by Laura StevensThe American Quarter Horse Journal
The “Secretz” out: AQHA Professional Horseman Ross Roark earned his career 43rd win on November 17 leading Gerri Leigh Pratt’s 2008 bay stallion Secretz to a world championship in 2-year-old stallions at the 2010 AQHA World Championship Show.
“This was a win I wanted tonight pretty bad,” Ross said to the Journal in his winning run interview. “Not just because I think he’s a great individual, but for Gerri Leigh, who’s been good for me as a customer in this business.”
There’s a lot to love about the stallion, Ross explained. “He’s just a really good horse to be around,” he said. Ross said Secretz is “sound, he has no problems with his feet or legs.”
When asked about the stallion’s conformation, Ross was enthusiastic.
“He’s such a pretty head and necked horse,” Ross said. “He’s a deep-hearted horse, pretty withered. Very, very good on his feet and legs, and low-jointed in his hocks.
“He’s just a horse you want to go every day to the barn to see.”
Ross says Secretz has been garnering attention across the United States: “I have ropers, I have pleasure guys, and English people who…see him and they just ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over him because he attracts not just the halter horse industry but good horsemen all over.”
You might think a world championship title is an old hat for Ross. Instead, Ross remains humble and thankful for his many supporters and those who have helped him succeed.
“(I’d like to thank) the boy that works for me, Ezekiel Morales. “He’s been with me forever. He’s like family. He puts a lot of time in these horses.”
“(And) my family, you know we have the ranch back home and I’m gone showing. My dad always takes care of things whenever I’m not there.”
Though just a two-year-old, the Secretz already has several major wins under his belt. Ross won the 2009 All American Quarter Horse Congress yearling stallions class and the 2010 Congress two-year-old stallions class with Secretz. The horse was also named 2010 Congress open grand champion stallion.
And Secretz isn’t done yet.
“His better years are ahead of him,” Ross said. “I think he’ll get better and better every year he’s alive.” Although plans are pending, Ross would like to bring the stallion back to the World Show next year.
“We have a ranch in West Texas,” Ross added. “And we ride him on the ranch.”
“We’re going to take him home from here, and we’re gonna let him have the rest of the year off. We’ll ranch off him some, probably brand some calves, drag calves off him in the spring, and probably breed some mares.”
Secretz, lead by Ross Roark