Wayne, IL - June 9, 2009 - It was another great victory for Happy Z, an 11-year-old Zangerscheide mare, and rider Wilhelm Genn of Lebanon, OH, at the $30,000 Showplace Productions Grand Prix on Saturday. The pair have been on a hot streak this year, having won eight grand prix events prior to Saturday. The game chestnut was fastest in a four-horse jump-off to beat Maggie Jayne on Thomas Edison and Genn on his first horse, Chantal. Lisa Goldman and Fontaine finished fourth.
The challenging track, set by David Ballard of Canada, included a tall wall and a challenging triple combination that caught many riders. There were only four clear rounds, but there were 12 four-faulters. The fastest four-faulter was Lauren Tisbo on Tequestrian Farms' Sansierra, who received fifth place.
In the jump-off, Genn was first to return on Chantal. They had a solid ride going until the sixth jump, when they had trouble leaving the ground and pulled the top rail of the vertical. Genn made the outside turn back to the wall jump, and finished the course in 36.232 seconds.
Maggie Jayne of Elgin, IL, was next in on Thomas Edison. They were quick through the turns and made the inside rollback from the Nutrena vertical to the wall easily. They finished clear and crossed the timers in 35.256 seconds.
Next in was Lisa Goldman of Hawthorn Woods, IL, who would try and lower the winning time on Fontaine. They had trouble at the wall, where they just pulled the top block off. Racing to the last jump, it was not quite enough. A refusal there added time faults, and they finished with eight jumping and two time faults in 51.444 seconds.
It was all up to Genn and Happy Z, but they have been in this position many times before. Genn kept an efficient pace and made quick turns throughout the jump-off. The little mare had no trouble with the jumps and when she crossed the finish line, the scoreboard flashed a winning time of 34.417 seconds.
This marks Happy Z's 32nd career grand prix victory, an amazing number for any horse, much less one that shows at a top level. Genn smiled and said, "I've never had a horse like her before."
Genn's wins from Saturday and on Thursday vault him to the top of the leaderboard in the Showplace Leading Rider Series, which awards $30,000 to the top three open jumper riders through the series.
Earlier in the day, jumper riders competed in four different classics. The winner of the $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children's Jumper Classic sponsored by Weathertech.com was Rebound and Barbara Ruziska. Katie Smith and Thursday were victorious in the $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic, also sponsored by Weathertech.com. In the $2,500 Low Children's Jumper Classic, it was Sadie Hawkins ridden by Sarah Goldberg, and Megan Alt with Dream Machine won the $2,500 Low Adult Jumper Classic.
The second week of the Showplace Spring Spectacular runs from Tuesday, June 9, to Sunday, June 14. Highlight classes of the week include the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Tuesday and the $50,000 Showplace Productions Grand Prix on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
For further information on Showplace Productions and the Showplace Spring Spectacular, please visit http://www.showplaceproductions.com
Jumper Highlights - Wednesday through Sunday
The Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Show got underway with its second day of competition on Wednesday at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. The Six-Year-Old and Seven & Eight-Year-Old Young Jumper divisions were held in the Grand Prix Ring in the morning, with courses set by Canadian course designer David Ballard.
Willie Tynan rode Victoriano, owned by Liz Millikin of Millwood, VA, to the win in the first class of the Seven and Eight-Year-Old Young Jumpers. Only four entries earned the chance to advance to the speed round, and it was Tynan and Victoriano who had the fastest round in a time of 31.409 seconds to take home the blue ribbon. Lauren Tisbo rode Varina, owned by Tequestrian Farms of Barrington, IL, to the only other clear round in a time of 35.890 seconds to earn second place.
Third place was awarded to Tommy Fiegel and Bling It On, owned by Chuck Waters of Sparr, FL, with four faults in a time of 29.107 seconds. Fourth place went to Lauren Tisbo aboard Norlam Des Etisses, owned by Tequestrian Farms, with eight faults and a time of 45.181 seconds.
The Six-Year-Old Young Jumpers also competed in the Grand Prix Ring Wednesday morning, with a class win going to Nick Novak and Rendezvous 22, owned by Nancy Whitehead of Richmond, IL. Five horse and rider combinations went clear in the first round and advanced to the jump-off, and of those five, four went double clear. Novak and Rendezvous 22 were the fastest of those double clear rounds, coming through the timers in 37.243 seconds for the win.
Second place honors were awarded to Steve Schaefer and Caribe, owned by Steve Schaefer, Dawn Faulkner Rozran, and Jane Stickland, with a clear round in 37.868 seconds. Third place honors went to Wilhelm Genn and L'etoile, owned by Wilhelm and Patty Genn of Lebanon, OH, with a fault-free round in 40.802 seconds. Fourth place was also awarded to Wilhelm Genn riding Ariano, owned by Audrey Samara of Munster, IN, with a clear round in 41.004 seconds. The final round to jump off was Erin Ferguson and Get Smart, owned by Captivate Farms LLC of Schoolcraft, MI, who had four faults in a time of 42.702 seconds to earn fifth place.
