Cerebral palsy is an irreversible movement disorder resulting from cerebral damage sustained during prenatal or neonatal brain development. As survival outcomes for preterm injury improve, there is increasing need to model ischemic injury at earlier neonatal time-points to better understand the subsequent pathological consequences. Here we demonstrate a novel neonatal ischemic model using focal administration of the potent vasoconstrictor peptide, endothelin-1 (ET-1), in newborn rats. The functional and histopathological outcomes compare favourably to those reported following the widely used hypoxic ischemia (HI) model. These include a robust motor deficit sustained into adulthood and recapitulation of hallmark features of preterm human brain injury, including atrophy of subcortical white matter and periventricular fiber bundles. Compared to procedures involving carotid artery manipulation and periods of hypoxia, the ET-1 ischemia model represents a rapid and technically simplified model more amenable to larger cohorts and with the potential to direct the locus of ischemic damage to specific brain areas.