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UK’s Maine Chance Equine Campus facility renamed in honor of area veterinarian

Dr. Walter W. Zent Mare Reproductive Health Facility on UK's Maine Chance Equine Campus.
Dr. Walter W. Zent Mare Reproductive Health Facility on UK's Maine Chance Equine Campus.

PHOTO: Stephen Patton
LEXINGTON, Ky., --

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees recently approved the official naming of a research facility at UK’s Maine Chance Equine Campus as the Dr. Walter W. Zent Mare Reproductive Health Facility to honor Zent, a veterinarian and former partner at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Zent served on the Gluck Equine Research Foundation’s Board of Directors from 2000 to 2012 and as chair from 2006 to 2012.

“The college is honored to have Walter Zent's name on this research facility. Walter is a successful veterinarian who has not only used research information from the Gluck Equine Research Center but has contributed to the research,”said Nancy Cox, associate dean for research in UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station director and administrative leader for UK’s Ag Equine Programs. “He is a top-notch field veterinarian and a respected contributor to new research-based practices. Not only that, he has been a supporter of the UK’s Department of Veterinary Science for many decades including a distinguished leader of the Gluck Foundation Board of Directors.”

As the Gluck Equine Research Foundation chair, Zent saw a strong need for increased research in equine reproductive health and understood a first-class research program with excellent facilities was needed. He helped obtain $600,000 in private donations, which were matched by the state, for remodeling of UK’s Equine Reproductive Health Facilities. He and his wife, June Zent, donated to the facilities.

“Dr. Zent served the Gluck Equine Research Foundation during a time that saw a change in leadership, expansion of research facilities at Maine Chance Equine Campus as well as financial challenges during the global downturn of the economy,” said Mats Troedsson, director of the Gluck Equine Research Center and chair of the UK’s Department of Veterinary Science. “His long-standing association with the Gluck Center, combined with a true passion for advances in equine veterinary medicine and science, made him uniquely suited to lead the Gluck Foundation.”

Zent’s connection to UK’s Department of Veterinary Science spans four decades. He graduated from Cornell University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 1963. After completing a one-year internship at Purdue University, he spent two years at UK’s Department of Veterinary Science investigating infectious disease outbreaks and pathology with professors John T. Bryans, Elvis Roger Doll and James R. Rooney. From 1966 to present, Zent has been an equine practitioner at the Lexington-based Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

“I can truly say that Walter is one of the most passionate people about the Gluck Center that I know. He has been a great advocate for the faculty and research coming out of the center,” said Ed Squires, executive director of the Gluck Equine Research Foundation.

Zent is an active member and past officer of many professional veterinary equine organizations on the international, national and state levels. He has made numerous national and international presentations, written several book chapters and routinely contributes articles for publication as requested.

The Zents are involved as owners and breeders in the Thoroughbred horse industry and reside on their farm in Lexington.

A dedication ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Oct. 15 at Barn 26, Spindletop Way, at Maine Chance Equine Campus. The event is open to the public. An RSVP to the event can be sent to Jenny Evans at jenny.evans@uky.edu.

The Gluck Equine Research Foundation was formed as a nonprofit organization to provide the exchange of information between the Gluck Center and the horse industry and to secure funds for equine research, endowed faculty positions and facilities.

The mission of the Gluck Center, a UK Ag Equine program, is scientific discovery, education and dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of the health and well-being of horses. The Gluck Center faculty conducts equine research in six targeted areas: genetics and genomics, infectious diseases and immunology, musculoskeletal science, parasitology, pharmacology/toxicology and reproductive health.

For more information on the Gluck Center, visit http://www.ca.uky.edu/gluck.

Contact: 

Ed Squires, 859-218-1176; Jenny Evans, 859-218-1089

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