Equine medical center under construction near Belmont racetrack

Equine medical center under construction near Belmont racetrack

Aug 01, 2007

Looking ahead: This is an architect's drawing of how IEAH Corp.'s new Equine Medical Center, near Belmont Park on New York's Long Island, will look when completed. A grand opening is planned in January.
ELMONT, N.Y. — A state-of-the-art equine medical facility under construction just outside New York's Belmont Park will aim to become the top private equine referral clinic for the Northeast, its owners say.

IEAH Corp. broke ground July 13 for the $15 million Equine Medical Center, which more than doubled in size from original plans after owners said demand for the facility grew beyond their early estimates.

Construction by J. Petrocelli Contracting, a New York firm, is expected to take about seven months, allowing for a January grand opening.

Original plans calling for an 11,000-square-foot clinic costing about $7 million were expanded to nearly 23,000 square feet. The center will have an array of diagnostic imaging, multiple surgical suites, treadmill endoscopy, bone scan, full chemistry lab, pharmacy and space for MRI.

Dr. James C. Hunt
Dr. James C. Hunt, DVM, whose practice already handles about 1,200 of the approximately 3,000 horses on the Belmont grounds, will be the clinic's head veterinarian and play a key role in bringing in surgeons and other staff.

Dr. Patricia Hogan, VMD, Dipl. ACVS, who was chief associate at the New Jersey Equine Clinic in Clarksburg, N.J., for 11 years, will be the center's head surgeon.

"She (Hogan) was at a point in her career that this seemed right for her, so we decided to team up on this project," Hunt says.

Plans for the medical center have been more than three years in the making, with IEAH Corp., a subsidiary of International Equine Acquisitions Holdings Inc., providing the financing in conjunction with John Roberts, Sanford Robbins, Andrew Cohen and the TAG Advisory Group. Michael Iavarone and Richard J. Schiavo, IEAH co-presidents, also are horsemen who race under the silks of IEAH Stables.

Dr. Patricia Hogan
The facility was designed by John Roberts Architects of London, and drawings were completed by Baldassano Architectural Group of New York, as architects of record.

"When we first sat down to talk about a major investment in an equine facility in this area, a training center was initially considered, but then it was decided that a first-class equine hospital would be a better use of the money and meet an important need as well," Hunt says. "It will be gorgeous, first-class and state-of-the-art."

Besides the large number of horses that run at the nearby Belmont and Aqueduct tracks, "there are probably 10,000 to 15,000 pleasure horses on Long Island alone," Hunt says. "We'll work with area vets, who can refer some of their more critical (surgery) cases to us, but we'll be a referral center only – we won't follow their patients around."

Hogan, who left the New Jersey clinic July 27, says "I was planning to start something on my own anyway, so when I was approached to work with this group, the timing and opportunity were perfect."

Hogan still plans to set up her own clinic near her home in New Jersey, but will divide her time between that and the Long Island facility, where "we'll hire at least one more surgeon full time and perhaps a part-time surgeon as well. Many in the large racetrack population already have contacted us, and of course we'll serve area veterinarians for referrals."