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ATTACHED PHOTOS

Wilhelm Genn and Bugatti

Wilhelm Genn and Bugatti

Erin Haas and As Di Chupito

Hayley Barnhill and Zephire

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Wilhelm Genn and Bugatti Close Out Week Two With $50,000 Grand Prix of Michigan Win

Written by: Kendall Bierer
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG) http://www.stadiumjumping.com/sj/index.cfm
Release Date: 2015-07-12

Traverse City, MI – July 12, 2015 – Wilhem Genn has won over 100 grand prix in his career, and today he added the $50,000 Grand Prix of Michigan, presented by the Ingram Family, to his list of accolades. Genn beat out seven other jump-off contenders for the lion’s share of the earnings, riding Bugatti to the swift time of 37.900 seconds.

Keith Bollotte designed the tracks for the final day of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival II. He set a galloping track that challenged riders with varying fence heights, a problematic and airy vertical-oxer double combination, and a daunting final white vertical-liverpool. Only eight horse and rider combinations were able to navigate the opening round consisting of 13 efforts, but the rails would continue to fall in the jump-off.

Beth Underhill (CAN) was the first to return for the short course, and she duplicated her first-round effort with her veteran partner Viggo to stop the clock in 39.548 seconds and set the time to beat for the class. Two rounds later, Germany’s Wilhelm Genn entered aboard Bugatti, owned by Eduardo Leone and Genn, a horse that while not known for his speed has a reputation of clearing even the most difficult of courses.

Genn was aiming for the win Sunday, legging on the chestnut and following his initial plan to shave the seconds to the third obstacle of the jump-off, the airy white vertical with the liverpool. It was his move to make it down the line with Bugatti in eight strides that gave him the ability to keep a consistent pace through the rest of the course and land 1.648 seconds ahead of Underhill.

“I am very excited for Bugatti because he has not been the same here. He still jumped well, but he wasn’t as he has been all winter,” Genn explained. “We made some changes this week because he was sound, his legs were perfect, he wasn’t lame, so there was not really a reason why he wasn’t performing the same. He was still placing, but he wasn’t winning.”

The already “lazy” horse was feeling especially lackadaisical Sunday, and Genn could be heard entering the ring for the shortened track saying, “Come on buddy, wake up.”

Genn recounted, “He was extremely lazy, so I had to ride him really hard. I have to get after him a bit. He is not big strided, so to get eight strides to the liverpool I had to make a good run at it so I could steady at the end. That gave me the chance to run him at it a little and keep the pace throughout the rest. I knew if I did the nine strides I would lose. I took the risk, and he stepped up.”

It was only last week that Genn stood in the winner’s circle with Welcome COR, and today he wore the same large smile. Remembering taking grand prix wins in Traverse City for over a decade with such well-known mounts as Happy Z, Chantal, and Ariado.

“It’s the best feeling to be able to win two weeks in a row, especially with two different horses. A lot of the time when you win on the same horse, people assume that it is just because it is a good horse. When you win on different ones it gives you a little more credibility,” he laughed. “It is very rewarding for me to win a grand prix here. We come back every year, and it doesn’t matter what group of horses we bring, we usually are at the top or near it. With that being said, I am really proud of my horses, and the young ones we have moving up.”

Erin Haas and As Di Chupito, owned by North Face Farm, were the next to challenge Genn’s time. They made him sweat as he waited to see if they would catch his speed; however, as the pair landed from the final oxer, the clock read 38.554 seconds, just six-tenths of a second shy of the winning time.

“I am really excited to have a second place finish, I have been doing mostly the High Amateurs with that horse this year, and last week was the first prix I had done with him in a while,” Haas explained. “Today he felt like he is comfortable at this height, and that I could go for the speed in the jump-off, and he was right there with me today.”

Haas has been riding him for five years, and is who she would consider as her most veteran mount.

“Although I know him really well, he tends to be spooky, and he certainly keeps me on my toes,” Haas joked. “There were technical parts that were hard to jump clean, and there were some areas where you could show off your speed. I was prepared for the double combination that saw all the faults because I thought he might spook at it so I was legging him through it while trying not to override it. I felt like today we matched each other.”

The combination saw 10 rails from the field of competitors, with four of those rails tumbling down during the jump-off. Only four riders were able to post a double-clear effort, with Hayley Barnhill and Zephire, owned by Barnhill Enterprises, sliding into the third place with the last clear round of the jump-off in 39.370 seconds.

Underhill and Viggo completed the event in the fourth place finish with their pathfinding time of 39.548 seconds, while fifth place was awarded to Ryan Genn and Cookie Monster as the fastest of the four-fault efforts. Underhill also nabbed the sixth place with Cadermie, while Amanda Derbyshire and Goldbreaker took the seventh place. David Beisel and Ammeretto finished out the jump-off in the eighth place position.

The $50,000 Grand Prix of Michigan, presented by the Ingram Family, concluded the second week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. The third week will welcome more exhibitors and spectators to the Traverse City-area, with numerous jumper classics, the $25,000 Welcome Stake, and the $50,000 Flintfields Farm Grand Prix. 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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