Katy, TX - April 7, 2011 - It was an exciting day of competition for the $10,000 Welcome Stake during the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center. During a two-horse jump-off, Theo Genn showed the way aboard Paradox with the only four-fault effort. Martien Van Der Hoeven followed with the second place prize aboard Uno after incurring four faults over the short course.
Today, riders showed over a challenging course designed by Richard Jeffery of Boumemouth, England. The first round featured 14 jumping efforts, which included an oxer-vertical double combination, a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination, and many bending lines with inside options. For the jump-off, riders began over a vertical going away from the gate, followed by a new oxer off of a bending line. They then made their way through the double combination before making a short right turn to a wide oxer and continuing to a new vertical. Finally riders galloped home over another large oxer and dashed through the finish line.
Theo Genn and Paradox, owned by Thomas Bruinsma of Ada, MI, were fifth in the original starting order and the first horse and rider combination to advance to the short course. Unfortunately, their luck would not hold up during the jump-off and they had a rail at the second fence to accumulate four faults in a time of 32.251 seconds.
As the class continued, Martien Van Der Hoeven would be the only other rider to qualify for the jump-off with Uno, owned by Cindy McCampbell of The Woodlands, TX. They also did not have luck on their side during the short course, and had rails at both fences in the double combination. Their eight fault score in 35.404 seconds would seal the victory for Genn.
"This was a great course, Richard always builds beautiful courses," commented Genn after his win. "Both of my horses were really sharp today, it was their warm-up class for Sunday. During the jump-off I wanted to go pretty fast because it's nice to get a good check and I knew I had riders like Tracey Fenney and Martien going in the class. I figured there would be a few double clear, I didn't think I'd end up winning with four faults in the jump-off."
Paradox and Genn have been partners since the talented mount was six years old. "He's already won some big classes, he won a $50,000 Grand Prix last year," he commented. "I took him to Young Riders and we got Team Silver. He's very experienced, very brave and very careful. Since he is brave he always jumps, but he's extremely strong and needs pretty god support because he likes to look at some of the jumps. He's a good horse though and does a great job."
Genn concluded, "It always feels good to be successful, but you can't do it with out the horses. I'd like to thank Tom Bruinsma who owns Paradox and Abby Albritton who owns my second mount Ariado for letting me ride these great horses.
Placing third during today's class was Julie Cleveland aboard Gentleman, owned by McLain Ward of Brewster, NY. They were the fastest four-fault combination with a time of 66.176. Junior rider Katie Cox of Conroe, TX, took home the fourth place honors aboard Sacramento N, while Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, TX, and MTM Centano placed fifth with four faults. Van Der Hoeven and his first mount South Bound rounded out the top six during today's highlight event.
Earlier in the day, Genn was also victorious in the 1.40m Open Jumper class where he took home the blue ribbon with L'Etoile after they were the only pair to compete a fault free effort during the speed class. Jessica Law and Sangria followed with the second place award as the fastest four-fault effort, and Wilhelm Genn rounded out the top three with Winchester.
"This was probably L'Etoile's last class before the grand prix so I didn't go too fast, but nobody else went clean," said Genn. "He jumped great, he feels ready for Sunday. He's pretty experienced for this level so I wasn't really worried about anything, but I took a little extra time going to the triple combination because he's a little harder off the left and I wanted to be sure we got in right."
Genn always enjoys attending the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show and said, "It's really friendly, all the people are nice, and there is good competition. I love the ring because it's indoors and stays cool."
Also taking home a winning prize today was Jordan Siegel with Castle Point Farm's Rival Du Point du Jour, after they had the fastest clear round during the 1.35m Open Jumper speed class. Lindsay Moss followed in second with Cantera, while Ryan Genn and For Farina placed third.
"My horse was great today, he was careful, fast, very responsive, everything I could ask for," expressed Siegel. "I thought the most difficult part of the course was going to be the three to four because there was a tight turn so he had to stay forward and be looking through the turn, but he did it and was super. Richard has done a super job; the courses have been really nice and fun to ride."
The Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show will continue tomorrow with the $20,000 National Hunter Classic sponsored by Grand Prix Stables and Chris Nelson, as well as the $10,000 Spring Gathering Jumper Classic. This week highlight events include the Carole and Jim Looke Family Fund $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday, and the $25,000 Seashore Acres Grand Prix on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Theo Genn and Paradox took home the top honors in the $10,000 Welcome Stake at the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.