Kay Blandford’s “My Greatest Blessing,” The Key Grip (Llave) Was Laid to Rest | Barrel Racer News

Kay Blandford’s “My Greatest Blessing,” The Key Grip (Llave) Was Laid to Rest

 Photo by Hubbell
image008Kay Blandford’s “My Greatest Blessing,” The Key Grip (Llave) Was Laid to Rest
NFR barrel racer and trainer Kay Blandford shared with friends and fans today that the horse she proclaimed as “My Greatestest Blessing”, The Key Grip, was laid to rest Monday April 26th due to colic.
Affectionately known as Llave (Key in Spanish), the 1990 bay quarterhorse gelding out of Eagles Poco Jen, by Sierra T, would become the largest jewel in her crown of achievements.
Blandford made it to the NFR in 1975, 1977, and 1979 held in Oklahoma City, on the horse that she had trained herself as a young girl known as Big Jon. Her family never had the money to buy her good horses that she could win on, so Kay trained her own horses from when she was a little girl.
Kay then made it back to the NFR again in 1995, 96, 97, 2000, 01, and 02 held in Las Vegas, NV, on the the horse she trained called Llave.   Llave also lead Kay to win the “Old Fort Days” futurity in 1994 and was written a check for $59,284 dollars. In 2002 Kay was presented “Horse of the Year” for Llave. In 1996 Kay and Robert bought land with money she won on Llave in Sutherland Springs, TX. They built a beautiful house, a barn, and arena where Kay then would start her business of riding and training young horses on barrels. The knowledge and achievements Kay had, made it easy for her to start getting horses to train and sharing her god given talent of making a champion. In 2005 Kay had to retire Llave because of lameness problems, Llave would live his life out on the farm he made.
The good horses will always be missed and hold a special place not only in their owners hearts, but the fans that loved to watch them, Llave is one of those horses that will always be remembered as one of the industry’s greats.  Prayers go out to Kay and Robert Blandford.
Photo by Kenneth Springer
Kay Blandford NFR 96
Some of Llave’s many accomplishments:
1994 – Won 59,284 at Fort Smith Futurity on a horse name Llave
1995 – Qualified for NFR on Llave
Kay was the Texas Circuit Champion
1996 – Kay and Robert moved to Sutherland Springs TX
Kay qualified for the NFR on Llave
Texas Circuit Champion
Reserve world champion of the NFR
Won the fastest times national finals
1997 – Qualified for the NFR on Llave
Dodge national circuit champion
Texas Circuit Champion
1999 – Qualified again for the NFR
2000 – Qualified for the NFR
2001 – Qualified for the NFR
2002 – Last year to qualify for the NFR
Received an award for Llave for Horse of the year
2003 – Winter Tour Finale Champion
2005 – Retired her horse of many years Llave

3 Comments on Kay Blandford’s “My Greatest Blessing,” The Key Grip (Llave) Was Laid to Rest

  1. Sherri Mell | April 29, 2016 at 12:46 am |

    Llave and Kay, never to be topped! RIP, LLAVE!

  2. Carolyn Tomko | April 27, 2016 at 5:18 pm |

    Prayers for comfort & peace. Llave was truly a legend in his own time.

    Carolyn T.

  3. Michelle squires | April 27, 2016 at 11:54 am |

    So sorry for your lost Mrs. Kay…

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