Why Did Ashley Leave Heartland?

Ashley Stanton no longer appears on our screens. So, why did Ashley leave Heartland? Let’s find out!

How could true fans of Heartland forget the character? She’s a rich girl, a rude one for that matter, who constantly challenges Amy in every aspect.

In addition, she has created a great ordeal in the family’s history and grew to be the most hated character in the show. But not until she found her love interest, Caleb Odell.

Who Is Ashley Stanton On Heartland?

Cindy Busby played Ashley Stanton, a wealthy equestrian and horse trainer. She’s one of the former leading cast members who became part of the Heartland family since it started filming. Cindy has appeared in the very first episode as Amy’s rival. 

Ashley’s mean personality sees her as an antagonist character in the show, so fans disliked the character.

But when the show reveals how she got her manipulative behavior from her mother, fans have second thoughts about their perception of her. 

While Ashley makes up for the awful relationship, she becomes friends with Amy and falls in love with Caleb O’Dell, a hired hand on the Heartland ranch.

They married each other, but unfortunately, they did not live happily ever after. Since then, Ashley’s appearances were no more. 

What Happens To Ashley And Caleb On Heartland? 

Ashley found several love interests in the show, but she instantly got interested in Caleb. She always used every opportunity to hang out and flirt with him.

On the other hand, Caleb also had a unique eye for Ashley. When he was dating Amy, he confessed how he cared about Ashley’s well-being. 

After Ashley’s frequent argument with her mother, Val, she manipulates Caleb so that she can move in and get closer. However, Val controls Caleb against Ashley by sponsoring him for the circuit.

Still, Ashley and Caleb try to keep their love a secret, especially when they are not alone. Not until after Ty’s plane crash when Caleb confesses to Ashley how he feels, fearing that he might not have enough time in life to confess his love for her. 

Caleb got an accident in one of the rodeo competitions and blamed Ashley for it. According to him, a competitor shouldn’t have his girlfriend watching – it’s bad luck! Ashley couldn’t take it, and they broke up.

With so much commitment to making their relationship work, he apologized and married her in season 4. At least Ashley could now attend the rodeos! Though the couple seemed to be a right fit, they divorced in season 4. 

Why Did Ashley Leave Heartland?

One of the news we hate announcing, we won’t be seeing Cindy Busby in the Heartland world. After a long time, we first miss Ashley’s appearance when she extended her stay in Italy, where they had their honeymoon.

Caleb returned to Heartland alone. Later Ashley returned and continued her romantic relationship with Caleb.

Again, we miss her on the screens from season 4 when she needed to attend college, and Caleb agreed to go with her.

That was the end of Ashley’s main storyline, though Caleb often made appearances. Only for an episode in season 7, she returned to inform Caleb about a marriage proposal from her new boyfriend. 

There is no in-depth explanation for why Cindy Busby left since she hasn’t opened up about it. Like other Heartland cast members.

Cindy holds high of the cast regarding them as family, always talks about how she enjoyed being part of Heartland, and she wouldn’t mind showing up if offered a role in the show.

That’s the reason why Ashley is no longer filming in Heartland. We can conclude she left on good terms with the producers to explore better opportunities. 

Does Caleb Remarry? 

Since Ashley had divorced Caleb and had already moved from Heartland to become a lawyer, viewers couldn’t wait to see Caleb’s new love interest. After all, Ashley had a new boyfriend and planning to get married.

Caleb married his second wife Cassandra in episode 18, “Greater Expectations,” in season 10. In season 13, they welcome their first child, a baby boy!

Though their wedding day was a busy one and full of drama, Amy went into labor, and the groom almost drove off from his wedding in his excitement. The writers included more of the couples’ storylines.

Have Caleb And Ashley Dated In Real Life?

Ashley and Caleb’s relationship was such a vibe creating a favorite duo for most fans. They were both in relationships when they became friends. Though they have worked closely for quite some time now, they have never dated in reality. 

How Many Seasons Of Heartland Is Cindy Busby On?

Ashley is a former regular character on Heartland, appearing in the show’s first four seasons, totaling 51 episodes. She later returns once in episode 10, “Darkness and Light,” season 7. 

