Ruffian Equine Medical Center Closes, Scheduled to Re-Open in May

The Ruffian Equine Medical Center (REMC) closed its doors for renovation on March 1. According to the hospital's website, the state-of-the-art equine hospital located across the street Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., is undergoing restructuring and plans to reopen in May.

The $18 million hospital financed by International Equine Acquisitions Holdings (IEAH) originally opened in 2009.

No one from IEAH was immediately available for comment, however a report from the Daily Racing Form indicated that Michael Iavarone, the co-president of IEAH, said the REMC was making some "internal changes" and planning to invest in some new equipment during the closure.

Iavarone added that because most of the horses normally stabled at Belmont Park winter in Florida, this is typically a slow time of year for the REMC and the hospital would be open again before the horses return to Belmont for the summer racing season.

The REMC is named after the race filly Ruffian, who broke down during a famed match race against the 1975 Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure. Ruffian was transported to the equine hospital owned by William Reed, DVM, where he repaired her shattered sesamoid (ankle) bones during several hours of emergency surgery. However, the filly fatally injured herself while recovering from anesthesia and was euthanized.

The REMC now stands on the site of Reed's hospital and, according to the hospital's website, "the hospital carries the name of the great filly Ruffian, both as a tribute to her legend, and as a promise of dedication to continued progress and achievement in equine health care."

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in three-day eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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