November 6-21, 2015, Oklahoma City

Amateur Weanling Geldings

Firsts all around for the Donnelly family.

When Debra Donnelly of La Porte City, Iowa, and Tell Secrets walked out of the Jim Norick Arena with the 2012 amateur world championship in weanling geldings, she really had a bunch of firsts.

It was a first show for the youngster, in addition to being his first title. It was a first halter championship for his sire Telasecret, from the stallion’s first foal crop. And it was a first world championship for Debbie and her husband, Dick, longtime halter enthusiasts.

“My husband and a very dear friend of mine made a trip down to Texas this summer and went to Clark (Rassi’s) and picked him out for me,” Debra said in her Journal Winning Run interview. “We just purchased him and this is the first time I’ve shown him, and this is the first world champion for that stallion – it’s an important thing for all of us!”

With 13 showing in the class and five judges to line up for, Debra had a long time to show her baby.

“(You have to) take your time and be patient and just keep working with him,” she said. “It takes a lot of patience. He wasn’t being very cooperative,” she added and laughed. “He was trying all of the patience that I had, but we got through it. ... He’s a baby and it was a long time out there.”

The Donnellys expressed thanks to Clark Rassi and his crew for selling the weanling gelding and for helping fit him.
Dick said he looked at 65 or 70 colts before picking out Tell Secrets.

“This colt was very distinctive and had a certain look about him, and we came back and made a pass at him and got him bought,” Dick said. “He’s a great-looking colt. I think he’s got a great future ahead of himself. He’s going to mature and be massive. He’ll be an unbelievable colt for Debbie and our granddaughters.”

And that’s the plan: to keep him in the family.

“We have twin granddaughters (Hannah and Lauren),” Deb said. “We are replacing an aged gelding that one of them had been showing, so he’s going to have a good, long home with us.”

Debra Donnelly and Tell Secrets win amateur weanling geldings

Debra Donnelly leads Tell Secrets to the 2012 AQHA world championship in amateur weanling geldings.