HITS regular Aaron Vale of Williston, Florida, turned on the afterburners in the $50,000 Equine Couture/TuffRider Grand Prix jump-off Sunday to knock out the competition and win the class on Troy Glaus’ Quidam’s Good Luck.
Forty-five horses competed in the first round over a course designed by Manuel Esparza of Mexico City, Mexico. Thirteen qualified for the jump-off. Going second in the jump-off, with the likes of Mclain Ward, Ian Millar and Candice King behind him, Vale rode clean and fast to win.
“I know if we leave the jumps up, he’s got a good chance,” Vale said of the 9-year-old bay gelding Quidam’s Good Luck. Vale said the horse has a jumping style that’s “fairly extravagant – the way he kicks his hind end up and flicks his tail at the same time.”
Vale and Quidam sped around the abbreviated course, setting the Great American Time to Beat at 38.330 seconds for others to chase, and ultimately earning the blue and a $15,000 prize check.
“We’ve had a great week here showing over Manuel’s courses,” Vale said. “Flowing across the ring with time alloweds being a little tight, it really encouraged you to go forward. He did a good job of making it technical but making you have to go forward at the same time.”
Five more riders were clean in the jump-off but none were able to match Vale’s time. Mclain Ward from Brewster, New York, and Double H Farm’s HH Ashley, came close with a time of 39.886, securing their second place spot.
Ward said, “I kind of lost sight of the last jump heading into the sun and took one extra pull, but she was good.” On a different horse, his and Susie Heller’s Dulien Van De Smeets, a fault put Ward in eighth place with a time of 41.040.
Ian Millar of Perth, Ontario, who rounded out the top three with a time of 40.289, said jokingly after the class, “Aaron (Vale) gave us all a riding lesson.”
Also clean in the jump-off were Jared Petersen on Derek Petersen’s Titus 2:11, coming in fourth, Juan Pablo Betancourt on his Troya Retiro, for fifth place, and Millar again, on Team Works’ Star Power, in sixth place.
About Equine Couture
Equine Couture is a line of rider and equine apparel offered by JPC Equestrian, the world's largest manufacturer of popular, affordable, and innovative rider apparel. Equine Couture offers style and sophistication to both horse and rider for less.
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Source: Press release from HITS.
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