THE first £1.5m phase of a development project at a Neston equine hospital has been opened by Princess Anne.
The Princess Royal arrived at Liverpool University Leahurst Veterinary Centre in a helicopter.
She was introduced to university vice chancellor Sir Howard Newby and Professor of Equine Studies Chris Proudman.
The first phase has seen the completed reception area spring up, as well as a new entrance yard and MRI facility.
Over the next three years, the university hopes to raise a further £6m for the construction of a Colic Prevention and Performance Centre, to combat a disease that kills more horses than any other.
Professor Proudman added: “It’s not just about wealthy people and their pleasure horses.
“There are more than 100 million working horses and donkeys around the world, and an important part of our mission is for the development in equine health care we bring about to filter through to the developing world.”
Princess Anne unveiled the plaque and said: “It’s important knowledge is available to all those who treat animals.
“We all need to work as well as possible to increase the knowledge and make sure it’s available.”