The official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Centaur Regional Equine Diagnostic and Surgical Center was hosted by Purdue University at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino Tuesday, Oct. 20. The event drew more than 200 industry leaders as well as numerous dignitaries from the community, Purdue University and Centaur Gaming.
Dr. Willie Reed, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, kicked off the program with remarks regarding the project that is expected to cost $8.8 million. The state-of-the-art Centaur Regional Equine Diagnostic and Surgical Center will provide health services to horses and serve as a working laboratory to support the College of Veterinary Medicine’s student learning and research.
“This is truly a dream come true,” said Dr. Reed. “The college has a long history of delivering top notch equine services. We look forward to expanding our services to the equine industry through this new facility.”
The center will be built on land purchased by Purdue Research Foundation with $2.3 million in support from Shelby County and the City of Shelbyville. Centaur Gaming, which owns and operates both Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Ind. and Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind., has pledged $3.1 million to assist with the facility.
Rod Ratcliff, chairman and CEO of Centaur Gaming, Inc., addressed how important horse racing is to the state of Indiana and the impact the business has on all 92 counties by generating tourism and supporting agribusiness, which has a direct link to the economy.
“Purdue has had a longstanding commitment to the horse racing industry,” said Ratcliff. “They have encouraged race horse breeding operations and farms, which is a vital resource to all those involved in racing that currently call Indiana home. This center takes another step to propel the Indiana horse racing industry forward. We are very proud to be involved in this project, and we are honored to be working with Purdue University and the City of Shelbyville and Shelby County.”
Mitch Daniels, former governor of Indiana and current president of Purdue University, provided comments regarding the project, noting Purdue’s commitment to the state and its economic development. He pointed out Purdue’s mission as Indiana’s land grant university and the value the College of Veterinary Medicine has been to the state. Daniels also noted the passion and commitment of Dr. Bob Jackman in bringing the project to fruition, and thanked him for his assistance and guidance along the way.
Daniels was joined by Dr. Reed, Ratcliff, Kevin Nigh, president of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners and Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun for the official ceremony to signify the groundbreaking for the facility, which is located on Bassett Road just off Interstate 74, only one and one-half miles east of Indiana Grand. The facility is scheduled to open in 2016.