Amy Bell, of Dennis, Texas, died suddenly and unexpectedly Friday morning, May 16, in a Tulsa, Okla., hospital, a few hours before she expected to compete with two of her horses at the ongoing Breeder’s Invitational cutting.
Bell, the 33-year-old daughter of Larry and Ellen, of Midland, Texas, managed the family-owned Kalpowar Quarter Horses breeding program in Lipan, Texas. She competed often in cutting, following prior success as a reined cow horse owner and rider. Early this year, Bell and a 4-year-old gelding she bred and owned, Dont Be Grabbin (WR This Cats Smart x My Kinda Pepto x Peptoboonsmal) were the Derby Amateur Champions at the Tunica Futurity in West Monroe, La.
Bell had experienced pain and discomfort from a bruised and swollen calf muscle shortly before traveling to Tulsa, according to her own May 9 Facebook post. She received treatment and medication and felt well enough to attend the Breeder’s Invitational, friends said. Casey Green, Bell’s horse trainer since late fall, added she practiced well with her horses on Thursday morning, and seemed happy and healthy while having dinner with friends Thursday night.
Early Friday morning, though, Green said Bell texted his wife, Codie, informing the couple she would not be able to meet them to practice. Around the same time, Bell contacted another friend, stating she was not feeling well and might go to the hospital. When that friend could not re-contact Bell by cell phone, he called the hotel. A doctor there examined Bell and called an ambulance that transported her to a Tulsa hospital, Green said. The cause of Bell’s death has not yet been determined.
Friday afternoon in Tulsa, midway through the Derby Amateur first go, at the moment Bell and Dont Be Grabbin were to have competed, announcer Tom Holt explained why they would not. Then he honored Bell’s memory with a Bible verse including the words, “Life is like a mist. You don’t ever know about tomorrow.” Holt, an ordained minister, said later, “It was just a moment we needed to give her. She was a nice lady.”
Paula Overstreet, of Weatherford, Texas, is a friend of Bell’s who first met her when they started sharing the same horse trainer. She described Bell as a person who loved people, horses, dogs, other animals and life in general. “She was always in a good mood and she had many friends,” Overstreet said.
Bell earned $46,338 in all disciplines and she appeared on her way to possibly having her best year as a cutter. She had earned more than $5,000 through the first four months of 2014. Horses she owns have earned a combined $88,830, according to Equi-Stat records.
UPDATE: A memorial service for Bell will be held on Wednesday, May 21, in Midland, Texas. A graveside service will start at 1 p.m. at the Resthaven Memorial Gardens, followed by a celebration service at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Midland. A reception will be held at the church following the service. A second memorial service will be held in Weatherford, Texas, at Kalpowar Quarter Horses/Comanche Springs Ranch on Tuesday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. The family would like to thank everyone for their expressions of love and concern.
Detailed information can also be found at DignityMemorial.com.