Wilhelm Genn & Bugatti Back on Top in $50k North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2* at GLEF

Sunday at the Flintfields Horse Park was action-packed, offering an array of activities for families and spectators to enjoy, with the afternoon leading up to the main event of Week III at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF): the $50,000 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2*.

Week I’s $50,000 Great Lakes Grand Prix, presented by East Wind Farms, winners, Wilhelm Genn (GER) and Bugatti, returned to claim the first FEI grand prix of the 2018 season, besting an original starting field of 36 international horses and athletes and outpacing a nine-horse jump-off.

Wilhelm Genn and Bugatti. Photo: Diana Hadsall Photography

“He really can reach deep down, even if he doesn’t feel at his best,” Genn said of Bugatti. “That’s what it takes to be a champion and that’s what it takes to be a winner. It’s the same with humans, there’s no difference. We have plenty of days when we get up and we’re sore, we’re in pain and we don’t feel like it, but the winner just tries extra hard and that’s what Bugatti is doing now. I cannot tell you how proud I am of that horse and what he’s done so far this year.”

The course, designed by Portugal’s Bernardo Costa Cabral, challenged horses and athletes over 13 obstacles in the first round. Those who successfully completed the course with no faults returned for the tie-breaking round over a shortened course.

Speed was definitely the key to winning on Sunday as six of the nine horse-and-athlete combinations produced a second clear round in the jump-off. The early double-clear pathfinders were Martien Van Der Hoeven (USA) and Augusta Pines Farm’s Zerro Leone as first to return in 48.04 seconds, however their lead was short-lived and soon overtaken by Peter Wylde (USA), who was third in the order, aboard Kathleen Kamine’s Canamera 2 in 45.81 seconds.

The top spot on the leaderboard continued to change hands with Kelli Cruciotti (USA) and Chamonix H, owned by Serenity Farm, entering the Grand Prix Ring next and stopping the timers in 42.96 seconds.

Cruciotti was able to hold on to her lead throughout the remainder of the class until the final combination, Genn and Eduardo Leon’s Bugatti, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding, took their turn over the short course. Leaving the best for last, the veteran duo blazed around the Grand Prix Ring, galloping flat out to the final oxer, and crossed the finish line just two-tenths of a second faster than Cruciotti to take the win in 42.74 seconds.

Wilhelm Genn and Bugatti. Photo: Diana Hadsall Photography

“I was very tight to the combination. That’s his good direction so I knew I could go tight there. I didn’t see Kelli [Cruciotti] go. I know I went a little bit wider to the white oxer. He knows how to go fast now so I was counting on his experience. I feel like when I turn and step on the gas pedal, he’s going to wake up and reach down and get his adrenaline going,” Genn shared.

As a result, Cruciotti settled for second place honors, while Wylde rounded out the top three.

$50,000 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Bugatti / Wilhelm Genn / GER / Eduardo Leon / 0 / 0 / 42.74
2. Chamonix H / Kelli Cruciotti / USA / Serenity Farm / 0 / 0 / 42.96
3. Canamera 2 / Peter Wylde / USA / Kathleen Kamine / 0 / 0 / 45.81
4. Ziezo / Scott Lenkart / USA / Fleur De Lis Farms / 0 / 0 / 47.07
5. Zerro Leone / Martien Van Der Hoeven / USA / Augusta Pines Farm / 0 / 0 / 48.04
6. Quality On Top / Erin Haas / USA / North Face Farm / 0 / 0 / 48.68
7. Classic Roc / Nick Novak / USA / Nick Novak / 0 / 4 / 47.00
8. Imerald Van’t Voorhof / Paul O’Shea / IRL / Tequestrian Farms LLC / 0 / 8 / 47.92
9. Boucanier / Theo Genn / USA / Taylor Reid / 0 / 16 / 47.01
10. Baloucento 2 / Ailish Cunniffe / USA / Whipstick Farm / 4 / 68.46
11. Elmo 19 / Simon Salame Farca / MEX / Simon Salame Farca / 4 / 70.92
12. Shet Du Thot / Katie Tyler / USA / Katie Tyler / 4 / 71.08