planned at UF’s Large Animal Hospital on the college campus, located at 2015 SW 16th Avenue in Gainesville.

“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 Dr. Alison Morton, 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 when they are in a familiar environment, such as a riding arena, that has a contained fence line and sure footing, Morton added.

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

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.

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

A reception will follow the ribbon cutting, and the public is invited.