Nineteen horse and rider teams were eager to negotiate the Linda Allen designed course for Sunday’s $30,000 Blenheim June Classic Grand Prix presented by Royal Champion, but in the end it was the double clean trip by Michael Endicott and David Robinson’s S.F. Shakira that clenched the win.
Tenth to go in the order, Endicott and his white mount S.F. Shakira were the second pair to have a fault-free trip in the first round, following Susan Hutchison and El Dorado 29’s Cantano, who were the first to go clean.
With rails falling in every round following, it appeared as if the jump off would consist of only two horses, until the second to last entry, New Zealander, Maurice Beatson and his own, Apollo Van Evendael, presented the crowd with the third and final clean round.
First to maneuver the shortened jump off track were Hutchison and Cantano. The well-matched pair strategically zipped around the course and turned in a blazing time of 40.323, well under the 48 seconds allowed. Unfortunately for Hutchison, the top rail of the airy gate on course came down to give the team four faults. Next, Endicott conservatively rode S.F. Shakira without a fault over the seven efforts in a time of 47.506. Last to try in the jump off, Maurice Beatson and Apollo Van Evendael strove to surpass Endicott and S.F. Shakira but fell short, also lowering the height of one jump. The error put the duo into third place with a final time of 46.379.
Endicott commented, “My horse is a double clear horse, but she’s not a bullet. It was nice being behind Susie [Hutchison]. Running down ‘Hutch’ isn’t impossible but it is really hard to do. She’s so slick and that horse is very fast.”
Occupying the forth through twelfth positions were riders who had at least one or two rails in the first round. Australian Harley Brown turned in a fast time with his World Cup mount, Cassiato (Oak Park Group LLC, owners), but clipped a rail halfway through, making the team the fastest of the four faulters for forth position overall. Both Endicott and Beatson each had three mounts in the class and managed two ribbons a piece in the top six positions. Finishing fifth with four faults was Endicott aboard Nicolas Nierenberg’s Santiago followed by Beatson in sixth with his partner, Jedi Warrior.
Well-known hunter rider John French switched gears and took to the jumper course aboard Barbara Chapin’s River Bird and had just one rail for a total of four faults and a seventh place finish. Rounding out the four fault rides for eighth position was Lane Clarke aboard McLord’s First John (Mickey Hayden, owner).
Blenheim EquiSports begins the second week of the four-week June series on June 16th in San Juan Capistrano. During the month of June and continuing into July, Blenheim EquiSports offers Grand Prix events each weekend. The $30,000 Blenheim June Classic Grand Prix made possible by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management takes place next Sunday afternoon at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. Bring the family for a fun-filled day of show jumping and a kids day with pony rides, bounce houses and more.
Blenheim EquiSports, an equestrian event management company based in San Juan Capistrano, CA, produces over thirty events per year in three locations: San Juan Capistrano, Del Mar and Las Vegas. The events include 18 USEF “A” or “AA” rated hunter-jumper shows featuring several World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix, USHJA International Hunter Derbies, Pony Finals, Medal Finals and more. Visit showpark.com for more details.
1. S.F. Shakira – Michael Endicott (David Robinson) – 0/85.652, 0/47.506
2. Cantano – Susan Hutchison (El Dorado 29) – 0/82.278, 4/40.323
3. Apollo Van Evendael – Maurice Beatson (Maurice Beatson) – 0/89.615, 4/46.379
4. Cassiato – Harley Brown (Oak Park Group LLC) – 4/81.059
5. Santiago – Michael Endicott (Nicolas Nierenberg) – 4/82.037
6. Jedi Warrior – Maurice Beatson (Maurice Beatson) – 4/86.515
7. River Bird – John French (Barbara Chapin) – 4/87.231
8. McLord’s First John – Lane Clark (Mickey Hayden) – 4/88.286
9. Turbo R – Peter Lutz (Kelly Tropin) – 8/80.900
10. Zibbibo – Maurice Beatson (Sally Clark) – 8/82.127
11. Cats Are Grey – Saer Coulter (Copernicus Stables LLC) – 8/85.560
12. April – Peter Lutz (Copernicus Stables LLC) – 8/85.959
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