AQHA H-0/P-1 Owner at death: Hayes Bros & Hyde Merritt. 1 pt. Dally Tm Roping/Heading.
Blue Valentine was foaled in Benson AZ, on Kenny Gunters Ranch. Dell Haverty
bought Blue Valentine. Havertys wife was a daughter of Buster Hayes of Thermopolis,
Wyoming. Haverty took Blue Valentine up to Wyoming to the Hayes Brothers ranch
& sold them 1/2 interest in him. During the Hayes-Haverty partnership, Blue
would be hauled south in the late summer for Dell to use at the fall & winter
rodeos in the southwest & for the early breeding season in Arizona. He would
then be hauled back up to the Hayes Ranch at Thermopolis, Wyoming for the late
spring breeding season & to rope on at Cheyenne Frontier Days & other Wyoming
rodeos in the summer. Blue was used for roping, ranch work steer tripping, when
the calves weighed (800-900lbs). In 1968 Havertys daughter barrel raced on
Blue (he had never been run on barrels) taking 3rd at the annual Casper, Wyoming
pro rodeo, an all-girl competition. Over the years, many members of the Haverty,
Merritt, & Hayes families took their turn at competing on Blue Valentine, in rodeo
events. In August 1980 he died, age 24, from a ruptured intestine due to colic.
The same month Buster Hayes was killed in an accident & none of the heirs were
financially able to take over the ranch. It was sold & the Hayes Brothers broodmare
band was dispersed. In 1983, Hyde Merritt was killed in an accident & his family
also had to sell his ranches & most of the horses he had spent his lifetime breeding.
Hydes wife, & their son Chip, managed to keep some mares & two stallions. Chip
has spent years rebuilding a Blue Valentine herd & legacy. Leo Hancock Hayes, the last
breeding son of Blue Valentine,foaled in 1980, died in June of 2007 of an apparent heart attack.
He was owned by Randy & Susan Brookings of Lohn TX, at the time. Blue Valentine horses are known
for their gentle disposition, bone frame,good feet & minds. The only remaining
son of Blue Valentine, Blues King Fisher, has passed away. Blue was 25% Joe Hancock breeding.
This information was researched and compiled by Baru Forell Spiller, Wingate TX.
For the full story on Blue Valentine go to www.HancockHorses.comRanked #7 Top Ranch Horse Bloodlines by Western Horseman Magazine - October 2007 (12/6/2007) dh.