Dr. James Rooney, the first director of the University of Kentucky’s Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center in Lexington, died Sept. 5 from complications from cancer at his Chestertown, Md., home. He was 81.
Rooney headed the Gluck Center and the UK Veterinary Science Department from 1987-89 and was an authority on equine anatomy, pathology, and biomechanics. He was the first to identify the neurological disease equine protozoal myeloencephalitis.
“He probably, more than anyone else, was able to explain why lameness occurs in horses,” Dr. Neil Williams, a UK professor and pathologist, told the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Rooney, a Brooklyn native, graduated from veterinary school at Cornell University and served in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.
He is survived by his wife, Audrey, and a son and daughter.