Traverse City, MI - July 21, 2011 - As Horse Shows by the Bay continues into its third week, clouds were a surprisingly welcome presence at this morning's jumper events. Having been sun-kissed for the previous two weeks, competitors and spectators all seemed to appreciate being able to leave the SPF and shades behind for a few hours. The 1.30m and 1.35m Jumpers utilized this morning's classes to gear up for later jumper events, while the Young Jumpers honed their skills throughout the afternoon.
Kate Bomgaars rode her own horse, Online, to a first place finish in the 1.30m class, while Theo Genn piloted Paradox to the same honor in the 1.35m class. Other jumpers demonstrating both power and speed today were Samantha Ramsay in the 1.25m Jumpers, Charles Jacobs in the High Junior/Amateur-Owners, Kimberly Seay in the Low Junior/Amateur-Owners, and Taylor Flury, Tracey Weinberg, and Chris Kappler in today's three Young Jumper classes.
Theo Genn and Zenith Dance were the first to achieve a clear round in the 1.30m jumpers, a power and speed course designed by Michel Vaillancourt of Aiken, SC. Genn and his energetic gray mount, owned by Bridlebourne Stables LLC, finished third in a competitive class. Nick Novak and Rendezvous 22, owned by Nancy Whitehead, came in second with the first clear speed round of the day. Kate Bomgaars and Online quickly came on course, though, and overtook Novak as the leader. The pair calmly traversed the power portion, switching gears in the speed round to rush through without a fault. They achieved a speed round time of 34.731 seconds, just slightly faster than Novak's time of 35.368 seconds in his second round. Today's 1.30m class and 1.35m classes were sponsored by Denise Wilson and Blue Gate Farm of Dousman, WI. Wilson rode first in today's 1.30m event, incurring only four faults on a course that knocked many out of contention for the speed portion. Wilson ride was Cachemira LS, owned by Daniel Bluman.
In the 1.35m class, a compact class of five jumpers left little room for error in either the power or speed portions. Theo Genn, riding Paradox owned by Thomas Bruinsma, was the first and only rider to achieve two clear turns through today's colorful course. Both Wilhelm Genn, riding Winchester, and Alejandro Karolyi, riding Vayne, made it to the speed round, but each knocked just one rail. A three-way tie emerged for the champion honors in the 1.35m Jumpers, with Theo Genn on Paradox, Denise Wilson on Delphine Van Het Orshof, and Wilhelm Genn on Winchester sharing the title with ten points each.
"This was his schooling class for the Grand Prix on Sunday," noted today's winner Genn, "and it was an easy class for Paradox. He jumped beautifully, rode well, and it was a beautiful course, with Michel (Vaillancourt) building this week. It was a nice easy round, and my horse jumped great." Genn has been riding Paradox for six years. "He's strong-minded," Genn commented. "Even a little bull-headed, but he's a good horse. He's got a ton of talent. He's not always the most cooperative, but when he does cooperate he's a very special horse." When asked if his strategy changes in a power and speed class, Genn answered, "Not on this horse. If I were on a younger horse, I might practice and go a little bit faster. For Paradox, though, it's all about the Grand Prix." Genn and Paradox will participate in Sunday's $30,000 Grand Prix of the Great Lakes, held in the afternoon as the finale to an action-filled third week at Horse Shows by the Bay.
The young jumpers were also out in full force this afternoon, as riders gave their mounts a taste of greatness in the Grand Prix ring. Taylor Flury placed first in the 5 year-olds on Role Model, owned by Aliboo Farm, Inc. Second in this class was Alex Parrish on Bandro, and placing third was Brian Shook on Batman VDL. Bandro is owned by Cara Cheska, and Batman VDL belongs to Equestrian Endeavors, Inc. In the 6 year-olds, Tracey Weinberg rode her own horse, Ackas, to the top position. Samantha Ramsay came in second on Ladonna, owned by Kathleen Kamine, while Theo Genn made an appearance in the third place position aboard Mr. Red, owned by Jessica Schuh. Finally, in the class reserved for young jumpers 7 or 8 years old, Chris Kappler rode Royal Reflection, owned by Kathleen Kamine, to a first place finish. Weinberg placed second this class, riding her own Wild Card. Wilhelm Genn came in third upon Lacy, owned by Jana Rodes. All of today's Young Jumper classes were sponsored by Chris Kappler Inc.
"She's just a sweetheart," noted winner Flury of the talented mare Role Model. "I've had her since she was two years old. She's always willing, she's adjustable, and she tries her heart out. A funny thing is she was actually named after me; her name is Taylor. I had surgery a few years ago, and she was born that same year, so she was named after me by the breeder. She's been great, she has won about the last 15 five-year-old classes in a row, I believe. She's just really sweet - super willing, really careful, and really brave. Plus, she turns great, she is super adjustable, and she's just really cool." This marks the third year that Flury has come to Horse Shows by the Bay. "I love it up here," she added. "It's a great show. Everyone is super nice, the rings usually finish early, and it's a great town."
In other jumper news today, the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class was won by Charles Jacobs on Flaming Star, owned by CMJ Sporthorse, LLC. Jacobs also placed third in this event, riding the aptly-named Leap of Joy, owned by Deeridge Farms. Coming in second was Callie Bass on Carinijo, owned by Fred Bass. In the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, Kimberly Seay rode her own Belvedere to the top spot, with Francesco Bolfo on U2 in second and Maria Costa rounding-out the top three on Reno. Both Bolfo and Costa rode their own horses in this afternoon's class.
The multi-series Horse Shows by the Bay will continue to offer riders and fans the ideal horse sports venue throughout the next two weeks. Highlights in Series III, which runs through July 24, include a $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, a $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix, and a $30,000 Grand Prix of the Great Lakes and VIP Sponsor Luncheon. Additional feature events include a $5,000 Adult Jumper Classic and a $5,000 Children's Jumper Classic, both of which will be held before Sunday's Grand Prix. During the fourth and final week of competition, notable events include the $30,000 D-BRAIDER Cherry Capital Classic Grand Prix, as well as a $10,000 Children's/Adult Jumper Prix and VIP Sponsor Luncheon. Over half a million dollars in prize money will be awarded by the conclusion of this month-long celebration of equestrian athletes.
For more information or to view schedules, please visit www.horseshowsbythebay.com or call 231-267-3700.
Photo: Kate Bomgaars and Online Credit: Robyn Keyster/PMG