Genevieve Munson Races to Victory in $20,000 Welcome Stake to Kick Off Week III at Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

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    Genevieve Munson and Charlene. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

    Katy, TX Twenty-three entries vied for the winning title in the $20,000 Bedoya Training Stables 1.45m Welcome Jumper Stake on Wednesday night to kick off Week III of the 76th-annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. In the end, it was Genevieve Munson and Precious Mettle LLC’s Charlene who took the win with a speedy clear jump-off in 28.862 seconds, just over two seconds faster than the runner-up.

    Munson also took home fifth aboard her first mount, Contendro Star. The pair were one of a few combinations to opt for an ambitious four strides between fences five and six in the jump-off. Unfortunately, even with the fastest jump-off time of the night, a rail had cost them the title.

    Munson came back to strike again with the 14-year-old Holsteiner mare, Charlene, and this time her efforts were not in vain. The combination took both inside turns paired with a couple of slices, proving successful. 

    Shawn Casady took home second aboard NKH LLC’s NKH Shiloh in 30.917 seconds. Rounding out the top three were Erin Davis-Heineking and October Hill Sales Limited’s Leonie. 

    After some up and down results in Ocala, FL, Munson and Charlene kicked off their start to Week III in good fashion.

    Genevieve Munson and Charlene were presented as the winners of the $20,000 Bedoya Training Stables Welcome Jumper Stake on Wednesday, April 6 at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

    “It was really nice to start this week off with a bang, and for this horse especially. She’s just moving up to 1.45m, so it was very rewarding to have her be successful tonight,” said Munson, 18.

    Wednesday’s win proved that the pair’s year and a half-long partnership has blossomed. 

    “Charlene is owned by Precious Mettle LLC, who was generous enough to purchase her for me,” said Munson. “It’s kind of an older partnership, but at the same time, I’m really still getting to know her. She’s a very complicated hot mare that I’ve been very fortunate to be able to grow with. She’s very sensitive and careful, but she wants to win. She’s lovely.”

    Michel Vaillancourt’s jump-off course asked a few questions of the pair. 

    “Initially, I wasn’t sure if it would be a real good [jump-off] for her because she’s more geared toward a lot of turning,” said Munson. “The long gallops are still something we’re working on. This course was basically a serpentine: long gallop, turn around, long gallop, turn around, long gallop. I was really pleased with her adjustability and her progress.”

    In the end, the pair mustered a quick time of the course. 

    “After having gotten to see the course on my first horse, I was rather prepared with the mare knowing where I needed to add and to leave out. I love Michel Vaillancourt’s courses. He’s one of my absolute favorite course designers. So, it was really great to see him and his courses here today,” said Munson, who has a long history with the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.

    “We’ve come to Pin Oak for years. We love the management here. They always do a great job of making Pin Oak a rider-friendly show. It’s nice to be here. It’s a little more special than a normal horse show.”

    And through her win, Munson got to partake in some familial thanks.

    “My younger sister is also showing this week. So, I get to help her out. She’s amazing. She’s walking the horses before it’s time for them to go to the grand prix, and she takes them after. She was actually very excited. The winner of today got an Antares Eclipse helmet. Which, I happen to already be wearing one, and they’re one of my sponsors. She’s been nagging us for a while actually, wanting an Eclipse. It even added another sweetener to today, that I got to give her something to reward her for all her help because she’s amazing,” says Munson beaming. “I couldn’t do it without her.”

    The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is one of the oldest and most prestigious horse shows in the United States, and today features three weeks of top hunter, jumper, and American Saddlebred competition. Founded by J.S. Abercrombie in 1945, it’s also a unique social and fundraising event, supporting the healing of sick children through financial donations, outreach, and volunteer support for Texas Children’s Hospital. The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show was the first show in the country to be designated as a Heritage Competition by the United States Equestrian Federation.

    This year’s 76th annual event continues through April 10. Week III’s highlights include the $25,000 Pin Oak Grand Prix, Thursday, April 7 at 4 p.m., Friday’s $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, as well as the $100,000 Pin Oak Grand Prix on Saturday, April 9. 

    General spectator admission is free for all events. Learn more about the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show by visiting www.PinOak.org, and find the horse show on Facebook and Instagram for the most recent updates. To purchase competition photos, visit www.AndrewRyback.com.

    – Press release text by Olivia Nazworth

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