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WPRA Mega Finale Champion
The WPRA Mega Finale in Alvarado opened with treacherous ice, snow and freezing temperatures, but Kay Blandford's sizzling runs at the Diamond W Arena set the 2007 barrel racing scene on fire and established Kay and Angel as the hottest barrel racing duo going down the road.
Riding the 6 year mare, “Talents Dark Angel”, Kay won the Dodge Rodeo Pro Futurity Finals and carried her time over to win the 4D Challenge as well. An outstanding accomplishment. But the pair was hardly finished. The futurity was just a warm up. Friday night Kay smoked the pattern and won the $100,000 Miller Lite Race. With this much momentum, Kay proceeded to Glen Rose for the World Barrel Racing Production and bested over 600 racers for yet another victory. In all, Kay won over $119,000 over the weekend on 3 separate runs. That’s a lot of winning in less than a week.
In reality, the week’s success was a culmination of a lifetime of hard work.
Kay got a leg up in the horse industry as the first female jockey to race in
Juarez, Mexico. She credits her years spent riding race horses for her second
sense for maintaining a center of gravity running barrel horses. In fact, Kay
bought her first car and jump started her rodeo career . . . with race track
earnings. After devoting more time to barrel racing Kay made the winners circle
on her first great horse “Big Bob” a double bred Leo gelding. Bob took Kay
to the CNFR, the NFR and many open wins.
Knowing the importance of a good education Kay still managed to attend college at Big Spring University in Texas and finished with a degree in Elementary Education from Southeastern State University in Durant, Oklahoma. Kay taught 6th grade for a year and continued to teach as a substitute for several years.
Teaching and riding soon filled her days, as she divided classroom time with riding up to 18 horses a day. Always looking for the horse with the "right stuff", Kay teamed up with the Super Horse “The Key Grip” or Llave and won in excess of $800.000 LTE, This was a dream horse. They shared many successes. After retiring Llave, Kay stayed consistent and busy. She was sent Talents Dark Angel early in 2006 to prepare for the Speedhorse Futurities.
Angel is a 2001 model, 14.1 hand tall brown mare, carefully bred, raised and broke by Donnalynn Williams Von Ormy in Texas.
DonnaLynn reminisced about Angel
“Docs Abbie Lee( Angels dam) really didn’t have any big names on the
bottom side of her pedigree. I bought her because she was by Docs Superstar Bar
and I liked all the chrome. I understand that she has a half brother that has an
ROM in roping but there is nothing stellar on her pedigree.
Angel is her second filly. I bred to Flaming Talent because I'd already
received proof that my theory of breeding a DSB mare to this stallion produced
great horses. Top Tally (a 3/4 brother to Angel) was already a top futurity
Angel was always a busy, busy, busy little girl. I used to say she was hyperactive and had attention deficient syndrome. But I knew she was special the first time I took her to the barrel pattern. I had just finished putting a handle on her and I decided to lope the perimeter of the pattern and just head her in at certain points and ask her to turn a barrel. She laid down so far in her circle when I asked her to do this that I thought for sure gravity was going to pull us down to the ground.
I'm sure the neighbors wondered what was going on since Angel made me squeal every time she did this. It was if she was born already trained for the pattern.
Kay entered Angel in the Speedhorse Futurity’s in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. She placed 2nd in the 2nd go at the Silver Cup in Tulsa and 3rd in the first go, 6th in the 2nd go and 4th in the average at the Gold Cup in Oklahoma City.
Kay knew Angel was a talented mare, considered purchasing her after the Speedhorse futurities but held back. Angel went home to Donna Lynn from June through September, 2006.
Donna Lynn’s busy schedule at work prevented her from campaigning Angel further and Kay’s offer to buy her was reconsidered. After constant encouragement from Kay’s best friend, WPRA President Jymmy Kay Davis, Kay took the advice of her friend and hauling partner and wrote the check for Angel.
“There are alot of really nice horses and talented riders out there competing.” stated Jymmy Kay
“ When you put together a great horse with a great rider it’s an amazing
“I’ve watched her rip her pants during a run and not know it. I’ve
watched her win a big race and leave the arena not knowing it. Kay knows how to
win. And she will share her knowledge with anyone because she has the faith in
herself. She is an extraordinary competitor and I am her biggest fan”
“I was concerned that Angel would not be able to handle the commotion of the Mega Finale in Alvarada. I was also a little concerned that Angel would not clock well in the larger patterns.”
Kay’s concerns were without merit as the Angel set a new arena record in
Putting up the $5,000 entry fee for the Miller Lite $100,000 race was risky business for Kay. She partnered with her parents, Bill and Virginia Proctor, each family putting up 2,500. When Kay called her mother to tell her about the win her Mom cried with joy.
Kay describes Angel as a horse willing to do anything. “She loves her job” said Kay. “Angel craves running barrels and has a lot of try” “I give her all the credit for the win”.
2007 promises to be an exciting year for Kay. She will try to qualify again for the Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas. To date, Kay has qualified for 12 NFR's on 5 horses. Amazing.
Her next stop is Pocatello Idaho for the Dodge National Circuit Finals. She will continue to support the WPRA events and enter PRCA rodeos both.
This has been an awesome and amazing week and I thank God for this win”. said Kay.
“ But the first thing I thought of after winning are my other angels Gail, Maggie and Allison. “
Gail Shanan and Maggie Green were close friends of Kay’s and died in the Webbers Falls bridge collapse in May 2002. Allison Powers was another close friend that Kay lost. All of their friendships are cherished memories for Kay, they were individuals that shown brightly for Kay during the time she knew them.
No doubt Gail, Maggie and Allison would have found Kay and Angel’s
performance at the Mega Finale just as illuminating. It was, after all, a star
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