Temecula, Calif. – May 28, 2021 – As competition at Nilforushan EquiSport Events’ Temecula Valley National II, presented by Interactive Mortgage, progressed at Galway Downs, young equitation riders took center stage in the Grand Hunter Arena on Friday to battle it out for the blue. With fifteen skilled riders taking to the expansive arena to showcase their impeccable form and execution in piloting their mounts around the course, the competition was stiff, but in the end it was Jake Endicott on Cafe’s Deluxe who came out on top with the winning ribbon.
The pair navigated the challenging course in the sprawling Grand Hunter Arena with ease. Endicott and the experienced equitation mount managed to master the tight roll-back turns on course while maintaining a fluid pace which proved to be the biggest challenge presented to the West Coast’s top young riders. Winner of the WIHS Hunter Phase held during the first week in the series, Endicott proved to the judges that he possessed the practical skill and horsemanship to navigate the course with precision nailing each distance to the fences all while in textbook form.
Following the over fences portion of the class, riders were asked to return to the arena for the flat portion of the class where the judges tested the riders on their sitting trot, working and collected canter, and transitions. Out of the pack of talented riders, Endicott once again stood out in the crowded ring, performing the tasks presented by the judges effortlessly.
In last month’s Temecula Valley National Premier, Endicott and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding, owned by Jessica Behar, placed fourth in the competitive class. Returning to Galway Downs this week, the combination brought their A-game in the equitation ring, their efforts to display textbook style paying off with the blue ribbon.
Earlier in the class, Stella Buckingham also put in an excellent round over fences with Vondel DH Z, a 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Ingenium Farm. Together, the pair was able to display expert style and control around the course, although their efforts were not quite enough to overshadow Endicott’s performance and they settled into second place. During the second of last month’s Premier weeks at the Temecula Valley National, Buckingham and Vondel DH Z also earned second place finishes in the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Hunter Phase and the Overall WIHS standings for the week. Kyle Cline and Cazz C, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Lisa Levorchick, rounded out the top three in the class after a smooth ride of their own over fences and on the flat that helped them capture the third place ribbon.
Hunter competition continues at the Temecula Valley National II, presented by Interactive Mortgage Saturday, May 29, with the crowning of new champions in the Junior Hunter divisions. Jumper riders will take to the ring for the week’s highlight class, the $40,000 National Grand Prix, Sponsored by BioEqualizer.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Jake Endicott – ASPCA Maclay First Place
On Cafe’s Deluxe:
“He is really good! He’s been doing this for a while so he knows what’s going on. His owner Jessica [Behar] is really nice to let me have him for a while. He’s a pretty good horse.”
On his strategy for the class:
“I didn’t get much prep because I had another class before this and we just sort of came in, but it was pretty good! It wasn’t too difficult or technical, but the tight rollbacks are a little bit challenging for him. Other than that it was good, it suits my horse pretty well.”
On his plans for the rest of the year:
“I’m trying to qualify for the ASPCA Maclay Finals and the USEF Medal Finals, those are the big things for me this year.”
On Nilforushan Equisport Events:
“This is probably my favorite show for sure, I love coming here. The footing is great, Ali [Nilforushan] does a great job.”