CSU breaks ground on new equine hospital

Dorina Vida

You could lead a horse to water, or you could lead them to Colorado State University’s new equine horse hospital. 

CSU broke ground on Aug. 6 for the new Johnson Family Equine Hospital, to replace the University’s current equine hospital. 


“(The new hospital) is to update and replace the current equine hospital that was built in the mid ’70s,” Chris Kawcak, director of Equine Clinical Services, wrote in an email to The Collegian. “This includes updates in equipment and spacing to optimize patient care.” 

This new space will allow for an expansion of services and will supply space for staff to utilize new and innovative techniques, Kawcak wrote.

Construction of this building will add to the growing programs around equine health.” Chris Kawcak, Director of Equine Clinical Services

“The new hospital will strengthen the University’s ability to provide exceptional services that improve the physical and emotional well-being of more than 6,637 patients per year,” Tim Hackett, interim associate dean of the Veterinary Health System at CSU, wrote in a statement to The Collegian.

The hospital will provide services in surgery, field services, sports medics, dentistry, cardiac care and rehabilitation, among a variety of others, Kawcak wrote. The current equine hospital also provides medical training on campus for over 500 veterinary students.

“Just like a human hospital, we address all aspects of medical care,” Kawcak wrote. “On any given day, we can be working on anything from a 2,000 pound Clydesdale to a newborn miniature foal. The hospital provides for all services.” 

In 2008, CSU’s equine hospital recognized the need for more space, Kawcak wrote. That’s when planning for the new hospital began. Construction is projected to begin in October of this year, with completion anticipated in the spring or summer of 2020. 

“In addition to providing both primary and specialized care to the Fort Collins horse industry, it is a resource for general care information,” Kawcak wrote. “We saw that this summer with the need to monitor for, and inform the community about, Vesicular Stomatitis in horses. The outbreak was significant, and specialists in the University provided medical consultation on the problem.”

The groundbreaking ceremony included Kawcak, CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank, CSU President Joyce McConnell and two representatives of the Johnson Family Foundation, according to SOURCE.

“Construction of this building will add to the growing programs around equine health,” Kawcak wrote. 

Dorina Vida can be reached at news@collegian.com or Twitter @simply_she_.