Gary Don Ray 1951 – 2019

July 13th, 2019
Gary Ray and Lenas Star
Sally Harrison photo

Gary Ray, 67, cutting horse trainer and AAAA-rated judge, passed away on July 11, 2019, in Throckmorton, Tex. Ray grew up working on West Texas ranches and, at the age of five, was introduced to cutting by his father, Jack Ray.

 After attending Cisco Junior College, in Cisco, Tex., Ray married Connie Ash, in 1973, and together for over 45 years, they worked side-by-side to develop a successful family business and acquired many friends and devoted clients along the way. In 1987, Gary showed Lenas Star, owned by Jim and Aline Jackson, Hesperus, Colo., to sweep the go-rounds of the PCCHA Challenge and score 229 points in the finals, at the time a record for the PCCHA and the second-highest score in NCHA history. The previous year, in his first season to perform, Lenas Star had won the PCCHA Classic with 228 points under Ray.

In 1988, in a field led by world champions Cash Quixote Rio and Hyglo Freckles, and with just two years of show experience, Lenas Star, trained and shown by Gary Ray, placed fifth in the NCHA World Championship standings.

Ray also won the Kansas 3-Year-Old Futurity six times between 1991 and 2006, and was an NCHA Derby finalist in 1985, on Boons Miss Priss, and in 2009, on Dual Sally Rey, as well as an NCHA Futurity finalist in 2006, on Della Modena.

Gary Ray was preceded in death by his father, Jack Ray. He is survived by his wife, Connie; his daughter, Terri Jo Flowers and husband Tim of Midland, Tex., his daughter, Wendy Masterson and husband Robert of Guthrie, Tex; eight grandchildren, Sloan Stephens, Sydney Stephens, Tod Flowers, Myca Flowers, Temi Flowers, Macy Flowers, Hadley Ray, and Mattie Masterson. Also, his mother, Helen Ray of Throckmorton, Tex.; brothers, Ronnie Ray of Stephenville, Tex., and Charles Ray of Springlake, Tex.; sisters Vonnie Jones of Throckmorton and Brenda Burns of Midway, Tex; and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Monday, July 15, 2019 at the First Baptist Church, Throckmorton, Tex. Family will receive visitors on Sunday, July 14, 2019 from 6:00-7:00 p.m., at the Smith Family Funeral Home, 107 N. Austin, Throckmorton, TX.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in Gary’s name to Horseman for Christ: PO Box 728, Archer City, TX 76351.

Online condolences can be shared with the family at www.smithfamilyfh.com.