The Ilona English Equine Performance Evaluation Facility (EPEF) was dedicated Nov. 7 at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's New Bolton Center.
The facility is an 80 ft. by 120 ft. indoor arena that offers an even, dependable and appropriate riding surface for the evaluation of horses, the announcement said. Shelter from the weather -- snow, ice, rain and summer sun -- provides a safer and more comfortable environment for patients, clients, clinicians, nurses and students. EPEF is also capable of supporting mobile technology routinely used by sports medicine clinicians in lameness diagnoses.
"This building will be an integral element in our sports medicine program," explained Dr. Elizabeth Davidson, associate professor of sports medicine at the New Bolton Center who was a primary force behind the building and its design. "As we continue to build one of the premier equine sports medicine programs anywhere, this facility will help us to excel in patient care by giving us the ability to evaluate horses, regardless of the weather, in a safe environment."
Ilona English, a University of Pennsylvania graduate and breeder and owner of Summit Sporthorses & Sportponies in Ringoes, N.J., spearheaded the initiative to build an indoor arena and provided the initial funding for the project. Blue Bell equestrian Saly Glassman was another major donor.
EPEF was built by King Construction Co. of New Holland, Pa.
The sports medicine team at the New Bolton Center offers a wide range of specialty services that address lameness problems plus issues with the heart and airways. State-of-the-art imaging capabilities allow veterinarians to diagnose and treat performance-limiting conditions in horses of all disciplines, the announcement said.
EPEF is the initial phase of a two-phase project that will culminate in the Equine Performance Clinic. The proposed complex will include holding stalls, an enclosed hard trot-up track and hard surface lunging area, diagnostic center, procedure room, client services, sophisticated farrier clinic and more.