The $25,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Grand Prix at Gulfport

Get Happy in Gulfport! The Genn clan keeps the money in the family!

Wilhelm Genn and Happy Z sail over an oxer in the Johnson Horse Transportation Grand Prix. Flashpoint Photography

Gulfport, Mississippi, February 10, 2013 – Johnson Horse Transportation kicked off the 2013 grand prix action yesterday when it pulled into town at the Harrison County Fairgrounds. A field of eighteen took to the course designed by Blake Adler of Germantown, Tennessee, but it was Wilhelm Genn and his sons, Theo and Ryan of Lebanon, Ohio, who kept the money in the family by securing first, second and third placings!  “This was the first time my sons and I finished in the top three spots,” said Wilhelm Genn. “This was a very special class for us!” he added.

First to go was Paradox ***, owned by Thomas Bruinsma and ridden by Theo Genn of Lebanon, Ohio.  But with eight faults in round one with a time of 91.40, the pair would not return for the jump-off. Second to go was Theo’s father, Wilhelm Genn of Lebanon, Ohio, aboard Nancy Gooding’s Palim Palim ***, who had four faults at fence 6 and finished with a time of 102.81 seconds.  Devin Ryan of Long Valley, New Jersey rode his own Roman Saluut*** and looked to be the first clear round of the day, but with four faults at the last fence and a time of 94.231, would settle for seventh overall.  Jay Land of Alpharetta, Georgia was next to go riding his and Kim Land’s Nepal and had the crowd on their feet as they locked in the first clean round of the day with a time of 93.655 seconds.  Gage Hodgen’s Cooper 59, ridden by Jordan Siegel of Flower Mound, Texas, finished with eight faults and a time of 94.996, followed by Thomas Le Blanc, riding Steel Horse Investment’s MTM Got Game, in a time of 101.338 seconds and sixteen faults.

Theo Genn riding his own Cola took to the field next and finished with a time of 93.203 seconds and sixteen faults.  Ken Whelihan of Otis, Massachusetts, rode Ursula Green’s James to a time of 91.311 seconds and sixteen faults.  Happy Z and his owner and rider, Wilhelm Genn, broke the fault streak and finished the course with no faults in 92.717 seconds.  Devin Ryan in the irons aboard Barbara Rowland’s No Worries, looked to join Happy Z, but with eight faults and a time of 87.080 seconds, would settle for an eighth place finish.  The young Ryan Genn was next to go aboard his father’s Cookie Monster and finished the course clean with a time of 93.341 seconds.

Next to go was Frances Land of Alpharetta, Georgia riding her own Vieanne, but the pair opted to retire early.  Eduardo Braun took to the course next, riding his own H.J. El Magnifico and went clean with a time of 93.666 seconds.  Theo Genn was next to go riding Eduardo Leon’s Asirea Fortuna and with eight faults and a time of 94.123 seconds, would finish eleventh overall.  Christian Currey of Franklin, Tennessee was next to go aboard his own Herrock, but with sixteen faults and a time of 94.310 would not place.   Wilhelm Genn took to the ring next, this time with Ann Anastasio’s Quite Ruffy 840 and finished clean with a time of 94.175 seconds.  Jersey boy Devin Ryan was next to enter the ring, this time aboard his own Calissandro, but with eight faults and a time of 87.941 seconds, would settle for a ninth place position overall.  Last to go was Theo Genn, riding Bridlebourne Stables LLC’s Winchester to a clean round with a time of 95.325 seconds.

The jump-off field consisted of six teams, half of which were the Genn clan.  Jay Land and Nepal were first to go, but with four faults and a time of 39.054 seconds, would settle for fifth overall.  Happy Z and Wilhelm Genn were next to step foot on the beautiful turf field and set the bar at 37.721 seconds with a clean round, bringing the crowd to their feet!  His son Ryan, a freshman at SCAG, followed with his father’s Cookie Monster and although he went clean, failed to beat his father’s time with his own 47.212 seconds.  Eduardo Braun, riding his own H.J. El Magnifico, challenged the Genn family and while earning a fast time of 38.966 seconds, with four faults would finish in fourth.  Theo Genn, riding Bridlebourne Stables LLC’s Winchester, then took to the course, looking to join the ranks of his brother and father and went clean with a time of 43.227 seconds.  The pair would finish in third place.  As the last to go, Wilhelm Genn looked to beat his own time aboard Ann Anastasio’s Quite Ruffy 840, but with eight faults and a time of 42.46 seconds, would settle for sixth place.

“Despite the earlier rainier conditions in the week, Blake [Adler] designed a good course.  The footing was good and the numbers were right with six in the jump-off and obviously a good outcome for us!” said winner, Wilhelm Genn. “I think the course was very good and there was a good group of horses – they are very fast. Jay [Land] can win no matter where he goes.  So, while every week the competition will be changing, we expect to do well, which is why we will be here all winter.  We have a few young ones and a few veterans, so we can show in a lot in Gulfport,” he added.

With the Genn family having the top three spots, what is the secret of their success? “Horsemanship is the secret – which shouldn’t be a secret.  You see horses now days that go well for one year, maybe two. Knowing, managing, and caring for your horses, practicing good horsemanship is the most important lesson to pass on today and I try to do that with my boys,” he said.  “That will be the most important lesson for future generations of riders to learn,” Genn added.

Originally scheduled for today, the weather forecast did not look promising so show management and the riders together decided that the grand prix would run as the last class of the day yesterday.  “This is just another example of the camaraderie among the riders at Classic shows and how the show management works with us to come up with the best option for the riders, horses and show,” commented Wilhelm Genn.  “By Friday, there was enough talk of weather that the riders weren’t completely surprised they might show in the grand prix on Saturday, which let them prepare.  It was a great day and the turf rode really well.”

The Gulf Coast Classic in Gulfport is where the fun will be this winter, so don’t miss it!  Remember, Mardi Gras in neighboring New Orleans goes on during the Gulfport shows and that festive atmosphere spills onto the show grounds. With its close proximity to the Gulf Coast beaches, class offerings, prize money, and social scene, the Gulf Coast Classic Company’s Gulfport shows are a must on everyone’s show list.  The show will feature weekly $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derbies, the $10,000 International Hunter Derby Week IV, and a weekly Grand Prix to name a few highlights.  The grand prix schedule continues with the $35,000 Adequan Grand Prix on February 17, the $35,000 Nutrena Grand Prix on February 24, the $35,000 CWD Grand Prix on March 3, and the circuit grand finale, the $50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix scheduled for March 10.

The Classic Company is a USHJA’s Members Choice Award winner, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States.  For more information on Classic Company and its exhibitor-friendly, top quality hunter jumper events, please visit them at www.ClassicCompany.com or call them at 843-768-5503.

All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director at classicsponsorship@gmail.com.  All program advertising should be directed to Nate Poliquin, Program Sales Representative at classicshowads@yahoo.com.

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See you at the ring,
Bob Bell
The Classic Company, Ltd.
www.ClassicCompany.com
Phone/FAX:  (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311  Johns Island  SC 29457

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