Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell paid a special visit Thursday to the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center, where he checked on the condition of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro. During his visit, Rendell also presented a $13.5 million check to Jim Riepe, president of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees, for new medical facilities.Barbaro is recovering from a shattered hind leg sustained at the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) on May 20. Barbaro's medical team reported Thursday that the colt is "doing extremely well, and has been especially frisky today, displaying interest in nearby mares that are also at the Hospital. He remains in intensive care.The state funds will be used toward the completion of new medical facilities at the center, including a new isolation building, a colic barn and a chemical digestion facility. The isolation building will provide added biosecurity for the treatment of infectious disease, while the colic barn is for the specialized treatment of horses with a variety of high-risk abdominal conditions. The chemical digestion facility will house a new technology that offers a safe and efficient means to dispose of infectious waste.
"I visited Barbaro today, and I can tell you he is in the best hands here," Rendell said. "The New Bolton Center provides round-the-clock care and world-class facilities. This, combined with the high level of expertise of the veterinarians, means our Derby champion is in the best place he can be for the road to recovery." "This money is an investment in Pennsylvania's ability to treat animals from across the country, and to provide top-notch educational opportunities so Pennsylvania's veterinary students will have the chance to become the best and compete in the global marketplace," Rendell said. This gift marks the first time public money has been used to improve New Bolton Center, and the first major expansion since it was founded in 1964.