Jay Hadley was born in 1930, in Taylor Utah, the fifth of seven children. He grew up on a 100-acre irrigated farm of cultivated crops and raising enough hay to feed the livestock his father raised and sold. He attended school at Taylor Elementary, where in the 5th grade he met his future bride Elda Charlton, whom he would later marry in 1949.
When Jay was 14 he won his first rodeo money in bareback riding. At that time, he knew he wanted to be a rodeo cowboy. He and his brothers would rope and ride all their Dad’s livestock as it came into the corrals. He rode in amateur rodeos until 1957 and then joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Jay made his big breakthrough as a competitor when he won the Red Bluff Round Up Rodeo all-around title in 1962.
Jay managed the Golden Spike Stock yards for many years. During this time the Ogden Stock Yards had a major impact on the local economy having the largest stock handling facility in Utah with 570 pens. Weekly sales included cattle, horses, sheep and hogs. In 1960, a total of 594,000 head of livestock were ran thru the Ogden Stock Yards. From the late 1950’s through the early 1970’s,Jay Hadley was considered by many to be a top horseman in Northern Utah.
He was actively involved in the Producer Livestock Association where he traveled to Colorado, Nevada and Idaho to purchase and sell farm and rodeo livestock. He partnered with Dee Hancock to form H & H Livestock. Jay also had a love for horse racing and was a member of the American Quarter Horse Association. He was always trading horses from all over the Western United States. He and his family were members of the Wasatch Slopes Chariot Racing Association and ran in numerous state and world racing competitions.
Jay is remembered for helping anyone who wanted to learn or improve, and he. never worried about impressing anyone with what he had done or how big his outfit was. Jay passed away in 2012.
Perhaps Jays greatest legacy is his family and the impact they have had on rodeo and the Utah horse industry. His 4 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have and will continue to carry on his rodeo legacy.