A memorial service for Rita J. Danley, a longtime member of New Mexico's Thoroughbred community, will held Aug. 21 at in the winner's circle at Ruidoso Downs
The service will begin at 11 a.m. (MDT) and be followed by a reception in the track's All American Turf Club.
Danley passed away at age 67 Aug. 16 after a battle with cancer. She was a trustee of the New Mexico Horse Breeders' Association for the past 19 years and also served on the board of the New Mexico Horsemen's Association.
Danley primarily campaigned homebreds—
both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. Her most notable Thoroughbreds included multiple stakes winners Happy Me
and Hollywood Gone
. Her runners were trained by her husband of 49 years, Fred Danley. The Danleys met at Ruidoso Downs in the early 1960s, when Rita was working as a mutuel clerk and in the track kitchen, and Fred was an assistant trainer for his father, Ike Danley.
Danley was raised on the racetrack; she was the daughter of Percy Hodges, a longtime Thoroughbred trainer on the Midwest circuit. Both of her grandfathers, Walter Hodges and Omer "Pete" Hall, were also trainers.
In lieu of flowers, 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