Don Henneke, professor of animal sciences and director of equine science, died Nov. 16 after a battle with cancer. He was 60.
Henneke joined the Tarleton faculty in 1985 as an assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture, leaving in 1993 to pursue a consulting career in the equine industry. In 2000, Henneke returned to Tarleton and was named assistant professor of animal sciences. A year later, Henneke assumed directorship of Tarleton’s Equine Center. In 2007, he was awarded tenure and named associate professor, and in in September 2012, the Texas A&M University System’s board of regents granted Henneke full professorship.
“Dr. Henneke took our equine program to new heights during his tenure at Tarleton. He had a vision and was passionate in pursuing that vision,” said Dr. Don Cawthon, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Unfortunately, he will not see his dreams through in person, but he has laid solid groundwork that will be invaluable to his successor and future generations of students.”
A native of Enid, Okla, Henneke was born Feb. 15, 1952, and went on to earn a bachelor of science degree in animal science from Oklahoma State University before obtaining a master’s of animal science, focusing on equine reproductive physiology, from Louisiana State University. He later received his doctorate in animal science in 1981 from Texas A&M University.
Henneke’s knowledge and expertise in the field of equine nutrition, reproduction and management was sought after by industry representatives and academicians throughout his career. He was the principal investigator in developing the Body Conditioning Scoring System for horses while at Texas A&M in 1979.
“Dr. Henneke was the driving force in the development of one of the premier equine management programs in the nation,” said fellow professor Dr. David Snyder. “He will be greatly missed but his legacy will live on through the quality equine program that he built.”
Memorial services for Dr. Henneke are pending.