Dr. Henneke Loses Battle with Cancer

Dr. Henneke Loses Battle with Cancer

After a battle with cancer, Don Henneke, PhD, the developer of the Henneke Body Condition Scoring System died Friday. He was 60 years-old.

Henneke was an animal sciences professor and Director of Tarleton State University’s Equine Center.

“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.”

Henneke’s knowledge and expertise in the field of equine nutrition, reproduction and management was sought after by industry insiders throughout his career. Most notably he developed the Henneke Body Condition Scoring System as part of his doctoral research at Texas A&M University. The body condition score (BCS) system is now a standardized tool used within the horse industry. It is based on both visual appraisal and palpable fat cover of the six major points of the horse that are most responsive to changes in body fat. The Henneke Scoring system is a scientific method of evaluating a horse’s body condition regardless of breed, body type, sex or age. It is relied on heavily by rescues and veterinarians in their work.“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.”

Dr. L. Ben Bruce, head of the animal science and wildlife management department, said, “Dr. Henneke was highly regarded by the horse industry, treasured by his students, and a faculty member you could always count on to get things done for TSU, the college, and the department.”

Henneke also served as a consultant in the fields of equine management, reproduction and nutrition, enjoyed competing as a non-pro cutting horse rider and served as adviser to the Tarleton Horseman’s Association, supervisor of the Tarleton Stock Horse Team, and president of the Faculty Senate in 2009.

Henneke leaves behind a wife and two children.

A Celebration of Life Service for Dr. Henneke will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, November 25, at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Auditorium, located on the Tarleton campus.

Cards of condolence may be sent to: Don R. Henneke Family, P.O. Box 311, Stephenville, TX 76401.