Katy TX - April 8, 2011 - Today was a hot and sunny day for horses and riders competing at the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show, held at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center. The main indoor hosted the $10,000 Spring Gathering Jumper Classic, which proved to be an exciting competition. Wilhem Genn continued to be successful this week taking the win aboard Copyright 3 in a six-horse jump-off.
Richard Jeffrey of Bomemouth, England, designed today's courses with the first round course including 14 jumping efforts and the short course including six jumping efforts. Six horse and rider combinations were able to navigate the first course in the 74 second time allowed fault free and advance to their jump off round. The short course presented tight turns and a fast pace set early on by Wilhelm Genn and Happy Z. They were the first to enter the arena and advanced to the jump-off after a fault free effort. Genn and Happy Z set the time to beat at 34.849 seconds, which earned them third place honors.
"With Happy I took the inside turns. Happy doesn't like the heat and it is very humid today and I didn't want to push her that hard. Sure I wanted to be competitive, but I left the door open. If this were the grand prix jump-off I would have gone faster," noted Wilhelm. "This was a really good course and a really good jump-off, but it wasn't a jump-off that was suitable for Happy and with the heat she was sweating a lot. I just figured I would go nice and give her a good round, so she is confident for Sunday and not take too much out of her. I wouldn't change anything if I went back in with her."
Christian Rogge and Indian Rivers Coraggio, owned by Jessica Nilsen, were the next pair on course. Rogge and Indian Rivers Coraggio advanced to the jump-off and raced around trying to beat Genn's time, but pulled a rail at the last fence. They finished in sixth place after crossing the finish line with four faults and stopping the clock at 34.527 seconds.
Several rounds later, Christian Heineking entered the ring aboard Kai Handt's River Of Dreams. Heineking left all the rails up in the first round and galloped around the jump-off course fault free in 33.441 seconds. Their effort put them in second place. Theo Genn and Zenith Dance, owned by Bridlebourne Stables LLC, were next on course. Theo and Zenith Dance had a double clear effort, but couldn't beat Wilhelm's time of 34.849. The pair landed in fourth place with a time of 35.292 seconds. Colleen Acosta and Commodoro 2 were then next to try and steel the win after a clear first round. They tried to beat the clock in the jump off, but fell short by a few seconds. Acosta and Commodoro 2, owned by Karola Giebmanns, stopped the clock in 38.165 seconds and took home the fifth place ribbon.
Today's winner Wilhelm Genn was the next on course, and went all the way. Genn and Copyright 3 stole the lead from Rogge after two fault-free rounds and a jump-off almost a half of a second faster. Genn was the last to advance to the short course in today's class and with a time of 33.008 they secured the win.
"Copyright isn't really faster then Happy because he doesn't turn that well. With tight turns going back in the other directions I figured I would be faster with him carrying my pace. He is careful enough that I can run at the jumps, but I don't have to hold him off the jumps. So, I figured that would be faster for me, and it worked out," said a smiling Genn. "I think I made up time in the turn to the black and white vertical and then to the last jump. With Copyright I rode different then with Happy because he is not that consistent yet, although he has placed in almost every grand prix this year. I try to win these classes so then he pays for himself and if he is fifth or sixth in the grand prix it's all right," Genn added.
Genn will be competing with both mounts in Sunday's $25,000 Seashore Acres Grand Prix. "I feel very good heading into the grand prix this Sunday. I hope the weather is going to cool off because this is the worst weather for Happy when it gets hot and humid. She becomes a different horse, it's like letting the air out of a balloon. So, I will do everything I can before Sunday to try to get them fresh for the Grand Prix. I'm not going to work them hard, hand walks in the morning and late at night when it cools off. Let them eat grass and get some air and lots of electrolytes," concluded Genn.
The Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show, held at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center will continue through the weekend with more exciting competition. Riders and spectator alike are looking forward to more competition and very exciting events planned for the weekend. Some of the upcoming highlights include Saturday night's $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby sponsored by Jim and Carole Looke, and Sunday's $25,000 Seashore Acres Grand Prix.
Photo Credit: Wilhelm Genn and Copyright 3 win in the $10,000 Classic at the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show Photo By: Heather Bellock/PMG.