New equine hospital at Belmont set to open
ELMONT, N.Y. — A $17 million, state-of-the-art equine referral hospital near Belmont Park that will serve the New York metropolitan area was to open in early September, according to its owners, International Equine Acquisitions Holdings (IEAH), the group that owns 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown.
Under construction since last summer, the 23,000-square-foot Ruffian Equine Medical Center will offer the latest in veterinary equipment, diagnostics and treatment, with stalls for 29 horses. Features include two surgical suites, a nuclear scinti-graphy machine to examine lameness, a treadmill endoscopy to help diagnose respiratory problems and a pharmacy.
James C. Hunt, DVM, who practices at Belmont Park, is director of the new center, and New Jersey practitioner Patty Hogan, VMD, Dipl. ACVS, will be the head surgeon. Also on staff is Emma Adam, BVetMed, MRCVS, who is board-certified in both surgery and medicine. A surgeon-throat specialist is expected to be named later.The Ruffian center is named for the famed filly racehorse that was euthanized after breaking her right front leg during a Belmont race in 1975.
It will be available to serve some 500 horses at Aqueduct, 2,200 at Belmont and perhaps 10,000 performance and pleasure horses on Long Island and around the metropolitan region. Many horses there that need specialized treatment currently are taken to the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center outside Philadelphia or to Cornell University at Ithaca, N.Y., both several hours away.
Hunt says he expects to start with a relatively small caseload and grow the business gradually.