Wilhelm Genn Repeats GLEF Victory with Van Gogh in $50K Meijer Grand Prix of Michigan

The second week of the 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, concluded Sunday with the second grand prix of the six-week series, the $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix of Michigan. As the fastest of only two double-clear combinations, Wilhelm Genn of Rheinland Farm in Warren, Ohio, and Van Gogh emerged victorious to add a third grand prix victory of the 2019 GLEF series to Genn’s growing list of accolades.

Wilhelm Genn and Van Gogh. Photo: Andrew Ryback Photography

Following the first round of competition, a select few pairs had mastered veteran course designer Leopoldo Palacios’ track to qualify for a spot in the jump-off. Lauren Ditallo, David Beisel, David Oberkircher, Ryan Genn, Alma Bjorklund and Wilhelm Genn each navigated their respective mounts to fault-free initial trips, whittling down the original field of 25 starters to only six.

Returning for the tie-breaker round, Oberkircher and Southfields Farm LLC’s Upper were the first to lay down a foot-perfect second ride, tripping the timers 38.349 seconds with all the fences still intact to become the early frontrunners. Subsequent pairs followed and attempted to match the leaders’ efforts, but none were able to finish clear until Wilhelm and Van Gogh, the horse he co-owns with Patty Genn, took to the ring as the final contenders. Slicing around the track, the quick duo efficiently completed the course penalty-free in 38.007 seconds to solidify themselves as the grand prix winners for the second week in a row. Oberkircher and Upper finished in second place overall as the second double-clear pair, while Ryan and Shannon Reid’s Dieta added another top placing for the Genn family with their third-place finish.

Wilhelm’s 2019 GLEF season is off to an amazingly successful start, having won three of the four grand prix contests throughout the first two weeks of the horse show. During Week I, Wilhelm piloted Van Gogh, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding, to victory in the $50,000 GGT Footing Grand Prix, presented by JTWG, Inc. and 4G Surfaces, and only five days later topped the $30,000 Ingram Family Welcome Stake aboard Eduardo Leon’s Dirocco Blue.

Wilhelm Genn and Van Gogh. Photo: Andrew Ryback Photography

“I think he is at an age and in a stage where he is going to keep getting better and better,” Genn shared on Van Gogh. “He has consistency in his performance, and he gets a little bit lazy but he tries so hard and he always makes me work hard too, but I don’t mind it when you have a horse that tries so hard. I’m excited to start jumping some 4* and 5* [classes] at the 1.60m level because I think he has the scope to do it.”


$50,000 Meijer Grand Prix of Michigan:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Van Gogh / Wilhelm Genn / Wilhelm & Patty Genn / 0 / 0 / 38.007
2. Upper / David Oberkircher / Southfields Farm LLC / 0 / 0 / 38.349
3. Dieta / Ryan Michael Genn / Shannon Reid / 0 / 4 / 35.573
4. Essince W / David Beisel / David Beisel / 0 / 4 / 37.801
5. Loro Piana Ballyleck Royale / Alma Bjorklund / Alma Bjorklund / 0 / 8 / 36.557
6. Olivers Army / Lauren Ditallo / Scott Durchslag / 0 / 20 / 48.944
7. Chagrand / Michael Burnett / Michael Burnett / 4 / 72.210
8. Binja / Chris Ewanouski / Castle Point Farm LLC / 4 / 73.254
9. Las Vegas / KC Van Aarem / KC Van Aarem / 4 / 73.910
10. Chaccomo 11 / Theo Genn / Bridlebourne Stables LLC / 4 / 75.265
11. Dante / Briley Koerner / BKS Horse Farms LLC / 4 / 75.830
12. Dirocco Blue / Wilhelm Genn / Eduardo Leon / 4 / 76.245