Cindy Busby’s first appearance is in “Coming Home” in the first episode. She displays as a wealthy equestrian in most of the seasons one and two episodes.

After falling in love with Caleb Odell, she changes her stance and marries in the season 3 finale, “The Cards.” 

Unfortunately, season 4 sees their marriage deteriorating, calling for a divorce. Later, Ashley returns to Heartland and reunites with Caleb. But when Caleb learned about her new boyfriend’s proposal, he distanced himself. 

What Inspired Cindy Busby To Play Ashley?

When Cindy learned about the characters’ descriptions, she couldn’t wait to play the role. Though she has played various roles in many films, Ashley in Heartland is still the character you can recognize with. 

In the first seasons, Ashley portrayed a tough being and became soft in the middle. That changed how the fans changed their judgment from the first sight description that Cindy fell in love with most.

However, that’s the role she would love to play in the rest of her career, as she revealed to Kurt Manwaring

In the show, Ashley was raised in a wealthy family, getting everything she could need in her teens. As a result, she was helpless at the will of her controlling mother.

So, when fans started media bashing the character, Cindy would remind them that the character’s outcome resulted from her background. 

One big difference between the actor and the character is the mean personality. Cindy’s friends and colleagues would even make fun of her when acting mean since that was out of her real-life picture.

However, the actor shares other personalities with the character, such as passion, funny and hardworking, mainly after Ashley evolved. 

Who Is Cindy Busby Married To In Real Life?

Cindy got married to her boyfriend of four years, Chris Boyd. They announced their wedding on Instagram in December 2020.

The couple keeps their marriage profile private, so we know little about their status. But from their social media presence perspective, they display a supportive couple.

Chris Boyd is a producer, having produced a recent show on Netflix, “Sneakerheads.” He has kept his career journey a low profile while building his resume.

Is Cindy Busby A Real Equestrian?

Though Ashley displays a passion for riding horses, it’s not Cindy’s thing. She’s more of an equestrian enjoying the city life, taking advantage of any riding opportunity.

Fortunately, Heartland didn’t need one to be a horse rider to qualify for the auditions since Cindy was the worst at that.

But when she became part of the Heartland family, she took horse riding lessons to portray a real show. 

Cindy took lessons with the crew wranglers, like her colleagues. Though she found the horses in Heartland threatening, she loves working around horses and other animals. 

Ashley’s Horse On Heartland

Ashley’s horse on Heartland is Apollo, which she has grown fond of throughout the show. She does well with her jumper, beating Amy in most competitions.

In the first episode of the first season, we see her bragging about her new horse worth $100,000. 

When Val came for the competitions and saw Ashley performing in other races contrary to her expectations, she threatened to sell the horse.

Ashley couldn’t help herself and disqualified herself from the show, leaving her mother no choice but sell Apollo. These actions depressed Ashley and made her keep drinking to overcome the disappointment. 

Fortunately, Ashley gets her horse back, thanks to Ty and Amy. This time she does as her mother pleases, fearing losing Apollo and ruining her relationship with Val. 

What’s In Store For Ashley In Heartland?

Here are facts why Heartland fans would want more of Ashley’s characters:

  • Her sense of humor
  • She is transformed and has evolved to be a hardworking and loving character. She is striving to grow and change. 
  • Cindy would make a good ranch hand at the Heartland ranch. Besides being a horse trainer, she had a good connection with the horses. Perhaps teach the young equestrians in the Heartland family, like her predecessors. 

Here are reasons why there is no promise of Ashley’s future in Heartland: 

  • Ashley divorced Caleb, who in turn married his second wife, Cassandra.
  • Season 7 sees Ashley having a new boyfriend, who plans to marry her.
  • Writers have shortened the characters’ storylines. Ashley has appeared only in the first four episodes and once in season 7.
  • Ashley aspires to be a lawyer, a far-off career in the show. 


So, why did Ashley leave Heartland? Cindy Busby has not yet confirmed the actual reason why she quit. However, we can float in a few facts that led to Ashley’s storyline end. Or better, Cindy might be working on other projects. There is more to it in an actor’s life than the cameras.