Temecula, California – April 28, 2022 – Temecula Valley National Premier II continued Thursday with the exciting feature class of the day, the $25,000 Equ Lifestyle Boutique 1.40m Speed Classic. With 71 entries coming forth to contest the track built by Germany’s Olaf Petersen, Jr., the stakes were high with significant prize money and bragging rights on the line. Athletes took to the single-round class and attempted to navigate the course fault-free and as quickly as possible to take home the top prize. The winners, following 71 rounds, were Kaitlin Campbell (USA) and Mecho Van’t Kiezelhof, topping 17 clear rounds.
The Classic also served as a Zone 10 NAYC Young Rider Trial, bringing forth many top young riders from the West Coast to compete against both professionals and amateurs in the class. In August, selected young riders will represent Zone 10 at the North American Youth Championships in Traverse City, MI.
The course was designed to be ridden at a quick pace, with fence one and two being set quite far apart on a steep bending line. With a tight rollback turn to fence three, the balance was required again at four, an oxer-vertical double combination. The course continued with bending lines and a standalone vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination, then a triple bar oxer immediately following. The final line featured a liverpool vertical and a wide oxer before riders galloped through the end timers.
Early on in the order, Kevin Winkel set the pace with Vertige De Galarzacs in a clear-round time of 79.895 seconds. Playing it safe, Winkel left the door open for a quicker time, but clear rounds were not abundant at first. Winkel held the lead until Mitch Endicott notched the second clear round aboard Chaccrobat in a time of 77.520 seconds, and the lead continued to change hands several times as the competition kicked into gear. Speed demon Keri Potter (USA) blazed home, shaving nearly five seconds off the leading time, coming home on a clear round with the Tres Palomas-owned Westphalian mare Ariell La Sirene in 71.990 seconds and becoming the new time to beat as the class reached the halfway point.
Additional pairs continued to struggle on course with particular elements including the double combination at fence four, which rode as a forward five strides next to the vibrant VIP area, as well as the triple combination, where Petersen, Jr. presented the option of an inside turn, creating a more challenging track for riders to conquer successfully.
Angel Karolyi (VEN) took to the track with his 11-year-old Warmblood gelding Testigo LS and barely edged Potter out of her lead, securing a time of 71.493 seconds with no rails down on the course. His time held for a good portion of the second half of the start list, until Campbell came in on a mission and slid right past Karolyi and into the lead with Mecho Van’t Kiezelhof in a time of 71.010 seconds. She and the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, owned by the Triple S Group, took direct paths to each of the fences, leaving out strides where necessary around the turns and cutting tightly to the fences right out of the turns. Their efficient ride put them about a half a second within the leading time and held until the last horse had jumped, securing Campbell the win. Karolyi finished in second place while Potter rounded out the top three.
From The Winners Circle
Kaitlin Campbell – $25,000 Equ Lifestyle Boutique 1.40m Speed Classic winner
On Mecho Van’t Kiezelhof:
“I’ve only done one horse show with him so far. He’s owned by Shane Sweetnam and the Triple S Group and we were just in Wellington. He came back from Florida with us and this is the first money class I’ve ever jumped him in.”
On the course:
“It’s hard because it’s a trial for the Young Riders so it needs to be big enough that it prepares the junior riders, so I thought for a class with 70 people in it and that job too, it was difficult enough today.”
On plans for the summer:
“He’s a sales horse so he’ll jump the [$50,000 Mastermind] Grand Prix and then plans are up in the air after that. We’ll be back here for the first week in May so we’ll show then.”
On Nilforushan Equisport Events:
“It’s really nice, everything they’ve done. We were here for the very first show that ever ran here and it was small, it started with two or three rings, there were none of the extra barns. The amount it’s grown is great for the entire community. And the amount of horses that have come to the Temecula area is great; our business is based in Temecula five minutes down the road so everything they’re doing with the property is great for the entire community.”
Final Results – $25,000 Equ Lifestyle Boutique Speed Classic
1) Kaitlin Campbell (USA) & Mecho Van’t Kiezelhof – 0 / 71.010
2) Angel Karolyi (VEN) & Testigo LS – 0 / 71.493
3) Keri Potter (USA) & Ariell La Sirene – 0 / 71.990
Source: Press Release by Tori Bilas / Phelps Media Group for Temecula Valley National Horse Show
Photos: © Emma Miller / Tori Bilas