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Wilhelm Genn Continues to Heat Up the Gulf Coast Winter

Gulfport, MS—FEB 12, 2009— Lebanon, OH based Wilhelm Genn is keeping the heat turned up for the second week of the Gulf Coast Winter Classics with another hot victory in the Lucky Sevens Open Jumper Welcome presented by the Gulf Coast Classic Company.

Having won both the Welcome Stake and Grand Prix last week aboard his fiery chestnut mare Happy Z, Genn switched things up for week two’s opener. Partnered with Chantal, owned by Laura Ryan-Barnaclo, Genn raised temperatures once again in over taking 20 other determined competitors this afternoon.

Prior to the Stake’s start, this week’s designer Tim Hott joked about being overly generous with an 83 second time allowed in the first round, “I’ve been very kind the past couple of days in all the jumper rings. But just wait until this weekend!” He was correct in the time not becoming a factor to cruise around the huge grass ring. The biggest culprit today was the #2 fence, a skinny vertical, where 95% of horses with faults picked up 4. “There were two reasons in my opinion,” began Genn of the vertical disaster, “one-it’s a skinny and it’s a little spooky. The horses have to study it, they have to back up, and then jump up and over. Number two reason; it was set on what I would call a half stride. Even though we try to ride so there is no half stride, when you measured it was either going to be a forward seven which would make you a little flat or you had to take back in the eight.” Genn believes that unfortunately some people just couldn’t get it in either. Not the case for the experienced Chantal who navigated a clean time of 77.840. Even more impressive since they were number one in the order of go. 18 spots later Genn repeated the feat with Loredo in 77.942 seconds.

Wilhelm and the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding bested six jump-off contenders with another clean go in the 48 second, seven-obstacle [8 effort] final challenge layed out by Hott. “Nice courses!” Genn began, “Round one was a very good straight forward course and the jumps were big enough that it could catch you anywhere. It was an interesting jump off. I thought the option with the loose 7 [strides] from #1 to #2 was nice and then the tight turn back was really good. And I thought it was really interesting that he threw totally different jumps into it.” Genn’s reasoning was that not only does that help preserve the lush grass, but also with additional “spook” factors he keeps both riders and horses “thinking”.

Chantal proved he doesn’t scare, returning first in the line up and setting a quick pace to beat the clock in 40.425 clean. “I really like, in a big ring like this, that he [Hott] let the horses gallop.” The next five would try yet fall short of catching Genn. The last horse attempting actually had Genn in the saddle. Loredo had lots of scope and stride, but despite a second clear round fell short with a time of 41.947. “Everything came out really good, the gallop to the last jump was great. I think it just came down to Chantal’s got more experience and today that won out.” He concluded by expressing the pride felt for both mounts performance, “The boys were so good. I couldn’t ask for a better ride from either of them.”

Final results for the afternoon found Andrew Kocher and Madison Harwood’s entry Fenway in 2nd place with a clear time of 41.257. Third place to Wilhelm and Loredo with their clear time of 41.947. Fourth place to Grand Bay, AL’s favorite Holly Shepherd piloting Tuppy Dougherty’s Cabarette Z with a clean 45.668 and completing the top five was Amanda Flint riding Texas Hold’Em for owner Kathleen Kamine finishing with 4 faults in 47.085.

The Gulfport Winter Classics continues with more hunter/jumper and Grand Prix action through March 15th. Admission is free and the public is invited to enjoy the exciting competition throughout the week, Wednesday –Sunday, along with another $25,000 Grand Prix this Sunday.

Photo: Wilhelm Genn and Chantal ©Flashpoint Photography

* Photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release


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