Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital Takes Shape as Construction Proceeds and Specialist is Hired

July 15, 2016

The walls for the Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital are going up in Shelbyville as construction progresses.

The walls for the Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital are going up in Shelbyville as construction progresses.

Construction is underway with exterior walls now giving shape to the new Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital near Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville, Ind., as the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine hires a life-long equine enthusiast and board certified equine surgeon to lead the veterinary medical team that will treat equine patients.  Dr. Timm Gudehus will start officially in October as clinical assistant professor of equine surgery.  The facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.  

As a satellite facility of the College of Veterinary Medicine, the new hospital will provide specialty medical and surgical services for horse owners while also supporting equine research and education of future equine specialists. Its location is just a few miles from the track at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, and within an hour's drive from Hoosier Park in Anderson, Ind.

Dr. Timm Gudehus visited the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine July 11.

Dr. Timm Gudehus visited Purdue in July.

Dr. Gudehus comes to Indiana from Germany where he has served as an equine surgery specialist since 2012.  His love of horses and equestrian sports dates back to his early childhood, growing up in a family with a long history of horse riding and breeding.  His interest in riding show-jumpers turned semi-professional as he finished high school and went on to veterinary school in Munich.  After earning the German equivalent of the DVM degree, and completing an internship in Munich, he came to the U.S. for an internship in equine orthopedics in California, followed by a residency in equine surgery at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. 

“This additional training in the U.S. exposed me to all the equine disciplines that I hadn’t seen until that point, especially thoroughbreds, racing quarter horses and a little bit of western performance,” said Dr. Gudehus.  “That was followed by a two-year stint as a staff surgeon in Auckland, New Zealand, which added the very last discipline that I hadn’t worked on, which was Standardbreds.” 

Dr. Gudehus returned to Germany with his wife, an American citizen and small animal veterinarian, to become the leading surgeon of one of the largest and fastest growing hospitals in Europe, where he worked on Olympic level warmblood horses.  “That adds up to 13 years as a veterinarian, almost ten in my surgical training, and six years as a boarded surgeon, on three continents and back, in every discipline,” he said.

Now he looks forward to returning to the U.S. to take-on the challenge of opening the new Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital.  “I am excited about the fact that pretty much all these equine disciplines are gathered around the new facility in Shelbyville.  I really hope that people will look at this and say ‘cool, here’s somebody who otherwise we would have to fly in,’ to do exactly what I will be providing at this facility,” Dr. Gudehus explained.  “I also am really excited to work on race-horses again...my heart beats with the speed horses.”

Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine Willie Reed said Dr. Gudehus’ experience and expertise, and the state-of-the-art facility, will be great resources for the Indiana equine industry.  “I couldn’t be more pleased with the way in which the dream of a world-class equine specialty hospital in proximity to our state’s two race tracks is becoming a reality,” Dean Reed said.

In addition to recruiting Dr. Gudehus, the College of Veterinary Medicine also has hired two equine veterinary technologists who are training in the Purdue Large Animal Hospital in West Lafayette, before moving to the facility in Shelbyville when it opens.  The Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital will offer advanced diagnostic imaging, shockwave therapy, nuclear medicine, regenerative medicine, endoscopic laser surgery and specialized equine orthopedic and soft tissue surgery.

Site preparation for the facility began last fall, at the time of the official groundbreaking for the hospital.  Actual construction started this spring.  The $8.8 million, 18,000 square foot structure is being built on land purchased by the Purdue Research Foundation with $2.3 million in support from Shelby County and the City of Shelbyville.  Centaur Gaming, which owns and operates Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Hoosier Park, pledged $3.1 million to name the facility. 

Writer: Kevin Doerr, pvmnews@purdue.edu

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