The native horse neighborhood confirmed up Sunday for a memorial present on the Boulder County Fairgrounds to honor the legacy of Ashley Doolittle and lift cash for the inspiration began in her identify.
“That is to collect household and pals and do what Ashley beloved most, present and experience horses,” stated Ann Marie Doolittle, Ashley’s mom. “She at all times informed me that horses have been her life. It’s superior to see everybody and to see everybody supporting Ashley and simply having enjoyable.”
Ashley Doolittle, 18, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in June 2016. Berthoud’s Tanner Flores, who was 18 on the time of her loss of life, was convicted of first-degree homicide and sentenced to life in jail with out parole.
Ann Marie Doolittle stated her daughter began driving horses at age 5. She was in 4-H Membership and was a founding officer of Thompson Valley’s FFA membership. She was in line to grow to be the Boulder County truthful queen and was topped posthumously after her loss of life. She had deliberate to attend Colorado State College’s agricultural enterprise program.
Ann Marie Doolittle began the Ashley Doolittle Basis 5 years in the past to lift consciousness about teen relationship violence. Fundraisers pay for the price of workshops for teenagers and fogeys, making them free to the members.
Mead Excessive Faculty senior Desiree Shaklee is the teenager advisor on the inspiration’s board and helps facilitate the workshops. She stated well being courses sometimes solely provide a brief presentation or video on relationship violence that’s straightforward for college kids to tune out. The inspiration’s workshops, she stated, embody Ashley Doolittle’s story and supply relatable info that college students want.
“What they do is so essential,” she stated. “I see the necessity to study in regards to the indicators of relationship abuse in my faculty and with my pals. Society normalizes all of the unhealthy issues, like fixed texting and at all times asking the place you might be.”
She additionally reveals horses, although she skipped the present Sunday to assist with the occasion.
“I knew Ashley by way of 4H,” she stated. “She was that older child I regarded as much as. … It’s such an effective way to honor her legacy.”
Sunday’s daylong occasion, with about 50 horses registered, included a standard horse present and a ranch present targeted on the abilities of working horses. The day began with a “Cowboy Church” service for relationship violence victims.
Ava Reed, a junior at Berthoud Excessive Faculty, rode her horse, 18-year-old Buttermilk, within the ranch present. She’s confirmed horses since she was 10, and stated Ashley Doolittle was her neighbor.
“I got here out to help Ashley and maintain her reminiscence alive,” she stated. “It’s such an incredible environment.”
Ayla Hermanson, who additionally rode within the ranch present, stated she’s needed to take part within the Ashley Doolittle occasion for a number of years, however this was the primary time she wasn’t touring out of state to compete in different reveals. She knew Ashley Doolittle by way of the FFA membership at Berthoud Excessive Faculty and described her loss of life as “a really onerous factor.”
Now 17, she joined 4-H at 8, then moved to Interscholastic Equestrian Affiliation competitions earlier than touring to aggressive reveals. She discovered ranch driving methods by way of her coach.
“It’s very rewarding to indicate horses,” she stated. “You get to see your horse develop. I study on the similar time she does.”