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UT Martin Mourns Passing of Rodeo Graduate Assistant Ashley Brooks


By Ryne Rickman

MARTIN, Tenn. – Ashley Brooks, who was in her second season as a graduate assistant for the University of Tennessee at Martin rodeo program following a standout career as a student-athlete, passed away December 13, 2019 at 23 years old. She died in a tragic, non-horse-related accident.

Brooks was a member of the UT Martin rodeo program since 2014, taking part in barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying events from 2014-19. In addition to competing as a student-athlete throughout the course of the 2018-19 season, she also served as a graduate assistant coach.

In 2017-18, Brooks ranked fourth in the Ozark Region in barrel racing, compiling 490 overall points. She advanced to the 2015 College National Finals Rodeo as a freshman, finishing 23rd in the nation in barrel racing with a 43.53 average time.

 “Ashley was a fierce competitor and was so impactful to our team,” UT Martin head rodeo coach John Luthi said. “It’s hard to imagine she’s gone. She will be greatly missed.”

Her beloved horses, Jane and Lil Bay, were her life and very instrumental in her success and winning various awards in the rodeo program.

Ashley was a 3-time Junior High and 3-time High School National Finals Qualifier, 2010 TN Junior High School All Around Champion, 2013-14 Tennessee High School All Around Champion, 2013 National IBRA Champion Barrel Racer and All American Youth World Champion, and 2-time NIRA Collegiate Qualifier.

She was also nominated for 2018 top 10 Athlete of the Year; was a member of the 2018 Ozark Champion Women’s Team, and a 2019 NCPRA Finals Qualifier and PCA Finals Qualifier.

Ashley had participated in the December 6-8, 2019 Lucky Dog Barrel Race at the Show Place Arena in Cordova, Tenn., riding CM Frosty Dynamite in the Open division.

Brooks came to UT Martin from Obion County Central High School. The South Fulton, Tenn. native graduated from UT Martin in the spring of 2018 with a degree in agriculture. She was pursuing a graduate degree in agricultural and natural resources system management at UT Martin.

The family has asked that expressions of sympathy be made in memory of Ashley to the:

Ashley Brooks Memorial Rodeo Scholarship Fund
1138 N. Germantown Pkwy., Suite 101-139
Cordova, TN  38016

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