In the cool shade of Hastings College’s Lynn Farrell Arena Monday morning, a bronze statue of a riderless horse was installed to symbolize a leader who forged new paths in fundraising, philanthropy and rodeo events at the college for several decades.
The late Bobby Gottsch Jr. served as a member of the Hastings College Board of Trustees for 16 years before his death in 2011. A full-time cattleman and agri-business leader, he is remembered for his generous contributions to the college’s scholarships funds and especially its rodeo team.
Gottsch family friend Fred Bosselman of Grand Island-based Bosselman Energy was looking for a way to honor Gottsch with a special bequest and thus decided to commission and fund the sculpture. The idea of the riderless horse was first brainstormed by Gottsch’s widow, Cindy, who then shared the idea with local veterinarian and sculptor Dave Biehl.
“I knew Bobby and his family well and when Cindy came up with the idea for a riderless horse, I thought it was perfect,” Biehl said. “It captures his spirit.”