Colorado State University celebrated the grand opening of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory on April 26, under sunny skies and with more than 400 people in attendance to enjoy the festivities. The 12,200-square-foot Equine Reproduction Laboratory is located on the university’s Foothills Campus. Fire destroyed the original main laboratory building in 2011.
The grand opening celebration of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory was being co-hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which collaborate on multiple equine teaching, research and service programs.
“A New Day,” a video highlighting Lindy Burch, a hall of fame breeder and trainer of cutting horses, and her world-class cutting horse, Bet Yer Blue Boons, was premiered at the dedication. Burch, of Weatherford, Texas, is a client of CSU’s Equine Reproduction Laboratory and has worked with the lab, using its advanced reproduction techniques to produce offspring from Bet Yer Blue Boons and other mares. Through the renowned work of the ERL, the Bet legend will continue through her progeny. The video can be viewed at http://youtu.be/c92TlhVy10I.
Burch spoke at the celebration and Bet Yer Blue Boons made a cameo appearance. Burch, a longtime supporter of the laboratory, was joined by other private supporters who have come together to aid in rebuilding efforts for the ERL. While the insurance settlement from the fire covered a portion of the rebuilding, private donors enabled the ERL to expand and improve beyond the original facility. Nashville-recording artist Pete Martinez performed his song “The Horse,” the title song to the documentary film “Horse Sense” which tells the story of the bond between humans and horses, and the equine programs at Colorado State University.
“As devastating as the fire was, the tragedy turned into an opportunity thanks to the leadership at CSU,” said Jerry Black, DVM, Director of both the CSU Equine Sciences Program and the Equine Reproduction Laboratory. “We have been able to redesign and enhance the facility in every way to truly make it a world-class equine reproductive laboratory. It will benefit our students and the equine industry for decades to come.”
For 30 years, researchers at the Equine Reproduction Laboratory have developed reproductive techniques benefiting horses and preserving bloodlines. Multiple techniques used today in human and animal reproduction assistance were pioneered at the laboratory, including semen freezing and cooling, embryo transfer and other advanced reproductive procedures, including intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and advanced methods of semen and embryo preservation.
Despite the fire, client services, teaching and research activities continued in other buildings on the grounds. More than 500 client horses are examined annually at the ERL.
The ERL has been an active research, education and clinical program within the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory since 1967.