University of Saskatchewan

April 23, 2014   

U of S names horse health centre after Saskatoon philanthropists

Heather Ryan playing polo in August 2010. On Campus News photo by Judy Wood
January 18, 2011

An expanded facility for horse health at the University of Saskatchewan will be called the Ryan/Dubé Equine Performance Centre in recognition of a Saskatoon couple’s longtime support for veterinary research and education.

Heather Ryan and her husband, L. David Dubé, contributed $1.2 million toward the expansion of the college's existing equine performance centre. The Government of Saskatchewan, Marg and Ron Southern of Calgary, Alta., and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) provided the remaining funding for the $2.8 million project.

Construction will begin in February 2011. The project will add nearly 1,000 sq m (10,600 sq. ft.) to the centre, as well as vital resources to the WCVM’s equine education, clinical and research programs. “This expansion will give our students, faculty and staff the tools and indoor space that they need to enhance horse health care in Western Canada,” says WCVM Dean Douglas Freeman.

“In particular, this building will be a focal point for diagnosing, treating and investigating different lameness issues. Through those activities, it will also be a place where our veterinary students can learn more about how to recognize and accurately diagnose the causes of lameness in horses, and provide their future clients with the best treatment options,” adds Freeman.

Built in 1998, the original horse health facility includes a high-speed treadmill and a computerized force plate system. The centre’s new features will include a paved indoor runway for lameness examinations, an indoor exercise ring that is critical for diagnosing and detecting subtle lameness issues, and a multi-purpose area equipped with two restraint stocks. The centre will also become a focal point for horse handling labs, teaching demonstrations and continuing veterinary education seminars.

Ryan and Dubé’s previous contributions to the WCVM include a $1.07 million gift to the college’s equine and companion animal health programs. They also created a matching gift incentive program in 2006 that has helped raise more than $450,000 for equine health research at the WCVM in the past four years.

The WCVM is Western Canada’s premier centre for veterinary education, research and expertise. Nearly 450 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled at the internationally-recognized institution that includes a veterinary teaching hospital, provincial diagnostics laboratory and research facilities.

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For more information contact:

Myrna MacDonald, Communications
WCVM, University of Saskatchewan
Tel: 306-225-4479 Cell: 306-291-9950
Email: sm.ridley@sasktel.net

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