Shelley Duke pledges $10 million estate gift to support Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Cente

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(News story from Virginia Tech news service)

BLACKSBURG, Va., December 18, 2007 -- Shelley Duke, owner and manager of Rallywood Farm in Middleburg, Virginia, has pledged a gift of more than $10 million through her estate to Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg.

This estate gift, the largest in the hospital's history, is expected to eventually establish a major emergency and critical care program.

"We are extremely grateful for Shelley's generosity and vision," said Dr. Nat White, Jean Ellen Shehan Professor and Director of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center. "Her gift is extraordinary in terms of the impact that it will have on horses treated at the equine medical center and on veterinary medicine around the world."

Duke said she made this pledge for the future advancement of the equine medical center in large part due to the strong relationships that she has developed with the center's faculty and staff as a leader, client, and volunteer.

"I wanted to ensure that there will always be a place for horses within the Mid-Atlantic Region to be treated when they are critically ill or injured," said Duke. "In terms of equine surgery and internal medicine, I just don't know where you can find better care and knowledge at work."