It hasn’t been too long since Jake Endicott was just learning the ropes of show jumping, and now he’s a top contender every time he steps in the ring. On Thursday of Desert Circuit 2, presented by Adequan®, he rode to a big win in the $30,000 FarmVet 1.45m Open Classic aboard his top partner, RMF Chacco Top, owned by Ashland Farms.
The pair went early on over Colm Quinn’s single-round speed track, and they weren’t necessarily looking to be the fastest, but the time they put in, 68.229 seconds, held until the very end of the 32 entries. Skylar Wireman took both second and third places, aboard Crunch K and Citoki, respectively.
“It’s been a little over a year now,” Endicott said of his partnership with RMF Chacco Top, a 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Chacco-Blue x Graf Top). “He was with Ashland Farms in Wellington, who I rode for a little as a junior. Everything fell into place and I got lucky enough that we could get him over to us. It was a bit of a right place, right time kind of situation. He fell into our hands and he’s been great ever since.”
RMF Chacco Top is rich with experience, winning classes up to the CSI5* level in Europe with extremely notable riders, so he’s teaching Endicott the ropes of higher level jumping. Endicott is grateful to have a seasoned partner as he navigates tougher tracks and bigger jumps.
“He’s got all the experience in the world,” he continued of the stallion’s resume. “He’s jumped 1.55m all over the world for many years. He’s 15 which I think is a great age for someone like me who wants to start jumping bigger classes. He’s brought me from the lower level to be able to go for wins and jump a lot of clear rounds.”
Endicott has wisely utilized the network available to him to get to know the horse better, connecting with previous riders of the horse and asking for their opinions and thoughts. “I actually knew Cormac Hanley when he had him in Wellington and I had watched him and knew the horse a little bit. Shawn Casady also jumped him out here so when I see him walking a course I ask him what he thinks is right for this horse. There’s always a rider that’s ridden him, so it’s easy to get advice from other people,” he shared.
It’s still just the beginning for the 19-year-old, as he hopes to continue building his string of horses and racking up top results, during this circuit and beyond.
“With him I think I’ll jump some three-star classes; that’s kind of his peak classes and he’s great at it,” Endicott said of his upcoming plans. “I can win those classes if I ride well. For myself hopefully I can get lucky and get another horse in my string to jump some bigger classes and start stepping up.”
A native Californian, Endicott is grateful to stay close to home and be able to compete on a world stage.
“I remember as a kid coming out here, it was always a nice show but it’s another whole level now,” he shared. “We don’t need to go out to Wellington to be in a great class and have top sport. It’s nice to be able to stay close to home and jump top sport.”
Show jumping resumes Friday with Junior and Amateur jumper divisions, followed by Saturday’s $7,500 Interactive Mortgage 10 & Under Futurity Series and the $50,000 Adequan® Grand Prix.
Joie Gatlin and Oslo are Back on Top in 3’9” Green Hunters
Joie Gatlin and Oslo are back doing what they do best, taking championship honors in the professional hunter divisions to open the week at Desert Circuit 2, presented by Adequan®. The duo has taken several championships during the 2023-2024 season, moving the horse up from the 3’6” into the 3’9”, and he’s showing ultimate comfort and mastery of the 3’9” Green Hunter division.
“Oslo is such a winner,” Gatlin said of Alexis Meadows’ 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. “He’s got so many nice ingredients for a hunter: he’s beautiful, he’s got a huge, slow stride, and his jump at 3’9” is effortless. He’s very straight, square, correct, and he always is looking through the bridle. He’s so straightforward and nice to find a rhythm on.”
As simple as he is to jump around, he’s even nicer in the barn. “He’s easy in the barn. He eats his hay, takes a nap, and likes to go out in the turnout and have a little buck and a roll,” Gatlin laughed. “He’s a very gentle horse.”
For a professional rider, it’s not often a horse is so easy to pilot, but Gatlin enjoys how natural the ride feels on a horse like Oslo. “As a rider you pick up the canter and rhythm and the jumps just show themselves to you,” she explained of his way of going. “He’s the ultimate hunter. And he’s just easy about everything. He’s one of my favorite horses ever.”
The horse won two over fences classes and the under saddle in the competitive division during Desert Circuit 2, and there is quite a bit still to come as the horse continues competing throughout the circuit. With Meadows taking the ride for the Amateur-Owners, the biggest goal of Desert Circuit is to strengthen his partnership with her, but Gatlin will continue to aim the horse at the 3’9” division with some big goals come the end of the season.
“I think the 3’9” is for sure his jam for the year,” Gatlin remarked of the current level the horse is jumping. “He’s probably going to be a 4’ horse as well if we want to go that direction. I’ll let him tell me. I think we’ll focus week by week here building the relationship with Lexi in the A/Os. It’s a treat for me to do the 3’9” and we don’t want to overdo it with him. We’ll pick and choose the weeks here to do the 3’9” but I think he could jump whatever you want him to.”
As the season goes on, there is quite a bit to look forward to, but for Gatlin, she has WCHR on the mind.
“With him our goal is the WCHR weeks, and I think I’m going to put it on the goal list to do the [WCHR West Coast Hunter] Spectacular,” she said. “He’s never jumped in that environment at night with the lights so I need to figure out how to get prepared for that, but he’s a very brave horse so that would be one of the goals for him.”
Hunter action picks up the pace Friday with the $25,000 Adequan® USHJA International Hunt & Go Derby, along with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunt & Go Derby – Open, sponsored by Whittier Trust, and the $5,000 USHJA National Hunt & Go Derby – Jr/Am, sponsored by Horseflight.