Thanks to a generous $1 million gift from the Allsup Family Charitable Foundation, the school names its equine skills lab after the foundation.
In 1956, visionary Lonnie Allsup and his wife, Barbara, opened a one-of-a-kind store in Clovis, New Mexico. Since then, the Allsup's Convenience Store has been a staple in towns all across West Texas and New Mexico. Lonnie also left an indelible mark in Texas and New Mexico in the equine world.
To honor Allsup's legacy and his love for horses, the Allsup Family Charitable Foundation generously gifted $1 million to the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo. For this contribution, the School of Veterinary Medicine named its equine skills lab at Mariposa Station “The Allsup Family Charitable Foundation Equine Clinical Skills Lab.”
“We are so thankful for the generosity of the Allsup family,” said Guy Loneragan, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “Now we are entrusted to add to the family's incredible legacy by providing students with world-class, hands-on education in all things equine medicine in The Allsup Family Charitable Foundation Equine Clinical Skills Lab. The extraordinary generosity of donors provides us unique opportunities to deliver educational excellence for our students in an environment that is second-to-none.”
While Allsup expanded his business, his love for horses sparked a passionate hobby that would become very dear to him. Owning several ranches, he became heavily involved with training and showing cutting horses.
Allsup served as president of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), established a breeding program that produced many heralded horses including, Little Badger Dulce, and was successful in the show pen, where he won the non-pro world championship. In his career, he highlighted West Texas and New Mexico by hosting one of the premier aged-event shows in Farwell.
Some might say Allsup helped revive the equine impact in West Texas and highlighted the need for quality equine veterinary care in our rural and regional communities. Lonnie and his long-time trainer, Pete Branch, had several great veterinarians providing care to his cutting horses, one of whom is School of Veterinary Medicine's Britt Conklin, associate dean for clinical programs.
“In the horse world, especially in West Texas, and in the context of the cutting horse, there were no bigger brands than the upside-down A of Allsup and Pete Branch,” Conklin said.
Spanning many years, the family has had a strong presence and connection to the communities of West Texas.
In fact, Allsup grew up just 50 miles from Lubbock. It was Lubbock where he would later marry his high school sweetheart, Barbara, and attend Texas Tech University before joining the U.S. Air Force.
Several years later, his daughter-in law, Jessica, who now serves as director of the Allsup Family Charitable Foundation, attended Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo (TTUHSC). At the time, she would have never contemplated that the empty field to the north of the TTUHSC Amarillo Regional Campus would one day become Texas Tech's new School of Veterinary Medicine.
Now, the family continues to leave a footprint on West Texas and at Texas Tech, and this time, it's in a way that helps the equine and veterinary industries. The School of Veterinary Medicine will use their contribution to provide veterinary students with world-class education in its state-of-the-art equine skills lab. This will have a significant impact on students that will unfold for many generations to come.
“It is our honor to partner with Texas Tech in training future equine veterinarians and to have this opportunity to give back to the communities of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico so deserving of quality, accessible equine care,” Barbara Allsup said.
About the School of Veterinary Medicine
Thanks to the generosity of Amarillo and communities across Texas and the commitment of legislators from around the state, the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo was established in 2018. In March 2021, the school was granted the all-important status of Provisional Accreditation, from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE).
The School of Veterinary Medicine recruits and selects students with deep life experiences in rural and regional communities. Its curriculum is focused on the competencies and skills necessary for success in practice types that support these communities. Texas Tech's innovative and cost-efficient model partners with the wider community of veterinary practices across the state to provide clinical, real-world experiential learning.