AQHA
WORLD CHAMPIONS - OPEN HALTER
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Ross Roark of Monahans, TX tops the field with a total of 6 open World Championship titles.
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The open halter classes the the 2008 AQHA World Show are finally complete.  With a total of 18 World Championships up for grabs in the open division, exactly half of the titels went to just 2 exhibitors.  Gene Parker of North Carolina took home 3 and Ross Roark of Texas took home 6 of the highly coveted golden horse globes in a dominating performance of halter competition.

   

Weanling Stallions - WAYNE HALVORSON

Watching the judges’ lineup put the audience at the edges of their seats during the weanling stallions class on November 21. The top horses traded places, leaving everyone guessing. But when the dust settled, the palomino stallion BRT Limited Edition walked out with the gold trophy. Owner Bob Story, D.V.M., was on hand for the win – he also led the horse to the 2008 Select weanling stallions world championship. Bob had four generations of his family in the State Fair Park Coliseum with him, from his mother on down to his grandchild.

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Weanling Mares - LUKE CASTLE

Owner Josh Weakly of Shelbyville, Illinois, started off the FedEx Open Week halter competition on November 20 with a weanling double-play. AQHA Pro Horseman Luke Castle led his filly, Curvy Cowgirl, to the weanling mares world championship – four of five judges had her in their top three.

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Weanling Geldings - ROSS ROARK

Josh Weakly of Shelbyville, Illinois, started off the FedEx Open Week halter competition on November 20 with a weanling double-play. AQHA Pro Horseman Ross Roark led his weanling gelding Feared to the weanling geldings world championship. Josh just purchased the gelding from Terry and Leslie Wilkerson on November 13.

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Yearling Stallions - GENE PARKER

After taking the reserve title in amateur yearling stallions class, Western Gunslinger, owned by Donna King of Sanford, Florida, came back to win the open yearling stallions world championship. The sorrel stallion was led by AQHA Professional Horseman Gene Parker, of Orrum, North Carolina and fitted by Ronnie Casper of Ocala, Florida.

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Yearling Mares - ROSS ROARK

It was a repeat win for Sashay This Way in the 2008 yearling mares class on November 22, led by AQHA Pro Horseman Ross Roark. AQHA Pro Horseman Luke Castle led her to the weanling mares world championship last year for owner/breeder Paradise Farms of Rio Medina, Texas. Since then, Debbie Moore of Baytown, Texas, purchased the mare.

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Yearling Geldings - ROSS ROARK

Big Time Secret is no longer a secret. The chestnut yearling won at the All American Quarter Horse Congress this year and then took his first world championship title with Ross Roark at the lead.

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2-Year-Old Stallions - ROSS ROARK

With AQHA Pro Horseman Ross Roark leading Gianni to receive his first world championship trophy, owner Gerri Leigh Pratt’s eyes brimmed with tears. It was a very special win. Gianni’s sire, Telusive, was Gerri Leigh’s favorite. She had owned Telusive for 10 years, until his death in September 2006. Gerri Leigh’s dream is for Gianni to step into his father’s shoes. This world championship was just a dream come true, she said.

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2-Year-Old Mares - TED TURNER

Betty Wells, Nancy Wells Barr and Brittney Barr presented the awards during the 2-year-old mares class. Each exhibitor gave Betty a big hug, and winning exhibitor Ted Turner Jr. offered a tribute to the Wells family during the in-arena interview. After the emotional moments in the ring, Coolestshowgirlntown's owner, Jimmy Cain, offered a few thoughts on his world championship and his mare's sire. Playgirls Reflection was the 1999 world champion in 3-year-old stallions.

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2-Year-Old Geldings - ROSS ROARK

At just 2, Phenomenal Poise already has quite a resume. This sorrel son of Call Me Phenomenal has three AQHA world championships to his name – one as a weanling, one at the Bayer Select World as a yearling and one he just claimed November 20 in the 2-year-old geldings class. For AQHA Professional Horseman Ross Roark of Monahans, Texas, it has been rewarding to see the progression – and the continued success. The horse’s longtime trainer explains why he’s so special.

