FORT COLLINS, Colo. — As a leader in research focused on equine sciences and occupational therapy, Colorado State University is uniquely positioned to house a state-of-the-art facility devoted to equine-assisted activities and therapies on the CSU Foothills Campus in Fort Collins.
The planned Temple Grandin Equine Center building will be such a space – serving as both a home to CSU’s equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) research as well as a facility in which EAAT sessions will take place.
Fundraising for the $6.5 million building is already well under way with a $1 million gift from Doug and Vivian Newton and a $1.1 million gift from the Bender Foundation. The Newtons were founders of Rocky Top Therapy, which focused on providing EAAT sessions in the Dallas area. Eileen Greenberg is a trustee of the Bender Foundation, created in honor of her parents. Greenberg became acquainted with EAAT through her time as a volunteer at a Colorado-based EAAT center. The Temple Grandin Equine Center will be built in two phases, with the first phase costing $3.5 million.
Through a $500,000 grant from the WaterShed Animal Fund, CSU will become a regional training center for the Right Horse Initiative, which will help identify horses appropriate for adoption into EAAT programs. CSU will partner with the Harmony Equine Center and the Certified Horsemanship Association to house and care for 60 horses annually that will eventually be used to help provide EAAT. This grant will provide resources for hands-on learning opportunities for students, rescue horses in transition and source horses for EAAT activities nationwide.
Presence at National Western Complex
In addition to the Fort Collins building, there will be a space devoted to the Temple Grandin Equine Center at the newly renovated National Western Center in Denver. Although much of the EAAT research will take place at the Fort Collins facility, EAAT sessions will take place in both Fort Collins and Denver, making EAAT more accessible to patients and families in the Denver metro area.
Additionally, CSU has received in-kind support from Hutchison Western, Inc., a manufacturing and distribution company based out of Denver. Hutchison donated horse fences, stalls and feeders to build out a temporary location of the Temple Grandin Equine Center at the National Western Complex. Because of this generous gift, children from surrounding schools have received EAAT services. Hutchison is committed to a long-term partnership with CSU and has plans to support future projects with additional in-kind support, including CSU’s Translational Medical Institute and Temple Grandin Equine Center building in Fort Collins, along with the new CSU facilities at the new National Western Center in Denver.
“We are tremendously grateful to our supporters who are committed to helping make the Temple Grandin Equine Center a reality,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Equine-assisted activities and therapies hold the promise of improving quality of life for children, veterans and others whose interactions with these horses have brought them comfort and a renewed outlook on the world around them.”
Groundbreaking for Phase I of the Temple Grandin Equine Center in Fort Collins is scheduled for 2018, pending the completion of Phase I fundraising. EAAT activities taking place in Denver are housed at the National Western Complex, and the new Denver facility is expected to come online in 2021.
For more information about how to support phase I of the Temple Grandin Equine Center building campaign, contact Keely Mendicino at 970-491-1758 or Keely.Mendicino@colostate.edu.
— Jason Kosovski, Colorado State University
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