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Chantal and Wilhelm Genn Capture $10,000 THIS Open Welcome Stake Win

Wayne, IL - June 4, 2009 - Starting out the first week right today in the $10,000 Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) Open Welcome Stake was Wilhelm Genn of Lebanon, OH. Genn and his 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding Chantal raced to the win in the class over 41 other competitors. Kate Reuter of Oconomowoc, WI, with On Line was second, while Theo Genn rode Ariado to third place.

A strong field came out for the first big Open Jumper class at the Showplace Spring Spectacular. The two week horse show runs through Sunday, June 14, at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. In today's $10,000 THIS Open Welcome Stake, 10 were clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off. Of those 10, five were double clear, keeping all of the jumps up to score a top ribbon.

The course designer for this week is Dave Ballard of Canada. He set up a first round course of 14 numbered obstacles, and competitors were allowed to complete their jump-off course right away or wait until the end of the class. All but one of the 10 clear rounds chose to ride their jump-off right away.

The early leader in the class was Morgan Kennedy on Zaboomerang. They were the first double clear and crossed the finish line in 35.433 seconds and would end up in fourth place. Genn and his first horse, Happy Z, had the fastest time of the day in 32.215 seconds, but they had a rail at fence 15b for four faults. They would eventually settle for sixth place.

The lead changed hands when Wilhelm Genn's son Theo entered the ring on Ariado, owned by Misty Lane Hayre. They brought the winning time down to 34.905 seconds. Reuter and On Line made the lead change hands five trips later when they finished clear in 33.312 seconds.

It would be the very last horse in the ring who would take home the top prize today. Genn and Chantal (below), owned by Laura Ryan-Barnaclo, were quick and efficient through the turns. They took the lead in the class when they posted a time of 32.529 seconds.

Genn was pleased with his win today on Chantal, and he said that today's warmer, sunny weather suited the big bay horse. "He feels great; I feel very confident about him. I was talking about it last week that Happy normally wins the most. Happy doesn't like the warm weather. She gets short of breath. She's unbelievable in the winter (though). Now she gets a rail here and there. She's not quite the same," he explained, "while Chantal is awesome in the summer. Last year he won both grand prix in August. He likes it; it mellows him out just a bit. He's just a little calmer, and I can ride him a little bit more up to the jumps."

Chantal and Genn have won 20 grand prix events together, including last week's $25,000 grand prix at Ledges Sporting Horses.

Genn felt that today's course worked out very well for the class. He noted, "I thought it was a great course. My compliments to the course designer because without making it big, he made it difficult enough that out of 44 horses there were only five double clean."

The course worked well for Genn, although he did not plan to go as fast as possible in today's class. "Usually I don't go all out in the Welcome. I use it as a warm-up for the grand prix," he said. "Obviously, it's nice to get a good check in this, but I wouldn't go as fast as I would in the grand prix. I would settle for fourth or fifth to do the right thing and have the horse ready for the grand prix."

Genn will be one of many top competitors in this Saturday's $30,000 Showplace Productions Grand Prix, which will start at 3:30 p.m.

Earlier in the day in the Grand Prix Ring, the Young Jumper Championships had their classes. The winner of the Five Year Old division was Eclipse B, ridden by Lisa Goldman. Goldman also swept to the win in the Six Year Old division on D'Or V'Dor B, a full brother to Eclipse B. Tommy Fiegel and Bling It On Won the Seven & Eight Year Old division.

Tomorrow's jumper schedule includes classes for High and Low Junior/Amateur Jumpers, the $1,500 WIHS Classics for Children's and Adult Jumpers, and the $500 NAL Pony Jumper Classic.

The USHJA Zone V Horsemanship Clinic will also be held tomorrow afternoon. The clinic will feature content from Hunter Seat Equitation by George H. Morris and The United States Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship by Susan E. Harris. The informative clinic is the first of a series that will be held throughout the season. Juniors, pony riders, amateurs, and professionals are welcome to attend tomorrow under the food pavilion at the conclusion of competition in the Grand Prix Ring.

For further information on Showplace Productions and the Showplace Spring Spectacular, please visit http://www.showplaceproductions.com.

Final Results: $10,000 THIS Open Jumper Welcome Stake

1. Chantal, Wilhelm Genn, Laura Ryan-Barnaclo: 0/0/32.529

2. On Line, Kate Reuter, Kate Reuter: 0/0/33.312

3. Ariado, Theo Genn, Misty Lane Hayre: 0/0/34.905

4. Zaboomerang, Morgan Kennedy, Morgan Kennedy: 0/0/35.433

5. Topliner, David Dorner, Nora McDonald: 0/0/36.077

6. Happy Z, Wilhelm Genn, Wilhelm and Patty Genn: 0/4/32.215

7. Fontaine, Lisa Goldman, Lisa Goldman: 0/4/33.462

8. Sansierra, Lauren Tisbo, Tequestrian Farms: 0/4/35.198

9. Thomas Edison, Maggie Jayne, Alex Jayne and Ira Schulman: 0/4/36.108

10. 747, Chuck Waters, Chuck Waters: 0/4/38.318

Photo Credit: Wilhelm Genn and Chantal won the $10,000 THIS Open Welcome Stake at the Showplace Spring Spectacular. Lisa Goldman won the Five Year Old Young Jumper Championship with Eclipse B and the Six Year Old division with D'Or V'Dor. Tommy Fiegel and Bling It On won the Seven & Eight Year Old division. Photos Jennifer Wood/PMG. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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