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ATTACHED PHOTOS

Wilhelm Genn and Welcome COR with Kendall Meijer and Wilhelm's wife Patty Genn.

David Beisel and Ammeretto

Wilhelm Genn and Welcome COR

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Wilhelm Genn and Welcome COR Blaze the Way to Win $50,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City, Sponsored by Meijer

Written by: Kendall Bierer
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG) http://www.stadiumjumping.com/sj/index.cfm
Release Date: 2015-07-05

Traverse City, MI – July 5, 2015 – For Wilhelm Genn the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival at Flintfields Horse Park holds nostalgic memories. One in particular flashed across his face Sunday afternoon as he won the $50,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City, presented by Meijer. It was a decade ago that Genn rode his veteran partner, Happy Z, to her first grand prix win in Traverse City, and today he donned the blue ribbon again, but this time aboard future hopeful Welcome COR.

Canada’s Michel Vailancourt designed a large first round track that only eight horse and rider combinations mastered. David Beisel was the first of the field to clear the course with Ammeretto, owned by Equine Holdings, earning the first spot in the return order when Genn followed consecutively with another clean round.

“I was pleased with Ammeretto’s first round, as he jumped it as well as I could have asked him to. He gave me some good efforts for the back rails of the combination, which were hard,” Beisel acknowledged. “I went as fast as I thought I could manage in the jump-off, knowing that there were a lot of horses behind me still to go.”

Beisel laid down a blazing round, slicing the turns and keeping consistent speed across the shortened track. He knew that he would be wearing a target on his back as he broke the beam in 33.942 seconds. As he exited the ring he sighed and said, “now the hard part—waiting.”

He did not have to wait long as Genn returned as the second of the eight to challenge Beisel’s time. Genn used Welcome COR’s natural speed to his advantage, letting her go fast for the first time in their year-and-a-half partnership. They were a hair faster than Beisel through the first three obstacles, and then stayed quick through the right turn to the double combination. He knew he was going to lose time to the liverpool when he had to steady to compensate for his mare’s rideability, but he picked up the pace coming down the home stretch. The win was made even more special by the memories it brought back to the Genn family and Happy Z’s first grand prix victory, as well as the fact that he was recovering from a broken fibula bone in his leg that only fractured three weeks prior.

“At first, I wasn’t planning on going that fast only because I am just coming back,” Genn explained. “I didn’t know how good she was going to hold up going fast. When David went so fast, and he has the fastest horse in the class, I thought that I would give it a shot—I’d rather go fast than go slow and have two rails down. It worked out beautifully. She is not quiet when she goes fast, she tends to get revved up, but she held up all the way, so I am really proud of her.”

He continued, “I know my mare can go fast. I know I can go for it with her. She is not an easy mare, she has the talent I saw originally, but she is much tougher than I thought she would be. She is very stubborn, but has so much talent. Today was a good test for her.”

Beisel finished in the second place position, while Hayley Barnhill and Beezie, owned by the ISB Group, took the third place finish. Beth Underhill and Viggo finished out the double clear efforts with a time of 35.312 seconds and the fourth place. Tommy Brawley and Nando KLT were awarded the fifth place as the fastest of the four-fault efforts, while Barnhill and her second mount Zephire rounded out the top six.

Beisel said of his eventual second place finish, “I thought that we had a great jump-off ride. I knew that I would have to go fast with all the people behind me, and really put on the pressure. There is nothing specifically that I would do differently. He jumped fantastic today.”

Genn said, “I loved the course. I think everyone was a little more ready for today because of Friday’s Welcome Stake course. The courses Michel builds make us ride better and make the horses jump better. I have always liked Michel’s courses, and I am one of his biggest fans. We have really enjoyed the first week of the competition. Everyone was super nice from the horse show office to management, and even Mike who does the footing, has asked us how the footing is working and adjusted based on our recommendations. It has been a very personalized experience.”

The $50,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City, presented by Meijer, concluded the first week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival’s first-week series. Next week will welcome more exhibitors and spectators to the Traverse City area, with numerous jumper classics, the $25,000 Welcome Stake sponsored by Amberway Equine, and the $50,000 Grand Prix of Michigan. For more information on the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival please visit www.greatlakesequestrianfestival.com. To learn more about Stadium Jumping, Inc. please visit www.stadiumjumping.com

 

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