Purdue University/Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital honored during racing
The highly anticipated opening of the new Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital has arrived. The facility, located adjacent to I-74 just minutes from Indiana Grand, started accepting patients in mid-February. Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine made the opening official with a building dedication Tuesday, April 25 at the hospital.
More than 200 people attended the event, which featured several guest speakers, including Dean Willie Reed, Jim Brown, president and COO of Centaur Gaming, Senator Robert Jackman, a veterinarian who was instrumental in the development of the facility, and Dr. Timm Gudehus, lead surgeon at the hospital. The Indianapolis Mounted Police presented the colors during the National Anthem and Otto Thorwarth, aboard retired Quarter Horse racehorse Big John from the John McCreary Stable, represented Indiana Grand and Centaur Gaming as Garry Lauziere, Indiana Grand’s official bugler, played the “Call to Post” and “Back Home Again in Indiana.”
During his comments at the building dedication, Brown noted that horse racing industry makes a $1 billion dollar impact annually in the state of Indiana, touching all 92 counties. It also employs more than 10,000 people in the state.
“The Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital will contribute to the ongoing growth of Indiana’s horse racing industry by encouraging the creation of new racehorse breeding operations and farms, in addition to acting as a vital resource for those horse owners, trainers and breeders that currently call Indiana home,” added Brown. “Our contribution to the Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital wouldn’t be possible without Rod Ratcliff’s leadership, dedication and passion for horse racing in Indiana. And, the growth and recent national success of the industry are a direct result of a unique partnership among Centaur Gaming, the Indiana Standardbred Association, Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.”
Following the ceremony, guests received tours of the new hospital by the staff at the facility, including Dr. Kayla Le, staff veterinarian, Cheryl Boyd, chief anesthesia technologist, Shelby Harber, lead diagnostic imaging technician and surgical nurse, and Morgan Allen, veterinary technician and surgical nurse. The staff accommodated around 150 guests through the facility for special tours and several equine patients were in place, providing the full effect of the importance of having such a state of the art facility available in Central Indiana.
At the conclusion of the building dedication, members of the Purdue University team as well as special guests assembled at Indiana Grand for the sixth race, named in honor of both Purdue University and the Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital. The race was won by Crafty Spector and jockey Tommy Pompell, and the entire team came out for a group photo with the winning connections. Dean Reed, Senator Jackman, Dr. Gudehus, Dr. Stephen Adams and Dr. Mimi Arighi joined Peter Lurie for an interview following the race.
“This facility (Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital) came out of a conversation with Senator Jackman in 2006,” noted Reed in his speech at the ceremony. “Then, officials from Shelbyville and Shelby County stepped up in support along with Centaur Gaming. We are very proud to be able to provide a state of the art hospital for the equine industry in the state of Indiana.”
Dr. Adams, professor of large animal surgery at Purdue, and Dr. Arighi, who recently retired as professor in Purdue’s veterinary administration department, were both instrumental in the development and design of the facility. Dr. Gudehus and his staff have already hit the ground running since the soft opening earlier this year, treating a variety of cases, including gastrointestinal surgery, mare and foal birthing assistance and fracture repairs. They have also had a variety of breeds as equine guests in the past two months.