It’s spring time, and in the Houston equestrian world, it means it’s time for the annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, the oldest and most prestigious competition in the area. The show’s first week of competition got underway on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 with the show’s main jumper class, the Pin Oak $30K Grand Prix scheduled for Saturday evening.

Renowned Olympic course designer Linda Allen was in charge of designing this year’s course for the twenty four horse/rider combinations vying for the title of Pin Oak champion. Ms. Allen set to work and came up with a challenging and technical course including a wall, and a tough triple combination set up as the last fence of the course. This triple combination (fences 13A, B & C) would prove the most demanding of the course. Arranged as a vertical/oxer/vertical (all at a distance of one stride) combined to see a lot of downed rails, dashing the hopes of many to move into the jump off round. As a matter of fact, 13 competitors had faults at this triple, a full 54% of the field (some with more than 4 faults).

It’s worth to note that the field included several teenage riders, including Jordan Appel who at thirteen years old was also the youngest; Ryan Genn – 14 years old; Margaux Wheeler – 16 years old and Megan Bifano – 17 years old and competing in her first Grand Prix.

It took until the 11th competitor to take the field, Mike McCormick and MTM Remington, to see the first clean round of the night earning a loud applause from the audience. Several more riders tried their luck, but could not manage a clean round until perennial Pin Oak winner Tracy Fenney riding MTM Centano recorded the second clean round of the night, making it a husband and wife jump-off affair ! Previous Pin Oak winner Wilhem Genn took notice and recorded the third clean round aboard his reliable mount Happy Z. Immediately after, the fourth and final clean round was posted by Martien Van Der Hoeven and his thoroughbred Southbound.

First to tackle the jump off was McCormick, ending the night with 8 faults and the eventual 4th place finisher. Wife Fenney came next, and posted the jump-off’s quickest time at 38.771 albeit with 4 jumping faults which earned her 3rd overall. Genn and Happy Z came next and posted a clean round with a final time of 40.435 temporarily putting them in the lead. The next and last rider was Houston based Van Der Hoeven who also posted and clean round and bested Genn’s time by almost a second, stopping the clock at 39.391 and claiming the $9,000 check for first place.


Place Prize Horse Rider Owner
1 $9,000 South Bound Martien Van Der Hoeven Martien Van Der Hoeven
2 $6,600 Happy Z Wilhelm Genn Wilhelm Genn
3 $3,900 MTM Centano Tracy Fenney MTM Farm
4 $2,400 MTM Remington Michael McCormick MTM Farm
5 $1,800 MTM Timon Tracy Fenney MTM Farm
6 $1,500 Copyright 3 Wilhelm Genn Wilhelm Genn
7 $1,200 Alamo Erin Davis October Hill Hunter & Jumpers
8 $900 Ariado Theo Genn Abby Albritton
9 $900 Paradox Theo Genn Thomas Bruinsma
10 $600 Marlo Ryan Genn Wilhelm Genn
11 $600 River of Dreams Christian Heinekig Kai Handt
12 $600 Uno Martien Van Der Hoeven Cindy McCampbell-Wilkerson