Centre expands research

Professor Chris Whitton performs an ultrasound on a horse at Werribee Equine Centre. (Stuart Winthrope/the University of Melbourne) 243368_01

A $3 million donation to the U-Vet Werribee Equine Centre will allow the facility to expands its research capability with cutting-edge diagnostic imaging equipment and clinical care.

Husband and wife Martin and Loreto Hosking announced the generous donation last week.

Mr Hosking, co-founder of the Redbubble online marketplace, stepped down as chief executive in 2018 to start the charitable Three Springs Foundation with his wife.

Their donation to the equine centre will help develop its equine lameness prevention and diagnosis program, through funding for a specialist clinician position to expand diagnosis and treatment of horse lameness.

Melbourne Veterinary School head, Professor Anna Meredith, welcomed the donation.

“This generous gift from the Hoskings will allow the equine centre to expand its research and clinical services to performance and leisure horses and thereby serve a larger portion of the equine community in Victoria,” Professor Meredith said.

Ms Hosking said that the U-Vet Werribee Equine Centre conducted important research.

“It impacts the local community, the veterinary community, and the research and higher education sectors – as well as the horses we love and care for – so it was important to us to support this work and our community,” she said.

Research conducted at the U-Vet centre aims to build a catalogue of knowledge and clinical techniques to benefit the wellbeing of horses.

Its next phase of research, funded by Racing Victoria, the centre will explore new methods for assessing injury indicators in a horse’s stride, , and improving diagnostic imaging methods and develop software for assessing limb injury risk in real time.

Racing Victoria and the University of Melbourne announced last month that U-Vet would deliver year-round 24-hour emergency on-call service for serious limb injuries and fractures incurred by thoroughbreds in training and racing, extending its previous commitment to provide these services during key racing carnivals.