With St. Patrick’s Day just hours away, the luck of the Irish (along with some serious talent) brought an incredible win for Charlotte Clark and her Irish Sport Horse, Kinsella (Capitalist x Jerpoint Mist) in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix. The pair were unstoppable, jumping the fastest clear rounds in both the first round and the jump off. This evening also saw a fantastic win in the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design for fifteen year old Genevieve Munson and Mark Holden’s Zonderling (Escudo I x Or-Animo).
$25,000 WEC Grand Prix
As Saturday night St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kicked off, it was Charlotte Clark and her Irish Sport Horse Kinsella (Capitalist x Jerpoint Mist) who captured the pot of gold in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix. Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky, designed this evening’s Grand Prix track in the Sanctuary which featured a triple combination, a one stride combination, a few lines and several opportunities for inside turns.
At the top of the order in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix was Charlotte Clark aboard her own Kinsella. The duo was second in the class just three weeks ago, and won a $25,000 WEC Grand Prix earlier in the 2019 Winter Series. Clark and Kinsella took to the course this evening with plenty of speed and expert precision, jumping a clear first round in a time of 73.976 seconds, about six seconds under the time allowed of 80 seconds.
Next in the order was Karen Cudmore aboard Blair Cudmore’s Coneja (Conejo). Cudmroe and Conejo took second place in last week’s WEC Grand Prix, and surged into the arena prepared to compete tonight. Though they took their time to jump a clear first round in 79.734 seconds, it was apparent that Coneja is a powerhouse mare who would bring her all to the jump off.
About midway though the order, familiar faces Robert Mendoza and Bannockburn Farm’s United M (Baloubet Du Rouet x United) entered the arena. The pair took third place in the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m in late January at World Equestrian Center and have earned strong placings in both the Welcome Stake and the Grand Prix during the Winter Series. Mendoza and the scopey United M jumped a confident, clear first round in a time of 77.388 seconds, saving plenty of energy for the jump off.
The jumps were adjusted for the short course and five entries returned to jump off. Clark and Kinsella were first to go, blazing around the course and maintaining their accuracy from the first round. The pair surged through the timers with all rails up at 36.310 seconds, setting a tough time to beat for the remaining four entries. Cudmore and Coneja were first to challenge Clark’s quick time, but an unfortunate rail midway through the course took them out of the running for first place. The pair were still quick, though, crossing the timers at 37.731 seconds. Mendoza and United M also attempted to beat Clark’s time. The pair took skilled inside turns and crossed the timers with all rails up at 37.263, about a second later than Clark, positioning themselves in second place. Mendoza was still thrilled with his ride, shouting a resounding “Yes!” as he crossed the timers.
We caught up with Charlotte Clark of Kendalwood Farm after the Grand Prix to chat about her win in the class. “I went first in the class, which I’m not a huge fan of doing, so I was just thrilled to jump clear,” explained Clark, “Then, in the jump off, I figured I was going to go fast because there weren’t too many clear. I think it worked because people had to chase me a little bit. My horse is super fast across the ground, so I know that I can feel that I’m even a little conservative and still go really quick. She’s an amazing horse. I’ve had her since she was five. I think she gets better every class she jumps. She’s incredibly sweet. Absolutely my pet. She’ll follow you around, she hangs out, she loves treats…anybody can handle her, she’s such a good horse. Actually, she’s Irish! She’s from Ireland, so it was meant to be! The luck of the Irish was on our side today. ”
Clark ventured out on her own last Summer to run her own business, Kendalwood Farm, and says that she is thrilled with how things are going thus far. Clark also adds a personal note about friend and groom Layne Turner, who was awarded the Groom’s Award of $100 cash and a $50 WEC Gift Card tonight for Kinsella’s stunning turnout, “She’s my right hand. She’s amazing. We’re really good friends, too, so it makes the whole show a blast. She’s such a good friend and she probably cares about the horses as much, if not more, than I do.”
