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☛ Bob Hadley passes away 5-2-13



By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 2, 2013

Bob Hadley, Bowie, Texas, with the trophy he sculpted for the American Cutting Horse Asociation. Hadley died from the result of a traffic accident on May 1 in a Denton, Texas hospital. Photo by Robert Eubanks in 1987

Bob Hadley, 84, a professor, cutter, stallion owner, family man and a self-taught sculptor from Bowie, Texas, passed away at Denton Regional Hospital in Denton, Texas, late Wednesday evening, May 1, following a car accident.


According to his friend Van Baize, a Bowie banker, “The accident occurred the evening of Thursday, April 11 about 4 p.m. Bob had been by the bank to see me on a project we were working on for the Bowie Chamber of Commerce (a 20’ Bowie knife). He had purchased groceries and was on his way back to the house to take care of his wife Jean. At the intersection of Highway 59 and FM 1758, an oil field service pickup ran a stop sign and hit him. He was taken to the Bowie emergency room and I was called.


“I went to the hospital and he started giving me instructions of things that needed to be done (always the teacher). He had a care flight to the Plano Hospital, later sent to Integra Care in Denton, then to Dention Regional Hospital, back to Integra Care and then back to Denton Regional late Sunday, April 28.”


While he was a student at Cal Poly, Bob became a member of the collegiate rodeo team as a calf roper and team roper and also became interested in training horses. A severely broken leg took him from the rodeo arena to the cutting arena, where he met the legendary trainer Greg Ward, who “learned the basics from Bob and built on that.”


He broke and showed cutting horses in the California Cutting Horse Association and soon traded one of his novice cutting horses for a horse named Smoky Joe, a 20-year-old seasoned cutting horse. The pair became a winning team and in 54 shows, failed to earn a check only twice. In 1956, he rode the unregistered grulla gelding to an Open Championship in the California Cutting Horse Association.


Bob Hadley (right) shown with his friend Van Baize, Bowie, Texas, shown in 2010.

Hadley, along with Jean, owned Jean Tivio, a daughter of Poco Tivio. On Jean’s persuasion, they bred her to an up-and-coming, now-legendary stallion named Doc Bar. At that time he was employed by his alma mater Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, Calif., where he had previously received his Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science. In 1967, he became a Cal Poly professor until his retirement 23 years later.


The resulting offspring out of Jean Tivio and Doc Bar was a stallion that he named Professor’s Alibi after profession and ironically, the stallion turned out to be the major reason for Bob’s retirement from Cal Poly at the young age of 50, and the couple’s move to Texas, because that was the “place to be” if you wanted to stand a stallion and raise cutting horses. They first settled in Muenster, just northwest of Fort Worth, but in 1986, the couple moved to Bowie, located a bit further northwest of Fort Worth.



But the stallion turned out to be a wonderful addition to the Hadley family, siring many winning cutting horses such as Chex Your Alibi, the Horse Tom Hastings rode to the 1986 NCHA Non-Pro Reserve Championship and some of Bob’s 1986 earnings were riding this horse; Docs Sassy Scholar, ridden by Kristy Johns to the NCHA Youth Championship; Chex My Alibi, ridden by Bob in Open and Novice cutting classes; Professors Love, 1986 AQHA World Show Finals and $10,000 Non-Pro Champion in Amarillo , ridden by Bobby Lewis; Rainbows Alibi, PCCHA Non-Pro Top 10 with Phil Feinberg; Bretts Alibi, also owned and ridden by Feinberg to PCCHA Non-Pro Top 10; My Sweet Alibi , Montana-Wyoming Non-Pro Champion owned and ridden by Rod Lorang, and Paso Doc, owned by Toby Caperton and winner of Northwest CHA Non-Pro 4-Year-Old..



Throughout his entire life, Hadley was interested in art, and late in life, he started sculpting. For 50 years, he dabbled in art,  first dabbling in pen and ink drawings and carving on bars of soap.  In the late 90’s, he sculpted the official trophy for the American Cutting Horse Association, which was inspired by his 1970 stallion Professor’s Alibi and Tap O Lena, a one of the cutting industry’s leading cutting horses, ridden by Phil Rapp. He cut for several years in both NCHA and ACHA competition, qualifying for the ACHA World Show and the American Championships in Non-Pro competition.


His survivors at this time include his wife, Barbara Jean Hadley; stepson: Michael; stepdaughters: Patricia and Robin; step grandsons: James and Quinlan; step granddaughters: Annette and Allison; step great-grandsons: Cooper and Weston; step great-granddaughters: Ashley, Callan, Bryan and Darcy.


At press time, funeral arrangements have not been made, White Funeral Home, Bowie, Texas, is in charge of arrangements and information will be included on this site when it becomes available. You can send your sympathy cards to Jean Hadley, 1733 Lone Star Road, Bowie, Texas 76230-9510. Donations can also be made to the NCHA Vickie Bush







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One Comment

  1. He was everything you wish you could be in life. He has forgotten more about horses than most of us will ever know. Le leaves a legacy in his art. He will be missed. A very dear friend.

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