One of the Sweet Creatures that Helped Our Region Grow
In the early fall of 1984, the owner of a handsome racetrack 'pony' horse recognized that his impressive helper was becoming bored with leading others to the gate, and he put out the word that blue was ready for a new lifestyle. Making a change in the spelling of his name, Alan and Merry Cole invited this 16.2 hand grey gelding, Standardbred/Percheron cross, to join their three other vaulting and event horses; Bleaux accepted the invitation. He quickly became a gentle, reliable mount for the Albuquerque Vaulters and also embarked upon a 12 year journey with the Juan Tomas Hounds foxhunt. Serving the youthful vaulters, Bleaux was always gentle, safe and dependable. to vaulters across a full spectrum of abilities, ha gave his best as a sure platform for horseback gymnastics. He showed sensitivity to the skill level of each vaulter and his performance in training sessions, demonstrations and competitions helped bring out the best in everyone he carried. He lovingly helped 4-year-olds acquire the fundamental skills required of beginning vaulters, and with dedication, he carried top ability youths to their successes in capturing America Vaulting Association Bronze, Silver and Gold Medal certifications. He clearly shared in the excitement when "his kids" succeeded, individually or as a competitive team. Riding with the Juan Tomas Hounds, he achieved certification by the Joint Masters of Foxhounds as a Qualified Hunter, and he was the enthusiastic mount of positions of Whipper-In, First Field Master, and (as his rider and he both aged) Dedicated Sweep in the Second Field. Willing to perform any task, he carried home tired hounds as well as "rode double" to bring home dismounted riders. An eager participant in the annual Hunt Races, he twice won the highly competitive trotting race. He was retired from foxhunting at the end of the 1995-1996 season. On June 28, 1996, Bleaux succumbed to complications from tumor-induced intestinal blockage. Always a noble gentelman, he clearly appreciated with patience the long, heroic efforts of veterinarians Eddie F. Chavez, Matt Paxton, and Alice DeGroot as they worked to extend his life, while a multitude of healing prayers were directed toward him throughout his long ordeal. Bleaux continues to live on through the beautiful portraits of him by artist Rainbow Touraine and through the loving memories of all who have known him.