by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Mike Row and Apache Blue Boy take the 2011 amateur heeling world championship. (Journal photo)
There’s little left to say about Apache Blue Boy.
The 1995 gray stallion with three world championships and four reserve world championships added two more amateur trophies to his total November 9 with Mike Row of Tishomingo, Oklahoma.
Their first trophy of the night came in amateur heading, where they won the reserve world championship. In amateur heeling, they stepped up to the gold world championship.
With rodeo cowboy Blake Hughes heading, Mike and “Blue Boy” put the loop quickly and smoothly on the heels.
“He was a good steer,” Mike says. “He ran a little bit harder and of course, showing these horses, you like a steer that tries a little bit harder. My header, he’s a young kid, but he’s one of the best headers around, handled him perfect for me. He was awesome for me. He just put (the steer) in my loop. I told him I just close my eyes and throw (the loop), so you’ve got to put him in it.”
Mike and Blue Boy were first on three judges’ cards and second on two for a total of 228.
In heading, the steer was a little slower, Mike says.
“It wasn’t the one I wanted, but Blue Boy, he’s so awesome,” Mike says. “I mean, he’s 16 years old, and he’d do it without me even riding him. If I catch, he does his job. He’s just unbelievable. And (AQHA Professional Horseman) Steve Orth, he trained him for the last few years. We didn’t show him in the open this year but I owe a lot of it to Steve Orth. He’s done a great job with him.”
The stallion is part of the family, Mike says.
“We take good care of him,” he says. “I only went to two shows during the year, and we kicked him out in the pasture. He gets fed well. My little girls, they ride him more than I do. They leg him up for me. He enjoys the life, and he’s going to have a home for the rest of his life.”