IT has cost £500,000, has all the latest medical equipment and even a spa. . . but this hospital is for horses.

The equine sports injury centre is on an 80-acre site at Normans Hall Farm, Pott Shrigley, Macclesfield.

Specially designed stables will offer total care on site, with staff on 24-hour call.

Veterinary physiotherapist Gabrielle Kerfoot, who intends to open the centre in January, said: “There is nothing else like it in the north west.” The centre will have 29 stables but 12 will be designed for elite competition winners.

Mrs Kerfoot, the vice- chairman of the National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists, has treated an Ascot winner valued at £4 million, as well as horses on the professional show jumping circuit and contestants at Badminton.

She said: “Footballers have physio after treatment for injuries and it is just the same for horses.

“There will be a state-of-the-art spa, which is like a salt water Jacuzzi. The facilities will be top class, and provide a calm, efficient environment.”

Mrs Kerfoot, 37, who used to be a show jumper, said that it was difficult to treat horses properly in their yards because the facilities were not avail- able.

She said: “Some horses could have to stay for up to two months at the new centre, which would have the latest medical scanning equipment.

“With MRI scans we are diagnosing more and more problems with spines.

“Spinal work and postural work are something I am very keen on.”

The first planning application for the centre, which will cater for all types of horses from children’s pets to Group One race horses, was rejected last year, but modified plans have now been approved.

As well as therapy and treatment rooms, there will be on open-air exercise arena and a 40-metre diameter horse-walker.

Mrs Kerfoot said: “This has been two years in the planning.

“It is a big investment and I have had lots of sleepless nights.”