The 2008-2009 New York state budget has a nice surprise for the state's horse community. The state funded a $7 million construction project to build an Equine Physiology and Rehabilitation Center at Morrisville State College in Morrisville, New York.
The new center is designed to augment Morrisville State's comprehensive equine studies programs. Construction of this facility will add another learning opportunity for students and will provide an important resource and training center for the equine racing industry in New York.
The facility will be equipped to condition horses, provide physical therapy for injured horses, and to study and research methods to improve equine conditioning and training. It will include equipment such as an underwater treadmill, therapy swimming pool, Eurociser (computer operated walker with variable speeds), a hyperbaric oxygen chamber and a physiology lab. Stabling for horses and an indoor track are also planned.
The college will offer an Equine Physiology concentration within in its Equine Science bachelor degree, and plans to offer a bachelor degree in Equine Physiology.
Morrisville has one of the most unique equestrian teams: in addition to hunter/jumper and western teams competing on the ICHS calendar, students are involved with showing the schools' signature six-horse hitch of Percherons in shows. It is the only school in the United States with a draft horse showing program.
Morrisville State College offers a bachelor of technology degree in equine science and two associate degrees in equine racing management and equine science and management. Facilities include a draft barn with a covered round pen and runouts and a 34,000 square-foot breeding and hunter jumper facility. This state-of-the-art facility includes a breeding and foaling barn, a hunter jumper barn, five-stall stallion barn, a complete breeding laboratory, collection area, laptop classroom and two indoor riding arenas.
A western and racing facility has two indoor riding arenas with a heated classroom, a one-half mile racing track, four hot walkers, three round pens and two outdoor riding arenas, paddocks and riding trails. The racing program includes training of both Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds.
New York Facts and Figures: New York is home to approximately 200,000 horses, according to the state's 2006 survey, which also showed that 54 percent of horses in New York were kept primarily for pleasure use, up from 39 percent in 2000. Breeding horses totaled 26,900, down slightly from 2000. A total of 14,500 horses were used primarily for racing, with Thoroughbreds accounting for 63 percent and Standardbreds accounting for 37 percent. Fourteen percent of horses in New York were used for competition. The category of lesson horses was added for the 2005 survey and totaled 11,100 head of horses. The remainder of New York's horses were used for specialty use (riding camps, carriage rides, etc.) or "other" uses, such as farm work.
New York owners spent a total of $2.06 billion during 2005 for operating and capital expenses, an increase of nearly three times above the 2000 total of $704 million. During the five-year interim, owners reported a doubling in costs for farrier, veterinary and horse health expenses.