Legendary horseman Ray Hunt dies

March 20, 2009

Ray Hunt

Renowned US horseman Ray Hunt has died at the age of 79 after suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Hunt became famous over the past several decades for his pioneering methods of working with horses.

Hunt was born on August 31, 1929 in Idaho. He worked with his father on the family farm, and married in 1948. In 1950 he moved to the Battle Mountain, Nevada, area, where he worked as a cowboy for the T Lazy S ranch. In 1955 he moved his family to California.

His clinics grew very popular and Hunt often earned recognition for his achievements including the Top Hand Award, being inducted in to the California Reined Cow Horse Hall of Fame in 2004 and being named the first Western Horseman of the Year in 2005.

Hunt died on March 12, 2009 in Denton, Texas, after a long and courageous battle with COPD. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and daughters Geri Van Norman of Tuscarora, Nevada, Kathy Hunt of Salinas, California, Elaine Black of Homedale, Idaho and Julie Ristau of Kodiak, Alaska, his sons Joel Hunt of Bruneau, Idaho and Preston Lord of Mountain Home, Idaho.

A memorial and celebration of Ray's life will be held March 21, 2009 at the Oak Valley Ranch in Era, Texas at 1pm. A memorial and celebration will be held March 28, 2009 in Mountain Home, Idaho at Mountain Home Middle School at 2pm, and a memorial will be held in Australia.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Ray Hunt Memorial Fund administered by the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association. It will be used solely in support of programmes dedicated to horseback riding for people with disabilities.

"Ray was impressed by how the horses were able to impact people with disabilities in such dynamic ways and this program really meant a lot to him," his family said.