Articles: Press Release
Fate, Fortune Place Genn in Midwest to Win $50,000 Wachovia Securities Leading Open Rider Series
Winners of The
$50,000 Wachovia Securities Leading Rider Series, 1st placed Wilhelm Genn,
2nd placed Haylie Jayne, and 3rd placed Alex Granato.
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Wayne, Illinois - September 24, 2007 - Wihelm Genn wasn't planning on staying in the United States when curiosity drove him to take 8 horses from his native Germany to
Palm Beach for the winter circuit 19 years ago. And after the outcome of the $50,000 Wachovia Securities Leading Rider Series Awards yesterday one would forgive the American riders for wishing he had returned home. But there were only congratulations for
the affable German grand prix rider as he stood atop the winner's podium in the Grand Prix ring of Lamplight Equestrian Center and was recognized for winning the series - having earned $102,000 in eligible prize money and besting 2nd place by $73,350. For
his efforts Genn receives a bonus check for $25,000. 2nd placed Haylie Jayne of Elgin, Illinois will receive a $15,000 bonus and 3rd placed Alex Granato of Elizabeth, Colorado will receive $10,000.
up on his parent's farm in Germany, did the European Young Riders, and won his first grand prix at 21. He took a position riding for the estimable German Olympian Alwin Schockemöhle winning many European grand prix before fate chose an American destiny
"I only intended to stay for a year" recalled Genn, "but while in Palm Beach I met my wife Patty who had hunters there with Frank Conway. I fell in love and we were married within a year.
We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year."
Establishing a farm near Cincinnati, Genn was faced with the challenge of staying competitive while building a successful business. While top European
riders get support from patrons and sponsors and have some of their expenses paid when invited to competitions, American riders must train and sell horses to earn enough to support their careers. Finding a balance can be difficult.
"It's hard if you have to teach or train up to a half hour before the grand prix" explained Genn. "I try to be fair to everyone, but an hour before the grand prix I have to focus. I try to make time for
Wilhelm's series' money was earned mostly on two mounts, Laura Barnaclo's 8 year old Holsteiner gelding Chantal, and his own 9 year old Dutch mare Happy Z. Both horses are in the top 10 for 2007
USEF money earnings. Genn entered both in the grand prix but admits, ironically, that he usually elects the wrong one to count for the computer list.
"I picked Chantal today," Genn said, "and this
was the 7th win where I elected the wrong horse. Happy is usually not as competitive in the summer heat, so I picked Chantal, and then Happy won."
The win in the $25,000 Showplace Leading Rider Series Grand
Prix came as the 15th career win for the chestnut Zangersheide bred mare, and was Wilhelm's 20th win this year.
While Genn is pleased with his own performance this year he is most proud of his son Theo, who
finished third in the $20,000 THIS Leading Junior/Amateur Owner Series.
"Theo is doing outstanding this year." said Genn "I sold Chelsea, one of his two good mares, so I gave him Ariado to ride in
the grand prix. He's really over achieved the goals we set for him, and he finished 9th in the grand prix today. And I'd like to add the my youngest son (of three) Ryan, who is 15, will begin competing next year too."
The $20,000 Taylor Harris Insurance Services, Inc. Leading Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Series was the closest race of the four sections offering year-end awards. 20-year-old Roxanne Theidel, a junior at Lake Forest College, managed
to stay on top despite the challenge of not having her top horse Nicollete available to ride in the finals.
"This summer we totally trusted each other," Theidel said of the 9 year old Holsteiner mare,
"she's a super careful horse, but I had the confidence to make her go a little faster than she normally would."
Roxanne and Nicollete won 4 of the 8 Hall of Fame classics in the series and earned
$16,600, enough to stay in the lead despite a four fault score in the finals on Alouette. For her win Theidel will receive a bonus check for $10,000. 2nd in the standings, Haylie Jayne will receive $6,000, and Theo Genn in 3rd will receive
The $10,000 Showplace Productions Leading Children's/Adult Jumper Rider Series was dominated by 15-year-old Samantha Wagner and her American Paint Quarterhorse Cisco.
"A lot of his turning ability comes from his being a former barrel racer," Samantha explained. "And he doesn't want to touch the jumps, he's consistently clean."
Wagner credited her
parents and sister for supporting her riding and mentioned her trainer Danny Jayne's advice.
"Remember you worked hard to get where you are today," she quoted Jayne as saying, "you work hard at
home, but horse shows are for fun, remember to have fun."
For her win Wagner will receive a $5,000 bonus. 2nd place Stephanie Dubois-Emond will receive $3,000 and Samantha's sister Nicole will receive $2,000
The $6,000 Our Day Farm Leading Low Children's/Adult Jumper Rider Series was won by 13-year-old Kevin Sassmannshausen of St. Charles, Illinois. The 3rd of 4 boys in an equestrian family, Kevin trains with
his mother Janet and with Maggie Jayne.
This photo may be used free of charge only in
connection with this press release. Photo(C)2007 Jon Kassel.
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