Malones Contribute $6M to Colorado State

The Malone Family Foundation, led by media magnate and philanthropist John C. Malone, has donated $6 million to Colorado State University's Orthopaedic Research Center to assist the center's scientific discovery and clinical expertise in equine sports medicine and rehabilitation.

Malone, chairman of Englewood, Colo.-based Liberty Media Corp., and his wife Leslie, a lifelong horse lover, equestrian, and major supporter of the United States Olympic Dressage Team, recently purchased renowned Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, Fla.

The CSU gift will establish the Leslie A. Malone Presidential Chair in Equine Sports Medicine and will expand the Orthopaedic Research Center's Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Program by supporting an additional faculty member and resident. The faculty member to hold the chair has not yet been named, according to the announcement.

"We are grateful for the Malone Family Foundation's substantial gift, and for the foresight of John and Leslie Malone, who understand the importance of supporting leading-edge teaching, research, and clinical service in equine sports medicine and rehabilitation," CSU president Tony Frank said in a statement. "This gift will help Colorado State to advance a new veterinary specialty that is critical to the health of equine athletes and the horse industry."

Leslie Malone, who runs Harmony Sporthorses in Kiowa, Colo., has been committed for nearly two decades to boosting the prestige of dressage in the United States through focused horse breeding and training programs. She has worked with multiple Olympians, both horses and riders, and raises Hanoverian, Oldenburg, and Dutch Warmblood sporthorses, according to the release.

CSU Orthopaedic Research Center's faculty members, led by Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, have worked with competitive race horses, cutting and reining horses, jumpers, and dressage horses. The center has a reputation for solving problems in equine musculoskeletal disease and injury, with development of new diagnostic imaging and surgical techniques, as well as cutting-edge gene and stem cell therapies.

As an outgrowth of its focus areas, the Orthopaedic Research Center in 2010 established the first and, so far, only residency program in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in the United States.

The center not only trains future specialists, but is home to four Charter Diplomates and a fifth Diplomate by examination in the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. The American Veterinary Medical Association accredited the ACVSMR in 2009 to certify specialists in the field.

"Our work with talented equine athletes has shown us how crucial it is to understand the complete picture of sporthorse health, and to provide all the care they need when these animals are competing at the highest levels," said Leslie Malone, namesake of CSU's Presidential Chair in Equine Sports Medicine. "I hope this gift to CSU will elevate a veterinary specialty that is central to the competitive abilities of equine athletes."

McIlwraith, founding director of the Orthopaedic Research Center and a decorated equine surgeon and orthopaedic researcher, said the Malone gift will help CSU set a gold standard for teaching, research, and clinical service in equine sports medicine and rehabilitation.

"We truly appreciate the Malone's gift because our raison d'être is making things better for the horse," said McIlwraith. "Within our center, we have people with expertise in different areas, but it all comes back to improving life for the equine athlete. That's what equine sports medicine and rehabilitation is all about, and we've got a terrific mix of talent here to advance a specialty that's vital to the future of sporthorse care."
 

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