$3 Million Gift from Iron Rose Ranch Establishes Chair in Equine Orthopaedic Research at Colorado State

The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University today is announcing the creation of the Iron Rose Ranch Endowed University Chair. The chair was established with a $3 million gift from Carbondale-based Iron Rose Ranch, among the largest gifts the university has received to establish a chair. The new chair will support the school’s internationally renowned equine veterinary medicine program and specifically support the prevention, treatment and cure of musculoskeletal equine disease and injury.

"Colorado State University is a leader in equine medicine, and our equine orthopeadic facility and research are among the best in the world," said Colorado State President Larry Edward Penley. "This generous gift will allow us to continue to set the pace in finding ways to prevent and cure equine orthopeadic injuries, and to translate those discoveries into solutions for human injuries as well."

The creation of the Iron Rose Ranch Chair is a great honor for the college and a lasting tribute to the faculty and staff of the Orthopaedic Research Center under the leadership of Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, said Dr. Lance Perryman, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "This generous gift is an important investment in the future of our college and its research, teaching and outreach programs, and it will greatly help us in our mission to advance animal care and cure animal and human disease."

The Iron Rose Ranch Chair will allow for the creation of a position in the equine health programs. An appointment to the chair will be announced at a later date. The chair will focus on researching the causes of joint disease in horses and humans as well as effective methods to detect the disease.

Specifically, the person appointed to this position will continue the center’s work to isolate mechanisms in joint tissues that induce and further the progression of joint injury and osteoarthritis. The chair will further research into equine orthopeadic medicine discovery and treatment methods such as computed tomography, which are layered x-rays of joints; magnetic resonance imaging, or MRIs; and joint modeling to develop strategies for early detection as well as to predict joint disease. In addition, the chair will be responsible for educating graduate students, undergraduate students and vet students and will work on clinical orthopedic patients in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Perryman noted that the establishment of the chair is especially appreciated in light of the current fiscal climate in Colorado and concerns about funding for higher education.

"Endowed chairs give us a permanent funding source to continue attracting and retaining gifted people to our faculty," he said.

The Colorado State University Foundation permanently invests funds that are given to establish endowed chairs, and the interest generated is used to support the chair. Since the principle amount is not used, endowments allow continuous funding to supplement the chair holder’s salary, graduate student work, research and activities that are tied to targeted industries.

The $3 million Iron Rose Ranch Chair gift was received as part of Colorado State’s initiative to add new chairs, which now total 19 at the university.

Carbondale-based Iron Rose Ranch breeds and sells cutting horses.