Katy, TX - April 10, 2011 - It was all about speed for the final day of competition during the 2011 Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center. Today rider's competed for the winning title in the $25,000 Seashore Acres Grand Prix. With 11 horse and rider combinations completing clear efforts during the first round, the jump-off was determined by speed, and Tracy Fenney had plenty of it. She raced around the course in a clear 36.712 seconds aboard MTM Centano to win the class, beating second place finisher Chris Nelson's fault free time of 39.057 seconds with GPS Inside Out.
Today's courses were designed by Richard Jeffery of Boumemouth, England, and the first round included 16 jumping efforts with a liverpool, triple bar, vertical-oxer double combination, and oxer-vertical-vertical triple combination. Eleven of the original starting order were able to complete the track without fault and advance to the jump-off. The short course began over a wide oxer going towards the gate, followed by a single vertical and a tight rollback to the first oxer-vertical portion of the double combination. Riders then had to gallop and make a sharp right turn to a single vertical before making another inside turn to a single vertical on the diagonal. Finally, riders made their way to the liverpool and galloped back towards the gate over a wide oxer before crossing the finish line.
Wilhelm Genn and his first mount Copyright 3 had four faults at the final fence, and his son Theo Genn mimicked the effort with Paradox, owned by Thomas Bruinsma, to finish eleventh and tenth, respectively.
Chris Nelson and GPS Inside Out, owned by Lazy Creek Ranch, were the second combination to tackle the short course and they laid down an incredible effort. They easily left all the fences standing and stopped the clock at a very handy 39.057 seconds. The duo's leading time would hold up for five more rounds but they eventually earned the second place prize.
"It was a really nice course and my horse was fabulous," commented Nelson. "If I could do it again I think we could make up time at the line after the in-and-out; I could have had a better turn there. Inside Out is more of an outdoor horse and likes a bigger field, but he is always really good. He was excellent today and I am very happy with him, it has been a lot of fun showing here."
The next to challenge Nelson's lead would be Mike McCormick with MTM Remington, but their clear effort in a time of 42.615 seconds would only be good enough for seventh. Wilhelm Genn and Happy Z finished in the fourth place position after leaving all the fences standing in 40.794 seconds. The sixth place award went to Martien Van Der Hoeven and South Bound, who crossed the finish line in 42.028 seconds with all the rails in place. Frankie Owens showed DS Holding's Peggi Sue to the fifth place award with a clear effort in 41.865 seconds.
Tracy Fenney and MTM Centano, owned by MTM Farm, stepped into the ring next following Owens' effort to make a bid for the top spot. The duo knew the task at hand and picked up a very quick pace that they were able to hold at each fence. Fenney made a very sharp turn after the combination and was able to slice the single vertical before making her way across the ring to the liverpool. She was well ahead of Nelson's time as she opened up MTM Centano for a final gallop to the last oxer. They crossed the finish line in 36.712 seconds with all the fences intact, an incredible effort which would be good enough for the win.
Wilhelm Genn's final ride of the day was Winchester, owned by Bridlebourne Stables, and was new to the grand prix ring. The duo decided to be conservative and left all the fences standing, but broke the beam at a slow 44.660 seconds for the ninth place prize.
The youngest rider during today's event was 15-year-old Katie Cox, who gave her all with Sacramento N to try and catch Fenney's time. The pair did an excellent job staying on the pace and took similar turns. They completed a clear round and crossed the finish line in 40.458 seconds for the third place honors.
Rounding out today's jump-off of Theo Genn aboard L'Etoile, owned by The L'Etoile Group. With a huge effort at the final fence, the duo was able to cross the finish line without fault, but their time of 43.370 would only be good enough for eight place, sealing Fenney's victory.
"I watched Chris go during the jump-off and I thought he did a great job, I figured that was the winner," smiled Fenney after her winning ride. "My horse just has an enormous stride and I don't think people realize that, he looks slow, but he covers a lot of ground and he's just really efficient. When I turned back to the jumps they were right there, but for Chris when he turned back he had to do a couple of little slow downs. My horse was really great today."
Fenney has been riding MTM Centano for five years and the two have gotten to know each other very well and won many classes. "He's a great horse, he just needs a positive ride. He's a little spooky but I think that's why he jumps clean. I like to ride him kind of loose and flowing like the hunters, but Mike [McCormick] always tells me make sure I hold on to him a little bit more than I like to."
After 11 weeks on the road, Fenney will be heading home to MTM Farm for a weeklong break before traveling to Tyler, Texas. This year her main goal is the Pfizer Million in Saugerties, NY, for which she and MTM Centano have already qualified.
The Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show is always on the schedule for Fenney, who enjoys have such a nice show so close to home. "They do a great job here," she noted. "This is one of the best shows in Texas, it has grand prix classes and a lot of sponsored events. A lot of people show up from different places that don't normally come here, which it makes it more fun and more competitive."
Today marked the final day of competition for the 2011 Spring Gathering Chairty Horse Show. The event was a huge success, with the nations top horses and riders competing for winning titles and incredible prizes throughout the week.
RESULTS: $25,000 Seashore Acres Grand Prix
1 MTM CENTANO MTM FARM, . FENNEY, TRACY MCCORMICK, MICHAEL
2 GPS INSIDE OUT LAZY CREEK RANCH HOLDINGS LLC, . NELSON, CHRIS NELSON, CHRIS
3 SACRAMENTO N COX, KIM COX, KATIE COX, KIM
4 HAPPY Z GENN, WILHELM GENN, WILHELM GENN, WILHELM
5 0PEGGI SUE DS HOLDINGS, LLC, . OWENS, FRANKIE OWENS, CANDIE
6 SOUTH BOUND VAN DER HOEVEN, MARTIEN VAN DER HOEVEN, MARTIEN VAN DER HOEVEN, MARTIEN
7 MTM REMINGTON MTM FARM, . MCCORMICK, MICHAEL MCCORMICK, MICHAEL
8 L'ETOILE THE L'ETOILE GROUP, LLC, GENN, THEO GENN, WILHELM
9 WINCHESTER BRIDLEBOURNE STABLES LLC, . GENN, WILHELM GENN, WILHELM
10 PARADOX BRUINSMA, THOMAS GENN, THEO GENN, WILHELM
11 COPYRIGHT 3 GENN, WILHELM GENN, WILHELM GENN, WILHELM
12 ARIADO ALBRITTON, ABBY GENN, THEO GENN, WILHELM
Photo Credit: Tracy Fenney and MTM Centano won the $25,000 Seashore Acres Grand Prix at the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.