The second day of competition at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show continued with rave reviews as horses and riders vied for top honors in the hunters and jumpers. Speed was the name of the game during Thursday’s $20,000 Oakmont Ranch Speed Classic, where Mitchell Endicott and Ideal de la Haisse had all the answers with a quick, clear effort to lead the lap of honor at the end of the day.
Course designer Anderson Lima (BRA) challenged athletes with a track that offered many long gallops and related distances for the $20,000 Oakmont Ranch 1.40 – 1.45m Speed Classic. Endicott was only the third athlete to tackle the track, riding Alex Trubey’s Ideal de la Haisse. Picking up a fast gallop to the first fence, Endicott never let off the gas and Ideal de la Haisse never touched a fence, breaking the beam in a clear 69.317 seconds to take the early lead and wear a target on their back.
“I didn’t want to take too much of a chance, more so go around and keep my speed up,” said Endicott. “I really wanted to set up for Saturday. He’s such a naturally fast horse and I was able to be slick and quick enough through the turns that I could make it happen. From the first jump, I think I had a really strong gallop to [fence] one which was really what I wanted, and to be really efficient all the way around the course.”
Second to last to compete, it was Elizabeth Gringas and the Daylight Group’s Daylight VDL that came the closest to catching Endicott, but when they stopped the timers a full second slower in 70.331 seconds, they had to settle for the second place award. Kenneth Vinther rounded out the top three with his own Colicchio, crossing the finish line in a clear 72.290 seconds to earn the yellow ribbon.
Ideal de la Haisse is a 10-year-old gelding by Electro that Endicott has been riding for less than two months, but with Thursday’s victory the partnership is already proving to be a successful one. On Wednesday, the pair placed second in the $5,000 Moon Valley Nursery 1.35m Welcome Stake to kick off the Temecula Valley National Horse Show, and Endicott is excited about his future with the quick and careful mount.
“He’s a very naturally fast horse, he likes to carry a bit of pace no matter what happens,” Endicott shared. “I’ve had the ride on him for about a month and a half or two months. I’m still getting to know him a little bit, still forming our partnership, but I’d like to say it’s off to a good start and I’m very pleased with him. He’s fantastic.”