by Allison GraysonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
AQHA Professional Horseman Ross Roark snagged all three gold trophies in the open performance halter classes at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show on November 12. And he gives the horses the credit for all of the wins.
“I was fortunate today to have three really good horses,” he said. “It’s hard to win back to back-to-back at this caliber of show, but you know, when you have caliber horses, I have to show them because I think that I have a chance to win with them. And the stud, the mare and the gelding are all very good individuals. Fit and ready. And they’ve stayed healthy.
“Anytime you win back-to-back-to-back at this caliber of show, it’s a good day,” he said. “But they’re good horses, so I don’t think anything was given to me. I think the horses earned it.”
Ross’s go with Bimini Twist in performance halter geldings was a showcase of the great horses he’s shown at the World Show.
“He’s a really nice horse,” Ross said. "He’s really balanced, he’s got a really pretty head and neck. They rope on him and he’s a good roping horse. He’s good on his feet and legs, he tracks (well), he’s got balance. He’s got some substance to him.
“And the main thing is he’s a show horse, he’s got some show presence to him and he’s easy to show,” he said. “He did his job today.”
Ross says that, once the World Show rolls around, the horses are getting seasoned and the important thing is to make sure everything just runs smoothly. A lot of the preparation revolves around going to other shows.
“The main thing at this time of year is you just want to keep them healthy and keep them sound,” he said. “We’ve had some good weather and that’s helped and (we showed) them at the (All American Quarter Horse) Congress and they stayed healthy through that and through the amateur. I think a lot of it is just staying on top of them and taking care of business.”
Luckily, all three of the horses, including the 2008 chestnut gelding, were all ready to hit the show ring this morning.
“More or less, those horses know the game, they know the routine,” Ross said. “They knew it was show day.”
Although Ross is not “Rip’s” trainer at home, he was excited that the Kennedy family asked him to show their horse.
“I live in West Texas and they asked me to show the horse at the Congress and the World, and of course I wanted to,” he said. “I saw him at a show back in the spring in Missouri and I liked him. I thought he could compete.
"You know, you may not win every class or every time, but you want a good horse to compete with,” he said. “I really liked him and I thought I could compete with him. We did a deal and won the Congress and the World and that’s what we wanted to do.”
And for Ross, part of Rip’s ability to compete is the fact that the Kennedy’s rope with him and use him as a riding horse, something that Ross says is important in a performance halter horse.
“I think that helps him a lot,” he said. “Mentally and physically I think that helps him a lot. The horse is broke to ride and they ride him. That’s how they exercise him and prepare him and I think that he’s very good on his feet and legs, so he’s able to be ridden and be used.
“That’s what they’re supposed to be used for,” he said. “They’re supposed to be ridden and used. And a performance (halter) gelding that’s more or less what they’re for.”
AQHA Professional Horseman Ross Roark and Bimini Twist take home the gold. (Journal photo).