Wilmington, Ohio – October 17, 2021 – Another week of top-notch equestrian sport commenced at World Equestrian Center for week three of the Fall Classic series. Saturday saw a field of over 40 competitors and their horses contest the $10,000 Futures Prix and the $50,000 Grand Prix in World Equestrian Center – Wilmington’s Sanctuary arena. A crowd filled the stands for each feature event and cheered on the speedy exhibitors as they strided tonight’s courses designed by Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky. Twenty-four horse-and-rider combinations took on the main arena for feature jumper action. Sixteen riders jumped clear in the first round. However, only eight returned to the course jumping double clear.
It was another great week for the Genns of Rheinland Farm in Lebanon, Ohio. Wilhelm Genn (GER) and his longtime show partner, Bugatti (Heartbreaker x Nona Bella) took the big win in the $50,000 Grand Prix 1.40m-1.45m. This seasoned competitor has worn many blue ribbons around his neck and is quite the crowd favorite. On tonight’s track, they had two great rounds – Genn (GER) and the 15-year-old KWPN gelding crossed the finish line at 75.018 seconds during their first go. Bugatti and Genn returned to the jump-off where they finished in only 36.871 seconds with no faults, taking them straight to the top of the leaderboard.
“This was my first Grand Prix win as an Opa (grandpa in German)! How exciting is that – I can’t wait to tell Felix when he gets older, that I beat his dad when he was just three weeks old!” Genn exclaimed. “As for Bugatti, he jumped great. I want to make sure this horse has fun! He’s won a lot and we know that he is capable. I want to keep the competition interesting for him […] We didn’t do any other classes this week. We were third in the Grand Prix last week, and our strategy coming back is that I don’t run him in the jump-off, I just make sure he turns tight and stays relaxed. The key to riding him is staying smooth and in return, we will be faster.”
Coming in one spot behind his father is Ryan Genn (USA) and VDL Gerinus T (Arezzo VDL x Rosalina). This pair earned first in last week’s $50,000 Grand Prix and returned to contest the Sanctuary arena once again. This time they earned second place with a first-round time of 71.667 seconds, followed by a quick 37.434 second jump-off.
Third place was captured by Gustavo Prato (ARG) of Wellington, FL, and Luke Skywalker 70 (Levisonn x Carthaga Z). Prato and the 10-year-old HANN gelding finished a strong first round in 77.471 seconds and then proceeded to stop the jump-off timers in 37.81 seconds, remaining fault-free.
Ireland’s Kevin McCarthy (IRL) and his own Catch a Star HSS (Sheraton x Tolinda) topped their class of nearly 18 entries. This duo has received top Futures Prix honors now two weeks in a row. We welcomed them back Saturday for the $10,000 Futures Prix 1.30 m. McCarthy (IRL) was first in the order of go, where they set the pace for the class. This course saw a time allowed of 78 seconds, which McCarthy (IRL) and Catch a Star HSS were well under with just 73 seconds in the first round. The Swedish Warmblood mare jumped clear and returned for the jump-off, which they finished in a lightning-fast 29.356 seconds.
Next in the order of placings was Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) and Bengtsson VDL (Bubalu x Indoctro). This impressive team won Thursday’s $15,000 Welcome Prix. We were excited to see them return and they did not disappoint crowds. Smolen (USA) and the ten-year-old KWPN gelding had spectators gripping their seats as they finished the short course only 0.31 seconds behind tonight’s winner. Their first go-around was the fastest in the class and was completely fault-free in only 70.04 seconds. They crossed the timers clear in the jump-off at 29.667 seconds, earning Lisa second place.
Rounding out the top three were Richard L. Rinehart and Vincent. The pair never touched a rail, delivering a clean first round in a time of 75.396 seconds. They continued into the jump-off, jumping a second clear round in a fast 30.277 seconds.
Final Results – $50,000 Futures Prix
1) Wilhelm Genn (GER) & Bugatti – 0 / 0 – 36.871
2) Ryan Michael Genn (USA) & VDL Gerinus T – 0 / 0 – 37.434
3) Gustavo Prato (ARG) & Luke Skywalker 70 – 0 / 0 – 37.81
4) Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) & Nike – 0 / 0 – 38.29
5) Morgan Ward (USA) & Colourful S – 0 / 0 – 39.526
6) Harry Harding (GBR) & G – Star – 0 / 0 – 40.235
7) Sabine Cooper (USA) & Nazarine Van De Axelhoeve – 0 / 0 – 41.274
8) Gustavo Prato (ARG) & Helios VD Nosahoeve – 0 / 0 – 41.488
9) Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) & Sovereign – 0 / 4 – 37.085
10) Jill M. Gaffney (USA) & FF Blade Runner – 0 / 4 – 43.422
Source: Press Release from WEC – World Equestrian Center
Photo: © Winslow Photography