As rodeos across the state gear up for next week's Rodeo Heritage Week, students at Tarleton State University are mourning the loss of Bailey Gasch, 21, of Brookston. Gasch was a senior animal science/animal production major who was very active in the local and DFW rodeo scene.
According to various reports, Gasch, who was a flag girl for the Fort Worth Stockyards Championship Rodeo, was admitted to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth with injuries sustained in a fall from a horse.
Gasch was reportedly training in Palo Pinto County, just south of Mineral Wells, on Saturday, Aug. 24, when she fell from her horse and struck her head. Six days later, on Friday, Aug. 30, she died while still at JPS.
"It is with deep regret that we share the passing of Bailey Gasch," said Vice-President for Student Life Rusty Jergins.
Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Cooper High School Gymnasium. The link to the funeral home’s website is www.deltafuneralhome.com. The address to the Cooper High School Gymnasium is 823 FM 1528, Cooper, TX.
Gasch is survived by her parents, Greg Gasch and Sherry Gasch, a sister, Logan Gasch, who started Tarleton State this fall as a freshman, majoring in animal science/wildlife management, as well as other family members.
She grew up in Paris and started working as the Stockyards' Rodeo flag girl over this past summer. Gasch was one of several women who served as the main bearer during rodeos at the Stockyards, a job that director of operations for the rodeo, Dee Dee Barker Wix, told DFW NBC Channel 5 was not an easy job.
"You have to be a real athlete to do it. The flags are real heavy. They're really tall. Flag poles are heavy, and you have to keep it straight up and down; can't let it fall back at all," Wix said in an interview about Gasch. "She was experienced at doing what she did, and you could tell by the way she rode her horse and carried the flag. She did an excellent job for us every time."
Students and friends of Gasch in Stephenville are struggling with the loss. Many of her TSU friends have taken to Facebook, making memorial posts and posting pictures of Gasch and her horse.
"We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Bailey. We ask that you keep Bailey's family in your thoughts and prayers," Jergins concluded. "Individuals who are grieving the loss of Bailey may contact the professional staff in the Student Counseling Center. The counseling center is located in room 212 of the Thompson Student Center, or may be contacted by calling 968-9044 to make an appointment."