With a generous donation from Suzanne and Glenn Youngkin, Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) can now provide enhanced sports medicine to equine athletes of all kinds. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Nov. 18, 2018, at the Fout Barn, the former open-air barn that is now a state-of-the-art sports medicine facility. The renovation is to expand their ability to provide diagnostics and treatment for lameness and other conditions that prevent optimal performance.

“We are very honored to play a small role in Virginia Tech’s big vision for integrated veterinary, farrier and specialty care to enhance horse soundness and health,” says Suzanne Youngkin, a member of the EMC Advisory Council.

The EMC was founded in 1984 through a gift from the late Marion duPont Scott in the form of 200 acres of land, as well as other private donations.

“We are grateful for Suzanne and Glenn’s generous gift to Virginia Tech, as we continue to grow our footprint and impact in Northern Virginia,” says Mike Moyer, Virginia Tech’s associate vice president of development for colleges. 

The 3,500-square-foot clinic includes four holding stalls, two waiting and observation areas for clients and a large open examination, diagnostic and treatment area. Specialists can use an integrated approach to patient soundness by incorporating traditional medicine with alternative care, such as acupuncture and chiropractic techniques. 

“This creates a unique health-care model where specialists travel to the patient, as opposed to the horse having to rotate between different specialists,” says Michael Erskine, EMC director. 

Many services will be provided, including complex lameness diagnosis, advanced imaging, nonsurgical and surgical treatments and rehabilitation. Also, the hope is to develop athletic wellness practices while collaborating with owners, veterinarians, trainers, farriers and other equine professionals. 

Next to the clinic is a podiatry center, which includes a team of farriers led by Paul Goodness. They work with veterinarians to create strategic hoof-care treatment and prevention plans. Also, there is a Regenerative Medicine Laboratory nearby, founded and run by Jennifer Barrett, the Theodora Ayer Randolph Professor of Equine Surgery. Here, stem cells and blood-based products can be used in regenerative therapies by encouraging the body to use its own cells to heal after trauma. 

The next phase of the soundness clinic will include the construction of a covered arena where specialists can observe gait variances over different surfaces. A covered walkway will connect the arena to the Youngkin Clinic.