Mike Row and Apache Blue Boy
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by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Through the years, Apache Blue Boy has won a lot of titles at the AQHA World Championship Show. This year, he did it while not 100 percent.
The 1995 gray stallion by Blue Boy Doc and out of Apache King Miss by Boston Apache carried Mike Row of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, to the 2010 world championship in amateur heading, their fifth amateur title.
“I’m just grateful he’s here, because he almost died on us about two weeks ago,” Mike said. “He got an infection in his colon. A week ago Saturday, he went to the vet, and he was at the vet’s for four days, so we didn’t get to practice on him but one day before (the preliminaries).
“That just shows how great he is.” Working first in the draw November 10, Mike and “Blue Boy” had AQHA Professional Horseman Steve Orth, the horse’s longtime trainer, heeling for them.
“We drew a good steer,” Mike said. “He didn’t run as hard as some of them did. I just tried to catch him, and Steve cleaned it up. He always does for me. I’m not worried about his end. He was good.”
Blue Boy’s five amateur world titles – two in heading and three in heeling, which Mike claims is his own weaker discipline – are only scratching the surface of his multiple top-10 finishes at the World Show and year-end top-10 finishes in heading and heeling. In World Show competition, Blue Boy has earned more than $76,000.
“We may (compete) one more year,” Mike said. “He’s proved himself, and it’s maybe time for him to retire.”