John and Leslie Malone

(Photo: William A. Cotton/CSU Photography)

When John and Leslie Malone decide to get behind a project they don’t horse around.
Last month the Parker, Colorado couple gave a $42.5 million donation to Colorado State University’s (CSU) Institute for Biologic Translational Therapies, to help find new medical remedies for a variety of ailments in humans and animals. “We are tremendously grateful to John and Leslie Malone for their generous philanthropy, foresight and dedication to scientific discovery,” said CSU President Tony Frank in a university press release. “In addition to being the largest cash gift in the university’s history, their commitment positions us to build on our foundation as a leader in translational medicine, where advances in veterinary medicine very rapidly move into the sphere of benefiting human health.”

Owners of a Colorado horse ranch, the Malones have worked closely with CSU veterinarians in the past to help one of their world-class dressage horses, Blixt, recover from stressed and injured joints through stem-cell treatments. The Malones acknowledged that injuries to their four legged athletes are unfortunately all too common in the equine world. “You put so much training in and they tend to break down, and you’re doing this and doing that to keep them going. It just would be wonderful to have them have their health longer, for a longer period,” said Leslie Malone, with husband John adding, “I don’t know whoever said “healthy as a horse” but they didn’t know what they were talking about.”

No doubt the Malone’s experiences with CSU have inspired them to give to the Fort Collins based University. “We think this whole area of research is very exciting in what it portends for humans and animals,” John Malone told CSU. “When you say, ‘Who’s in the best position to do something about this?’ — to take cutting-edge research and apply it pragmatically to the problems we see that people and horses are encountering on a day-to-day basis — it became pretty logical. CSU was the right place to go.”

The Malones made their fortune in the cable television industry. They have given hundreds of millions to health, science, and education through their Malone Family Foundation and the Malone Scholars Program. Reportedly the nation’s largest private landowner, the Malones own large ranch lands in Colorado and throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. The Malone’s international real estate holdings include Humewood Castle, Kiltegan, County Wicklow and a number of hotels in Ireland. Making reference to his Irish heritage John Malone told Fortune magazine, “I actually do believe that there may be a genetic element in wanting to own the land you’re on.”

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