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Insight/Report on Private Giving
State-of-the-Art Orthopaedic Research Center a Symbol of Dedication
Gail Holmes’ passion is cutting horses, so when she read an article in U.S. News and World Report that Colorado State was rated as the number two veterinary school in the country, she called Dr. Ed Squires and requested a tour. Impressed with the faculty and staff, innovative research, and potential for growth and development, Holmes began a relationship with CSU that has greatly enriched the University’s various equine programs.
Holmes, who owns Double Dove Ranch in Longmont, Colorado, first became part of the Preservation of Equine Genetics (PEG) program, joining that group’s advisory board. To assist in their efforts to acquire funding, Holmes began a stallion service auction where the stallion owner donates a breeding fee that is sold to the highest bidder. The money from the sale is then donated to PEG.
The first year, Holmes called 25 of the leading cutting horse stallion owners in the country, and only two turned her down. Since their inception in 1999, the auctions have raised more than $100,000 annually for PEG.
Working with PEG was just the start for Holmes. Her philanthropy soon spread to the Equine Reproduction Laboratory which was in dire need of a new barn for visiting stallions and their attendant demands. Generous gifts from Holmes, Herbert Allen (also of Double Dove Ranch) and Shirley Hoffman of Hi View Acres in Longmont, made the construction of a new stallion barn possible. The barn comprises expanding laboratory space for the freezing, storage and export of semen, space for semen collection, and a barn to house 10 visiting stallions. The building is specially designed to withstand the added stress that stallions can put on facilities.
During this same time, Holmes was actively garnering financial support for a new equine orthopaedic research center as well. The orthopaedic program at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital was rapidly outgrowing its space as it sought to improve the musculoskeletal health of horses and humans. Research programs were competing with clinical programs for surgical time and space, and resources were stretched beyond capacity. In 2002, after years of hard work on the part of faculty and staff, and tremendous generosity on the part of donors, the Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center opened its doors.
Today, the Center houses a surgical suite with viewing windows, a treatment room with a high-speed treadmill for exercising horses, two wings of deluxe horse stalls, multiple turnouts, offices, conference rooms and, most exciting, the Equine Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Center.
For Holmes, the philanthropic work she has done at CSU has simply been an extension of her love of cutting horses and wanting to do what she can to help those who are helping to improve the quality of life for all horses. Her legacy will continue for many years to come as horses, and humans, garner the benefits of her generosity.