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Micheal Endicott and S.F. Shakira

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — 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 were the second pair to have a fault-free trip in the first round, following Susan Hutchison and her partner, 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, Maurice Beatson and Apollo Van Evendael, went clean.

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, the New Zealander Beatson and horse, Apollo Van Evendael, strove to surpass Endicott and S.F. Shakira but fell short with a fault that left them in third place with a final time of 46.379.

Endicott said his horse is horse is a double-clear horse, but not a bullet.

“It was nice being behind Susie,” he said. “Running down „Hutch isn?t impossible, but it is really hard to do. She?s so slick, and that horse is very fast.”

In fourth through 12th places 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).

Built by Linda Allen, the course tested the rider’s eye and demanded an accurate ride. In the first round, horses and riders jumped 13 numbered obstacles for a total of 16 efforts.

More results: http://www.showpark.com

Micheal Endicott and S.F. Shakira

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