Watch Charlotte Clark and Kinsella’s winning round, courtesy of ShowNet
$25,000 WEC Grand Prix Results
- Kinsella, Charlotte Clark – 0 | 0 | 36.310
- United M, Robert Mendoza – 0 | 0 | 37.263
- Coneja, Karen Cudmore – 0 | 4 | 37.731
- In Private, Lindsay Lyden – 0 | 4 | 38.133
- Southern Pride, Karen Cudmore – 0 | 4 | 39.533
- Caroquados T, Sam Pegg – 4 | 71.595
- Uranus 112, Richard Rinehart – 4 | 72.364
- ERP van www.olland.biz, Katia Manuel-Adams – 4 | 74.564
- Igor, Brooke Cudmore – 4 | 76.077
- Casme VDB Z, Richard Cheska – 4 | 79.384
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m
The $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design saw a fantastic win for Junior Genevieve Munson, the youngest rider in the class, aboard Mark Holden’s Zonderling (Escudo I x Or-Animo). The pair bested sixteen entries for the win, among them many professionals. The course for this evening’s Futures Prix was also designed by Bobby Murphy and saw two combinations along with many opportunities for an inside track.
Riding first in the order was fifteen year old Genevieve Munson aboard Mark Holden’s Zonderling (Escudo I x Or-Animo). The pair have a great rapport, including several first place finishes in 1.20 m classes at the USHJA National Championship Horse Show at the Las Vegas National. This evening, Munson piloted Zonderling with the expertise of a veteran, jumping a clear first round in an astounding time of 71.368 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off, picking up speed as they knew they would be the pace setters for the class. Munson rode a second skilled, clear round at a blistering pace of 29.287 seconds.
Though Munson and Zonderling’s time in the jump off was unbeatable in the Futures Prix, Munson came close to that time aboard her second mount, Sandra King’s Contendro Star. The pair also jumped a clear round in a quick time of 73.180 seconds, and continued to the jump off for a second clear round in 31.661 seconds, which landed them comfortably in third place.
Genevieve Munson stuck around after the Futures Prix to chat with us about her rides in the class. “Well, Zonderling was perfect,” laughed Munson, “He was really good. We came here to prep for Omaha, and it was the perfect prep. He was just wonderful. Bobby Murphy sets a lot of things on angles off of the wall, which sets up a great challenge for the horse and rider because you really have to pay attention to straightness and being able to balance after each fence, which was, again, awesome prep for our next show because it will be in a smaller indoor ring. I was really happy with everything and he performed really well.”
Munson gave us some details about Zonderling’s personality, “We call Zonderling ‘Joey’ in the barn, which is pretty funny because Zonderling means ‘weirdo’ in Dutch, and a joey is a baby kangaroo, so it fits him quite perfectly. He really is a weirdo. He likes to play around and be a little overly silly sometimes, but we tell him that, if he goes clear, he’s allowed to act a little silly. He’s a very good boy. He’s just a big sweetheart.”
At just fifteen, Munson has some fantastic goals set for the year, “We have a bunch of bigger goals this year. Moving up to the 1.40 m division is one of them, so this show is great prep. We just got back from Florida, so we came here to prep for the In It To Win It speed class in Omaha. Then, later this year, we’re hoping to go to a CSI in Langley, as well as Junior Young Riders and Prix des States with Joey and a couple of my other horses. I’m very lucky to have some wonderful owners backing me and wonderful horses like Joey and Contendro Star, who was third today.”
Watch Genevieve Munson and Zonderling’s winning round, courtesy of ShowNet
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m
- Zonderling, Genevieve Munson – 0 | 0 | 29.287
- Coco Beach Z, Sam Pegg – 0 | 0 | 29.706
- Contendro Star, Genevieve Munson – 0 | 0 | 31.661
- Alexa 410, Renee Connors – 0 | 0 | 37.583
- Ciro, Christopher Coberley – 0 | 4 | 28.741
- Java Van De Kleinheide, Robert Mendoza – 0 | 4 | 29.547
- Triskell AR Park, Raquel Scharyj – 0 | 4 | 32.660
- Southern Rose, Brooke Cudmore – 0 | 4 | 33.809
- Cardinal, Sara Ring – 4 | 71.211
- Artiflex R, Raquel Scharyj – 4 | 72.232