Starting out the first week right on Thursday 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 Thursday'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.
David Ballard 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 for the day. Genn and Chantal, 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.
Chantal and Genn have won 20 grand prix events together, including last week's $25,000 grand prix at Ledges Sporting Horses.
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, a full brother to Eclipse B. Tommy Fiegel and Bling It On Won the Seven & Eight Year Old division.
It was a full day of competition in the Grand Prix Ring on Friday, and there were three major awards presentations for jumper riders. The first was the $1,500 WIHS Children's Jumper Classic sponsored by Ashley Hill, in which Amanda Metzler of St. Charles, IL, blazed to victory on Fire Cat over 27 other entries. In the $1,500 WIHS Adult Jumper Classic, Alissa Kinsey and Grisset continued their winning ways. Abbie Ross and TNT were victorious in the $1,500 NAL Pony Jumper Classic, sponsored by Midwest Neurosurgery and Spine Specialists.
Metzler and Fire Cat were one of 10 pairs that were clear in the first half of the Power and Speed course designed by Dave Ballard. Metzler and Fire Cat were clear in the Speed phase in a time of 28.666 seconds to take home the win over Éclair Dubeny and Sam Wagner, who finished in 28.952 seconds. Barbara Ruziska and Rebound were third in a time of 29.475 seconds.
Metzler has ridden Fire Cat for just nine months, but they have already been very successful, having won the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Circuit Championship in the Low Children's Jumpers. This was their first time competing in the regular Children's Jumper division.
Alissa Kinsey made the long trip from Salem, NH, to Chicago to compete over the next two weeks at the Showplace Spring Spectacular. She lives in Ft. Myers, FL, but is based up north in the summer. This is her first time competing at the Showplace Spring Spectacular, but she has already made it worthwhile by winning the $1,500 WIHS Adult Jumper Classic with her horse Grisset, a 12-year-old Hanoverian mare that she imported three years ago.
Kinsey will be one of the top competitors vying for the first place prize in Sunday's $5,000 NAL Adult Jumper Classic sponsored by Bill Kay Auto, as well as next week's $10,000 NAL Adult Jumper Grand Prix.
Another rider that kept on going on Friday was 13-year-old Abbie Ross of Wheaton, IL. Ross and TNT, a 15-year-old mare, won the $1,500 NAL Pony Jumper Classic. The class was sponsored by Midwest Neurosurgery and Spine Specialists, which is owned by her father, Dr. Michael Ross.
Ross and TNT have been together for two years, and the pony was successful with Ross' older sister Lillie before that. They won the national championship last year at Harrisburg, and Ross hopes to be successful this year at Pony Finals.
In a day full of big money classics on Sunday, the largest purse went to 19-year-old Anna Banks of Wheaton, IL. Banks rode Jubulent to the win in the $10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic sponsored by Blue Gate Farm. Banks was fast and clean to post her second classic win of the summer over Lisa Goldman on Morocco and Kelsey Thatcher with Carlotta.
There were 27 entries in Sunday's class, and six were clear to advance to the jump-off. Taylor Land and Canaille just missed the jump-off by exceeding the time allowed of 75 seconds. They finished in seventh place.
Riders had the option to do their jump-off right away or come back at the end of the class. Thatcher and Carlotta stayed in and posted a double clear ride of 35.759 seconds to take the early lead, but would have to wait and watch how the rest of the five jump-off riders would go at the end of the class.
First back for the jump-off was Goldman on Morocco. They laid down a quick trip and took the lead by finishing clear in 33.381 seconds. Next in was Erin Haas on Chianti 67. A mishap at fence 4 led to elimination, and they finished in sixth place.
Banks and Jubulent were the next to contend the lead. Banks left out a stride in an early line and kept Jubulent's eye on the next jump through the turns. After clearing the final one stride, they saw that they had taken the lead by over two seconds when the scoreboard flashed a time of 31.287 seconds.
The last two horses on the jump-off course would not be able to complete without fault. Both Orley and Haylie Jayne and Laura Linback on Mohawk du Claire de Lune had refusals, which added up jumping and time faults. Linback would place fourth with 13 faults in 44.576 seconds, while Jayne finished in fifth with 16 faults in 47.355 seconds.
The Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic exhibitors also jumped Sunday for a $7,500 purse, which was sponsored by Hinsdale Nurseries. There were 46 entries in the class, and the top ribbon went to Caladesi, ridden and owned by Anna Murphy (18) of De Pere, WI. Murphy is in her first amateur year as well as her first year competing in the jumpers. She has owned Caladesi, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood, since last August. The pair started in the Children's/Adult Jumpers, and moved up the Low division with success.
Starting out the morning in the Grand Prix Ring was the $5,000 NAL Children's Jumper Classic. The first place prize went to TNT and Abbie Ross. The quick pony beat out a full entry list of bigger horses for the blue ribbon.
The winner of the $5,000 NAL Adult Jumper Classic sponsored by Bill Kay Auto was Saturday's classic winners, Thursday and Katie Smith.
