Rita Danley Dies
Rita Danley died on August 16.
August 18, 2014
Rita Danley, 67, died of cancer in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday August 16.
She was born November 25, 1946, in Phoenix, Arizona, to Percy W. Hodges and Doris A. Ashton, and attended school in Chickasha, Oklahoma. The third oldest of six children, she was raised on the racetrack, as her father was a Thoroughbred trainer, as was her grandfathers Walter Hodges and Omer "Pete" Hall. She met her husband, Fred, at Ruidoso Downs when Rita was working as a mutuel clerk and in the track kitchen, and Fred was an assistant trainer for his father, Ike Danley. They married on September 10, 1964.
Danley served as an New Mexico Horse Breeders Association board member and a trustee for the past 19 years, and also served on the board of the New Mexico Horsemen’s Association.
Rita was involved in many aspects of the racing world and a big supporter for many. In her own name, she owned the earners of more than $2.6 million and bred the earners of more than $3.8 million. Her runners included the likes of homebred Restricted Grade 1 winners Rabbit Revival ($375,019) and On Star Cowboy ($517,674), as well as restricted graded stakes winners Cowgirl Cadilac ($139,951), Ofashionsoutherngirl ($83,953) and Grit And Glamour ($113,782), and graded stakes winner Cowboy Jackpot ($86,442). She also bred 14-time stakes winner Namehimastreaker, who made 100 career starts in his $629,399-earning career, and raced in partnership champion Gotta Get ($974,524).
She is survived by her husband, Fred, and her two children, Destre Danley-Burks (Stoney) and Dusten Danley; five grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and one step great-granddaughter; brothers Walter Hodges (Sue), Dale Hodges (Donna) and Wayland Hodges (Pat); sisters Darla Niemi (Barry) and Dayna Turner (Rick) and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, August 21, at 11 a.m. at Ruidoso Downs. A reception in the track's All American Turf Club will follow for friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that friends donate to a memorial fund in Rita's name. There has been a memorial fund established in her name at UNMH Cancer Center. Memorial gifts may be sent to the University of New Mexico Cancer Research and Treatment Center, Attn: Justin Schroer, Director of Development, 1201 Camino de Salud NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Memorial gifts may also be sent online at www.UNMfund.org.
Services entrusted to Martin Funeral Home West, 128 N. Resler Dr., El Paso, Texas 79912.
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