Veterinary students at Texas A&M will soon have a new home for equine science education, research and outreach. At a total cost of $80 million, phase 1 of construction began in October. Planning for the new center began in May 2012 when the Texas A&M Board of Regents approved negotiation of a ground lease with an anonymous donor that allowed for construction to begin. Initial construction will include an education and outreach center, facilities for the Texas A&M Equestrian Team, a cross country course in collaboration with Texas A&M Athletics, and new facilities for the Parsons Mounted Cavalry.
With a long history of teaching, research, equine medicine, and outreach, Texas A&M has been a vital contributor to the equine industry for generations. Both the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences have been instrumental in providing the equine industry with knowledge and care that have advanced not only equine sciences, but the welfare of the horse as well. The Texas A&M Equine Initiative was created to collaboratively utilize existing expertise within the university to build an equine program that will graduate the industry’s future leaders and generate research and veterinary medical care that will improve the industry and the care and welfare of the horse. To support its mission, the Equine Initiative has developed four major imperatives. In each of these areas, the focus will be to enhance and improve upon Texas A&M’s existing strengths. The four imperatives are curriculum enhancement, outreach & engagement expansion, facility construction and partnership development.