Wilhelm Genn “Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler” at The Gulf Coast Winter Classics Third Week
RELEASE: March 4, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Flashpoint Media Services
GULFPORT, MS—Translated to English, “let the good times roll” easily sums up the series that Lebanon, OH-based, Wilhelm Genn continues to enjoy in Gulfport with two $25,000 Grand Prix victories this week. Riding the Laura Ryan-Barnaclo owned Chantal, on Friday, Genn celebrated victory in the $25,000 EMO Insurance sponsored Grand Prix and again on Sunday in the $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix.
2008 Beijing Olympic co-course designer Steve Stephens arrived in Gulfport with one goal in mind – to test the mettle of Week Three’s competitors over his infamously complicated layouts. Friday’s $25,000 EMO Prix consisted of 12 fences and 15 efforts, which included three sets of double combinations, two triple bars and several tight roll-back turns all set across the vast grass field with the expectation of completing the course cleanly in less than 90 seconds. Genn partnered with his chestnut fireball, the 12 year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Happy Z, were the first of 30 entries to take on Stephen’s quiz.
Happy Z posted the first clean time of 86.021 and only 10 others would duplicate her feat. Among them Columbus, NC, resident and show jumping veteran Vick Russell piloting Creed for owner Helen Terranova with a clear round in 86.438. Two slots later it was Kelsey Baker riding the Oxford Holding Company entry Lucy Lectric III coming in clear with a time of 84.710, and five rides later, Genn added the 12 year-old Holsteiner Chantal’s name to the jump off list with a time of 86.054. “This was a course of keeping your horse sharp everywhere; you could have gotten a rail any place,” offered Genn to the numerous rails dropping in round one.
With 54 seconds allowed, the deciding round of six fences/eight efforts was full of twists and a couple of hot spots – the 6AB off a bending turn and a tight left turn to the 9AB combo of triple bar in and vertical out, that would dash the hopes of most of the field, including Happy Z. “She jumped high and maybe just stalled a little bit in the air. Normally she jumps really good on those tough left turns, that’s how she’s won many prix by coming in tight on a left turn, but unfortunately it didn’t work out this time,” said Genn.
Vick Russell and Creed were successful with a clean ride of 42.602, three horses later Genn and Chantal galloped onto the field and into the lead with a clear run of 40.575. “Chantal’s just a great horse who gets better each outing,” said the smiling Genn of his partner. The majority of rails came down at the 6AB combination. “It was a pretty high vertical going in and the inside was a short distance where the horses had to rock back and then the oxer had a real wide spread,” explained Genn. Only one other horse would clear the second round, Copyright 3 another entry of Genn’s registered a time of 40.699. “He’s young but starting to come along nicely,” said Genn.
Final top five results for the $25,000 EMO Grand Prix were:
1st Place – Wilhelm Genn & Chantal (owned by Laura Ryan-Barnaclo) – 40.575 – 0 Faults
2nd Place – Wilhelm Genn & Copyright 3 (owned by Genn) – 40.699 – 0 Faults
3rd Place – Vick Russell & Creed (owned by Helen Terranova) – 42.602 – 0 Faults
4th Place – Wilhelm Genn & Happy Z (owned by Wilhelm Genn) – 41.646 – 4 Faults
5th Place- Kelsey Baker & Lucy Lectric III (owned by Oxford Holding Co.) – 41.668 – 4 Faults
Awards for Division Champions from the hunter rings also began on Friday, some of the highlights included:
1st Year Green – Robin Hood Z (owned by Patricia Jenkins) ridden by Holly Shepherd
2nd Year Green – Daily Devotion (owned by Valinda Moore) shown by Colleen Acosta
Regular Working – Primera (owned by Helen Gilbert) ridden by Christina Jason
Conformation Hunter – Dubari (owned by Gayle Cox) ridden by Will Roberts.
Another Cajun expression Lagniappe (pronounced “lan yap”), “something extra”, best describes Friday’s exhibitor party. The community of Harrison County welcomed riders back with a bounty of delicious local cuisine, festive music and down home warmth. More than 1,400 pounds of crawfish (boiled right on the spot), 700 pounds of shrimp, 400 pounds of spiced chicken, another 400 pounds of fried catfish and barbeque ribs and more extras than one could wish for were served. Topping off the evening was some toe-tapping live music. “Now this is how to celebrate a victory,” exclaimed Wilhelm Genn, this week’s big winner.
Sunday morning found the crowds already settling around the grass field the day’s featured events. Starting with the $15,000 NHJL Nordic Lights Farm Junior-Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. Designer Steve Stephens didn’t give away the big money, the field of competitors had to survive a technical layout that, in the end, became a two-horse race between Frances Land of Atlanta, GA, aboard Merlin and Denise Wilson of Dousman, WI, riding Corsavita. Land and Merlin were first in the jump off with a fast time of 35.072, but when a rail dropped giving them four faults off, bets seemed off. Wilson followed but also had a rail down and a time of 38.106. Land and Merlin happily took the four-fault victory. Wilson and Corsavita were second, Eirin Bruheim with Cicero 75 finished third in 75.820 and four faults, Lillian Hahn and Lucky One were fourth with eight faults in 73.970, and completing the top five was Michael Burnett paired with Iron also with eight faults in 74.880.
The Gulfport Winter Classics continues with more hunter/jumper action through March 21st. Admission is free and the public is invited to enjoy the exciting competition throughout the week along with another $25,000 Grand Prix each Sunday afternoon.
For more information or results on the 2010 Gulf Coast Winter Classics, visit www.classiccompany.com or call the show office at (228) 832-2745.