Wilhelm Genn Becomes First Rider to Reach World Equestrian Brands/USHJA’s Rider Recognition Program’

May 11, 2009

Lexington, KY – May 6, 2009

Wilhelm Genn became the first rider to reach the World Equestrian Brands/USHJA’s Rider Recognition Program’s elite $1 Million Club after a successful campaign at the Lake St. Louis Hunter Jumper Show, April 1-5, 2009. Genn rode Happy Z, Chantal and Loredo, to third, fourth and sixth place finishes in the $25,000 Grand Prix, to push him over the $1 million mark.

“It’s a great program that World Equestrian Brands sponsors,” Genn says of the USHJA Rider Recognition Program. “It’s just wonderful and I think I can speak for all riders and say we truly appreciate it.”

World Equestrian Brands is the title sponsor of the USHJA Rider Recognition Program. This program was created in 2005 to track the lifetime money earnings of professional hunter and jumper riders in USEF recognized divisions. The program consists of six tiers, starting at the $50,000 Level and working up to the elite $1 Million Club, to recognize riders’ achievements. Each year, riders are recognized for their accomplishments with commemorative plaques at the USHJA Annual Meeting. In honor of his milestone, Genn will receive a custom Amerigo saddle and cooler from World Equestrian Brands.

"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to present Wilhelm with the Amerigo saddle of his choice. Show jumping is a true test of the talent, heart and physical capabilities of the horse/rider partnership. We strive to enhance performance by providing the best fit possible for both the horse and rider and make the tack one element they can depend on, which allows them to fully concentrate on training and competing," says Amerigo Brand Manager Robin Moore.

Genn, a native of Germany, runs Rheinland Farm in Lebanon, Ohio, with his wife and three sons. A second-generation horseman, he was an established grand prix rider in Germany and was awarded the country’s Golden Medallion for Show Jumping. Since relocating to the United States in the 1980s, he has become one of the nation’s top riders amassing 57 grand prix wins since 2005. This year alone, Genn has won eight of the 14 grand prix he’s ridden in. Those wins have come aboard Happy Z, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare he and his wife own, and Chantal, a 10-year-old gelding owned by his sister-in-law, Laura Ryan.

Genn’s secret to success is working hard, selecting good mounts and always putting the horse first. “This sport is my love and I’m very lucky to have turned my hobby into a professional career,” he says.

“Wilhelm embodies the true essence of the sport and is a testament that hard work and horsemanship will take you to the top,” USHJA President Bill Moroney says. “He makes the welfare of the horse his first priority and is committed to the betterment of the industry. He’s deserving of this honor and the USHJA is proud to recognize him as the first $1 Million Club recipient.”

Information about the World Equestrian Brands /USHJA Rider Recognition Program and current rider standings can be found on the USHJA website. Questions regarding the program may be directed to Kristyn Kay or 859-225-2054.

Contact: Rachelle Wilhelm rwilhelm@ushja.org

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