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3-Year-Old Stallions - ROSS ROARK

In 2006, Acoolest was the world champion yearling stallion. In 2007, he was the world champion 2-year-old. This year, with AQHA Pro Horseman Ross Roark at the shank, he was named world champion 3-year-old. The sorrel was also the amateur world champion 2-year-old and 3-year-old with owner Rita Crundwell of Dixon, Illinois.

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3-Year-Old Mares - TED TURNER

Existing, a daughter of world champion Mr Elusive out of a Color Me Skip mare, has generations of winners in her ancestry. And she’s helping her owners do the same thing with their family tree. After Existing and AQHA Professional Horseman Ted Turner Jr. won the 3-year-old mares class at the 2008 AQHA World Championship Show, owner Vern Habighorst of Phoenix, and his wife, Rita, talked about the multigenerational effort.

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3-Year-Old Geldings - GENE PARKER

Rula Cool ruled over a class of 17 competitors at the 2008 AQHA World Championship Show, giving this statuesque 3-year-old gelding a trifecta of gold trophies. Owned by Erin Sagers of Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, and trained by AQHA Professional Horseman Gene Parker of Orrum, North Carolina, Rula Cool now has earned world championships at the World Show, the Ford AQHYA World Championship Show and the Bayer Select World Championship Show.

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Aged Stallions - GENE PARKER

AQHA Pro Horseman Gene Parker of Orrum, North Carolina, led the palomino stallion Grand Slam Touchdown to the 2008 aged stallions world championship on November 22, the last halter class of the 2008 World Show. The horse is owned by Ernie and Susan Groeb of Onsted, Michigan; Susan led the horse to the 2008 amateur aged stallions world championship just last week – a first for both of them. Susan and Ernie flew home to Michigan after the amateur win, but they were sure to be back for today’s class.

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Aged Mares - WAYNE HALVORSON

With AQHA Pro Horseman Wayne Halvorson leading CRL Shesa Cool Coosa forward to receive her seventh world championship title, the 4-year-old mare’s breeder, Cal Loree, entered the arena with a big smile on his face. “J-Lo” is the longtime halter horse breeder's dream and her pedigree contains some of Loree Quarter Horses’ great sires: Ima Cool Skip, Perpetualism and Coosa.

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Aged Geldings - DON BELL

As a 3-year-old gelding, RPL My Te Cheerful earned 2007 world championships in both open and amateur divisions. For his first year playing with the big boys in the 2008 aged geldings class, he didn't do so bad. He was placed first under four of five judges, winning yet another world championship title.

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Performance Halter Stallions - STEVE MEADOWS

As Steve Meadows led Invitation To Flash forward for the world championship wreath to be placed around his neck, owner Cecilia May Hylton came down into the arena. With tears in her eyes, she patted the bay stallion’s neck and told him she was proud of him. It was a special win for her, as Invitation To Flash’s great-grandsire, Flashy Zipper, was one of Cecilia’s favorite horses.

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Performance Halter Mares - DON BELL

In a class of 34 performance mares, Triple J Ranch of Sarasota, Florida, bred four. One of those mares, Photons Cowgirl, claimed first place under three judges, second under one and seventh under one. The golden trophy was like an 88th birthday present for Triple J Ranch owner Mary Clark. She took a break before the performance halter stallions class to talk about Photons Cowgirl and her sire, Photon.

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Performance Halter Geldings - STEVE FERGUSON

Photons All Round came into the Jim Norick Arena as the 2008 world champion in amateur performance halter geldings. He left as the 2008 world champion in open performance halter geldings. On November 19, he placed first under four of five judges in the hands of trainer Steve Ferguson of Tyler, Texas. During Bank of America Amateur Week, Photons All Round was the world champion in amateur performance halter geldings with owner Bob Lines of Indiantown, Florida, at the shank, defending his title from 2007.

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