Animal Science Department

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Oppenheimer Family Equine Center

Breeding Lab

The breeding lab contains all of the equipment needed to run a breeding program successfully. This includes artificial insemination materials, microscopes, a computer system for record keeping, and all other laboratory equipment needed for collecting stallions, analyzing semen, palpating and breeding mares, as well as performing overall herd health. The lab uses a phantom for collecting stallions and also has the chutes needed to examine mares and treat other horses.

Foaling Barn

The foaling stall, located at the end of the mare barn, was designed and built specifically for handler, mare and foal safety. Measuring 12 feet by 24 feet, the stall includes monitoring cameras, slanted walls, double doors and windows for ventilation and observation. Three small irrigated pastures are attached to the stall known as the “nursery pastures.” The California Thoroughbred Breeders Foundation donated the stall to provide students with state-of-the-art facilities.

Stallion Barn

The stallion barn consists of large reinforced stalls with attached-pipe runs that house stallions standing at the Equine Center. This barn is secure and detached from the other working horse and mare barns.

The Student Horse Barn

The student horse barn houses students’ personal horses brought to use in equine courses such as the intermediate riding class. Although these classes don’t require bringing a personal horse, having housing at the Student Horse Barn gives students the opportunity to do so (with instructor approval). Students pay board for a stall with a corral and are allowed access to the rest of the Equine Center amenities.

Equine Center Pastures

The horse pastures are available for mares in foal, growing foals and enterprise horses at the beginning of their training. The Thoroughbred mares are kept on irrigated pasture year-round, whereas dry-land pasture supports most of the weanlings, yearlings, two-year-olds and Quarter Horse broodmares. The Equine Center has access to 150 acres of pasture.


The Equine Center has two sand arenas used for daily training and events. One, the Hadley Arena, is rectangular and measures 125 feet by 250 feet. The other arena is circular with a 150 foot diameter, solid sides and deep footing. Both are used in classes and for enterprises, as well as boarders and the riding teams. Round pens stand adjacent to the Hadley Arena for turnout and groundwork.

Forty-stall Barn

The forty-stall barn houses horses for the Quarter Horse Enterprise, the Cal Poly Dressage Team and the Cal Poly Equestrian Team. Horses in Cal Poly’s animal nutrition research are also kept at this barn, as well as personally boarded horses. 

Other Facilities

The mare barn, working horse barn, teasing pen, new tack rooms, wash racks, tie rails, 500-ton hay barn, and outside pipe corrals are the other structures available for use at the Equine Center.

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