To much of the world, the late Bob Kingsley was the voice of country music. He brought them the top songs in the nation on the radio for decades.
The cutting horse community knew Kingsley — who died the morning of Thursday, Oct. 17, in his home city of Weatherford, Texas — for a lot more than that.
Kingsley, 80, was a lover of horses, and great supporter of the cutting horse industry and the people who were part of it.
“Bob was probably one of the greatest people you’d ever meet, and not just as a customer or as a celebrity or anything,” trainer Matt Gaines said of Kingsley, whose horses he trained for several years. “He was just a genuine, great person.”
A public service for Kingsley will be held 4-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the Doss Heritage Center, 1400 Texas Drive in Weatherford. Arrangements are being handled by Galbreaith Pickard Funeral Chapel, also of Weatherford.
Another memorial is planned for next month in the center of the country music world — Nashville, Tennessee.
Kingsley was known to the world as the host of Bob Kingsley’s Top 40, a nationally syndicated radio show. It was just part of a long career in radio, and his work was recognized through his inductions to a number of industry halls of fame.
Even though Kingsley was a bonafide celebrity -— his voice was known by millions of country music fans — Gaines said he never acted like one, showing kindness and consideration to everyone.
“No matter who they were or what they did, he’d go out of his way to talk to people, be nice to people,” he recalled. “I always felt like he treated everybody the same, and he was always fair.”
An avid cutter, Kinglsey won more than $225,000 going to the herd. His favorite horse was one of the sport’s greats, 2002 NCHA Horse of the Year Little Pepto Gal, Gaines said.
The NCHA Hall of Fame horse earned $526,229 during her career — more than $100,000 of which came while she was owned by Kingsley, who rode her many times.
The most excited Gaines ever saw Kingsley was when he rode Little Pepto Gal to the 2004 NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Non-Pro Championship. His appreciation and love for the mare, whose nickname was “Loony,” was clear every time he showed her, Gaines said.
“When he’d come out of the show pen, shoot, he’d spend another 30 minutes to an hour just walking her around,” he remembered. “He just loved being on her and loved that horse … and, truly loved the sport of cutting.”
Little Pepto Gal went on to be a stellar producer, foaling 22 earners of more than $1.2 million. Kinglsey rode many of them, recording wins and high placings at several limited-age events on her leading earner, Little Pepto Cat ($600,411, by High Brow Cat) before Mary Jo and Jim Milner purchased the horse.
Kinglsey’s last earnings as a cutting horse rider, according to Equi-Stat came at the 2017 NCHA Futurity. He made the Amateur semifinals aboard a mare named Lulu Kitty, whose second dam was, appropriately, the mare Kinglsey loved so much — Little Pepto Gal.
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