Ollie Ashley, 78, wife of National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame member Beamon Ashley, collapsed and died Sunday night at Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, during the North Texas Cutting Horse Association Summer Circuit. The Ashleys, who lived in Dallas and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last week, were avid cutting fans and seldom missed a day of competition, from first go-round through the finals, at Will Rogers Coliseum.
“They had no children,” said former NCHA president Punk Carter. “NCHA was their whole life.”
Beamon Ashley (pictured with Ollie) was born on January 1, 1922 and grew up on a ranch in Huntsville, Texas. He met George Glascock, the first NCHA world champion, in Dallas, where Ashely was employed as a driver for John W. Carpenter, founder and chairman of Southland Life Insurance Co, and a major force in Dallas’ development during the first half of the twentieth century.
In 1957, Ashley went to work for Glascock, who maintained a ranch near Fort Worth and called on Ashley’s services during the Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo. In the 1960s, Ashley was hired by NCHA executive director Zack Wood to work at NCHA events in Will Rogers Coliseum, a post he held for more than three decades.
Ashley was inducted into the NCHA Hall of Fame in 2000.
Mrs. Ollie Ashley will be at Singing Hills Funeral Home, Dallas, Texas, this week. 214-371-4311. Her funeral will be held at Salem Baptist Church, 3918 Crozier Street, Dallas, TX 75215. (214) 428-3797 on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Photo of Beamon & Ollie Ashley by Pam Robison