Pages Navigation Menu


☛ Bob Hadley Celebration of Life Aug 2 – 7-28-13



By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 28, 2013
A Celebration of Life for Bob Hadley will be held Friday, Aug. 2 at 1 p.m. at the Montague County Cowboy Church, Montague, Texas.


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 helped him make a winner in the cutting arena.


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 show, 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.


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 professor at Cal Poly 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 his 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



468 ad

One Comment

  1. Mr. Hadley was the only reason that I finished my studies at Cal Poly. He always would lend an ear and was very encouraging. I was cutting while I was a student and I realize now what a big man he was to be so supportive. He was so nice to a little girl who was doing what he always wanted to do but he had “grown up” responsibilities.

    I don’t know how many times I have successfully used this method of loading a horse in a trailer. Was a quiet, wonderful man.

    I had lost track of him when he left Cal Poly. It is interesting how life changes the way we look at things. I thought he was so “old” when he retired from Poly, had to have been in his 70’s. To read that he was only 50, made me laugh.

    Fresh cattle and have a good ride on Professor’s Alibi. You were truly a gentleman.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.