Hunter Highlights - Thursday through Sunday
It was a beautiful day on Thursday as the professional hunter divisions held their second day of competition and were awarded championship honors at the Showplace Spring Spectacular. Tammy Provost had a very successful two days of competition in the hunter divisions and ended up earning two championship tricolors as well as the blue ribbon for her victory in the $1,000 Open Hunter Classic, which was sponsored by Artisan Farms.
Provost's victory in the Classic was with Sugar Boy, who was also the champion in the First Year Green Hunter division, with Insight and Kelley Farmer as reserve champions in the division. Provost co-owns Sugar Boy along with Wendy Hofmeister of Minooka, IL, and over the two days of competition, the pair placed first, first, first, and second in the four classes over fences to take the championship win.
Provost had her second championship win of the day in the Second Year Green Hunters riding Almost Majic, who is owned by Alliy Moyer of Caramel, IN. Cookie Beck rode All About Eve, owned by Lisa Cudahy of Milwaukee, WI, to the reserve championship honors.
Provost also earned the reserve championship in the Green Conformation Hunters riding As You Wish, owned by Sharie Maloney of Lake Forest, IL. Provost and As You Wish placed just behind Maggie Jayne and Early Applause, owned by Pony Lane Farm of Bluffdale, UT, who won the division's championship tricolor.
Kelley Farmer is another rider who had double championship wins in Thursday's hunter competition, both of which were aboard Upshot, owned by Jane Gaston of The Plains, VA. After placing extremely well over the two days of competition, Farmer and Upshot won the division championships in both the Regular Working Hunter and Regular Conformation Hunter divisions.
Lorrie Canady took home the reserve championship honors in the Regular Working Hunter division riding Insignia, owned by Mary Beth Canfield of Chicago, IL, while Maggie Jayne rode Francesca, owned by Pony Lane Farm, to the reserve championship tricolor in the Regular Conformation Hunters.
Some of the day's top horse and rider combinations in the championships were also the top four in the Open Hunter Classic. After two rounds of competition, Sugar Boy and Tammy Provost came in first place, while Francesca and Maggie Jayne placed second, Early Applause and Maggie Jayne third, and As You Wish and Tammy Provost were fourth.
Kelsey Thatcher and Natalie Allen each had victories on Saturday as the show continued with its fifth day of competition. Kelsey Thatcher and Early Applause won the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic in the afternoon, which was sponsored by Artisan Farms.
Thatcher, of South Jordan, UT, bought Early Applause from Larry Glefke and Kelley Farmer at the end of the Winter Equestrian Festival in March and was very happy with the successful rounds today. The class was held in a two round format, and the pair scored an 88 in the first round and an 85 in the second round for a combined score of 173 for the overall class win. Alliy Moyer rode Barbados, owned by Elsa Goding of St. Louis, MO, to the second place finish with scores of 83 and 86 for a two round total of 169.
The next big hunter class on Saturday was the $1,000 NAL Adult Hunter Classic, which was sponsored by Copper Ridge Farm. After the two rounds of competition, the Classic win was awarded to Rookie, owned by Norgan, Inc. of Barrington, IL, and ridden by Natalie Allen. Allen and Rookie scored an 84 and an 85 for a combined total of 169 to win the class. Ashton Chewning rode Short Story Long, owned by Sheila Motley of Keswick, VA, to the second place finish with scores of 86 and 81 for a two round total of 167.
On Sunday the Showplace Spring Spectacular concluded its first week of competition, with Beth Bidgood and Ashley Romano each winning Amateur-Owner Hunter championships in their respective age divisions. Shannon Kelly was also awarded the blue ribbon in the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic.
Ashley Romano rode her horse Enjoy to the championship win in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division in the morning with Shannon Kelly and her horse Trust Me coming in reserve. Kelly and Trust Me also won the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic that followed.
The next division to award championship honors was the Amateur-Owner Hunters 36-50, and it was Beth Bidgood of Westfield, IN, and her horse Northern Crown who won the tricolor. Pick a Color, owned and ridden by Sonya Svaty of Lake Bluff, IL, was awarded the reserve championship.
The Junior Hunters also completed their two days of competition in the afternoon and awarded championship honors. The Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under was first to compete and Caitlin Ziegler of Mequon, WI, rode her horse Winter Place to the division's championship tricolor. Abigail McArdle of Barrington, IL, rode MVP to the reserve championship.
In the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Margo Lyons of Inverness, IL, rode Granted Wish to the championship win, while Kelsey Thatcher of South Jordan, UT showed Mirasol to the reserve championship.
The Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under division was up next with the division's championship and reserve championship both going to Abigail McArdle. McArdle rode Blue Steel to the championship win and Solitaire to the reserve honors.
The final division of the day was the Large Junior Hunters 16-17, and it was Caitie Hope of Barrington, IL, who took the championship tricolor riding Unsurpassed. Kelsey Thatcher came in reserve with Gianni, who was also the winner of the day's $1,000 Artisan Farms Junior Hunter Classic.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/showplace-spring-spectacular-wrap-up-06-09.html">Showplace Spring Spectacular I Wrap-Up, June 3-7, 2009</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com