12/04/2013 8:55AM

Cornell University to open equine hospital near Belmont Park


A new equine hospital is scheduled to open across the street from Belmont Park in the spring of 2014.

Under a lease-buy agreement with Racebrook Capital Advisors LLC, Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will establish Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists, a referral and emergency care hospital on the property of the defunct Ruffian Equine Medical Center.

The Ruffian Equine Medical Center, a brainchild of International Equine Acquisitions Holdings Inc., which campaigned 2008 champion 3-year-old Big Brown, opened in May 2009, but closed down in March 2011. After IEAH failed to meet required financial obligations, the two-story property located on Plainfield Ave., across from the Belmont backstretch, was put up for auction in May.

The new facility, at 22,000 square feet, will open in April 2014 and at first will provide elective equine specialty services to horses referred by their attending veterinarians, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine. Full emergency and critical care services will be offered by the spring of 2015.

Dr. Alan Nixon, a renowned equine orthopedic surgeon and director of Cornell’s Comparative Orthopedics Laboratory, will serve as the chief medical officer of Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists. The hospital will be staffed by Cornell University veterinarians and technicians and will offer a full complement of equine medical services.

“We are looking forward to joining the well-established horseracing and sport horse communities in the area, adding value to veterinarians, trainers, and owners in the region and supporting the critical equine industry in the State of New York,” Dr. Michael Kotlikoff, the dean of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell and a special advisor to the New York Racing Association’s board of directors, said in a press release.