Anne Windfohr Marion, Fort Worth, Texas, influential businesswoman, rancher, and patron of the arts, passed away on February 12; she was 81.

Marion was the great-granddaughter of Samuel Burk Burnett, founder of the famous Burnett cattle empire of Texas. In 1980, when her mother, Anne Burnett Tandy, passed away, Anne Marion inherited Burnett Ranches, including the Four Sixes in Guthrie, headquarters of the horse division.

As a keen horsewoman, Anne Marion has left an enduring impact on the Quarter Horse breed. She brought new bloodlines into Burnett Ranches stock, while maintaining the foundation established by her grandfather, Tom Burnett. Most of today’s prominent Quarter Horses, including race and cutting horse performers, carry Burnett Ranches bloodlines deep, if not up close, in their pedigrees.

She also played an instrumental role in establishing Fort Worth as home of what became the National Cutting Association’s showcase event, the NCHA Futurity, which rivaled the All American Futurity, as the Quarter Horse industry’s richest event.

“I was layin’ all the time for this place (Will Rogers Coliseum),” said the late Marion Flynt, an early-day NCHA president. “We had obligated ourselves to a pretty good sum of money, and the only way we could get it was to sell these boxes. So I called ‘Little Anne,’ a good friend of mine, and I told her, ‘I want you to sell every box that we have, if you can.’ She came up with the money and from that day on it caught fire. It grew beyond anybody’s expectations.”

In addition to her dedication to ranching and horses, as an arts patron, Anne Marion was a major benefactor of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and founder of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She also donated the life-size bronze of racehorse champion and sire Dash For Cash, created by NCHA Hall of Fame Member Jim Reno, to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum, and the bronze that stands in front of the National Cutting Horse Association office in Fort Worth.

Among many honors, Anne Marion is included on the Hall of Fame rosters of the American Quarter Horse Association, the National Cowgirl Museum, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, and the National Ranching Heritage Museum.