April 6—Katy, Texas
When Ryan Genn can’t make it to a horse show, he’s got a pretty descent catch rider to take his place: his father, Wilhelm Genn.
That happened this weekend, when Ryan couldn’t make it to Katy, Texas, to compete at Spring Gathering Charity. So Wilhelm took over the ride on Cookie Monster, a horse Ryan brought up to the grand prix levels. Wilhelm posted the only double clear of the day to take the top check in the $25,000 Spring Gathering Grand Prix over Capitano and Trapp O’Neal. Keeley McIntosh had a single jump down in the jump-off on Accordance for third.
“Ryan is away at school at [Savannah College of Art and Design] and he had [an Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association] competition yesterday, so I got to ride him,” said Wilhelm. “He told me that he was going to watch it on the live stream, so I tried to make sure I didn’t screw up.”
Watch an interview with Wilhelm Genn about his win with Cookie Monster, courtesy of IDK Media.
Leopoldo Palacios may be the busiest man in show jumping this weekend. He started the week in Texas, then flew to Miami to co-design the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational along with Steve Stevens, and made it back in time to build the course for this afternoon’s class. The grand prix wrapped up three weeks of hunter/jumper competition here at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center.
The toughest part of Palacios’ course came in the form of an oxer followed a few strides later by a vertical-oxer-vertical combination set against the wall next to the sponsor area. All three elements of the triple came down regularly, as riders struggled to get in just right. And the time was tight too. Plenty of riders logged faults there, including Wilhelm’s veteran partner Happy Z, who left all the jumps in the cups but saw the clock keep her out of to Round 2.
The first three riders in the jump-off, O’Neal, Whitney Owens (S&L Shoe Guru) and McIntosh ll ticked a rail, so Wilhelm went for a steady clear. Last in the ring, Tony Font and Calotta finished on four faults as well.
“Ryan and I ride alike. It’s a sensitive horse, which you wouldn’t think because he’s so big,” said Genn, Lebanon, Ohio.
When Wilhelm found him three years ago in Germany, the 10-year-old Holsteiner (Caretino—Olympia XXII) gelding was named Careless.
“Obviously we knew there was no way we could keep that name,” said Wilhelm. “I couldn’t think of anything; I’m bad with names. Ryan came up with Cookie Monster. Everyone loved it—except me. Now I love it. Cookie Monster is a crowd favorite. Even when he doesn’t win, all the kids come back to the barn to see him. It’s very cool. I call him ‘The Monster Man.’ ”
For a full report from Spring Gathering Charity, check out the April 21 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse.
Want more from Spring Gathering? Catch up on Martien van der Hoeven's big win on Cellino in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, and catch up on the news from the USHJA National Hunter Derby. Plus we have a photo gallery of the open hunters, and results are up at horseshowsonline.com.