Thursday’s $15,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake saw Wilhelm Genn (Lebanon, OH) pilot Van Gogh to victory in Tryon Stadium, stopping the jump-off timers at 44.409 seconds. Brittni Raflowitz (Palm City, FL) and Hilton van de Breepoel, the 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Contact Van de Heffinck x Opium) owned by ESI Show Jumpers, Maarten Huygens & Darragh Kerins, claimed second on a time of 44.898 seconds, while third place went to Ramiro Quintana (Wellington, FL) and GQ, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contago x Cinderella) owned by Miriam McClure Adam, after their 45.634-second performance.
Wilhelm Genn on Van Gogh. Photo by Sportfot.
One of 27 entries in the first round and one of ten pairs to qualify for the short course over the Peter Grant (CAN) track, Genn explained that he was aiming for an efficient double-clear, but not necessarily the win with the 2008 Oldenburg gelding (Valentino x Caretano Z) owned in partnership with Patty Genn:
“He’s not a quick horse. He jumps a lot of clean rounds, but he’s not quick. So, for me, I like to start the course as fast as I finish. My goal for today, because I didn’t want to ruin my rideability for Saturday, was to have a nice double-clean, and to be efficient,” Genn detailed. “I wanted to get a good check hopefully if I stayed double-clear, but the goal is to win on Saturday. Winning today was a nice bonus! In the first round, I realized that in the jump-off I could do one less stride from 6A-B to 7. He’s a good turner, so it just came up nicely.
Brittni Raflowitz on Hilton van de Breepoel. Photo by Sportfot.
“The course rode well, and it was well-built. At 1.40m, it can be tough to build with such a good group of horses and riders,” Genn admitted. “When he [Grant] shortened the time by six seconds, that obviously changed things a little bit, because you’re pressed to ride faster and you’ll pull more rails with that. It was a very nice and inviting course, and the footing was good.”
Ramiro Quintana on GQ. Photo by Sportfot.
Genn and family have been taking things easy this season due to COVID-19, he reported, and will continue to play their competition plans by ear. “We came home from Palm Beach [last winter] and didn’t show, like everyone else. We wanted to get a feel for how the horse shows were changing, and so we were kind of patient. We showed in Traverse City for two weeks, and then we did Kentucky, and then we stayed home for two months. This is our first show back. Going forward, we’re not rushing into anything, either. We’re going to take it easy. We may not show again til Florida! It’s a strange year, but everybody has to adjust to the new normal,” he concluded.
Additional Hunter Highlights:
The EquiSafe Global Green Hunter 3’ Division saw Harold Chopping (Southern Pines, NC) and Halston champion the week for owners Rick Gabel and Carole O’Brien, while Tommi Clark (Tryon, NC) piloted Amber Hill Farm’s Balou du Joule to reserve.
Chopping was also named champion in the High Performance Hunter 4’ Division, this time riding Catchphrase for Barbara Scott. Christina Fisher (Alpharetta, GA) and her own Levland claimed reserve on the week.
Parker Peacock (Winston Salem, NC) and mount C.E. Remarkable championed the Medium Pony Hunter Division, with reserve going to Haily Guidry (Metairie, LA) and the Honor Hill Farm LLC entry, Whispering Marquis.
Additional Jumper Highlights:
The JTWG, Inc. 1.30m Open Jumper Division resulted in top honors for Julia Curtis (Villa Rica, GA) riding her own Kennedy VD Rechri, with reserve named to Rebecca Conway (Wellington, FL) and Con Coleur, owned by Blue Hill Farm, LLC.
Lynsey Whitacre (Saint Joseph, MO) and her own mount Stand By Me were champions in the 1.15m Non-Pro Jumper Division, with Daniel Kerins (Wellington, FL) earning reserve aboard Superstition for Andra Sinclair.
The 1.20m Open Jumper Division went to Todd Minikus (Lake Worth, FL) and Carlos Santana for Emma Brunell. In reserve, Heather Steinman (Canton, GA) rode Alexandra Doyle’s First Lady BH.
For full Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake class results, click here. The Tryon Fall Series continues through November 1, five more weeks of Hunter/Jumper competition to come.