Although there were grey skies in the area for the second day of the Kentucky Summer Classic, the weather did not dampen the competition in the Rolex Stadium. Both the 1.40m and 1.35m Open Jumper classes were determined by just fractions of a second. As the last in the class, Aaron Vale had the draw on his side as he bested Juan Pablo Gaspar and Shamrock with H&M Cisco in the 1.40m Open Jumpers.
The course for the 1.40m Open Jumpers was designed by Marina Azevedo of Brazil, and featured multiple rollbacks, a skinny vertical, a vertical-oxer double combination, and an oxer-vertical-vertical triple combination. Eleven horse and rider combinations advanced to the jump-off, which began with a vertical-oxer line with a rollback to the skinny, followed by the double combination, a liverpool vertical, and finishing with a rollback to a single oxer headed toward the gate.
Sarah Scheiring was the first rider to produce a second clear effort with Midnight Dance, owned by Windwood Equestrian of Pelham, AL, setting the time to beat at 34.671 seconds, which held up for fourth place. Her early lead would not hold for long when speed dynamo 15-year-old Juan Pablo Gaspar of Mexico took his turn over the course aboard Shamrock. They laid on the gas, making sharp turns and slicing both of the rollbacks to finish in 31.601 seconds.
Tatiana Dzavik of Malibu, CA, attempted to catch Gaspar's time aboard Delphine, and although they handily left all of the rails intact, they stopped the clock at 32.498 seconds, which would be good enough for third place.
Aaron Vale was the last to show aboard H&M Cisco, owned by Thinks Like a Horse of Morriston, FL, and they were ready to take a few risks when they took their turn over the short course. He used a curve through the first line to create momentum and slice the skinny vertical. Vale also took a risk at the final oxer, galloping though the timers in a clear 31.224 seconds, just 4/10ths of a second faster than Gaspar to capture the blue ribbon.
"Once again playing with fire, I took a chance at the end, but I wanted to win the class," smiled Vale. "I kicked him pretty hard through the timers. The timers have been a little far away from the jumps these last two weeks, so you can't jump the last fence and take your foot off the gas. I don't think I won by a lot, so that was maybe just enough to get it done."
H&M Cisco arrived in the United States last summer, but after an unfortunate colic surgery the horse was resting until the beginning of this season. "I'm still trying to figure him out a little bit," explained Vale. "He's really athletic. He isn't always the most consistent with his style, so we're just trying to get him more consistent. He plays and kicks and bucks and wanders. We're just trying to get him where he is focused and more consistent. He can jump really big fences, he's careful, and if you make a mistake he'll keep going. He's jumped a few grand prixs, but he loses focuses toward the end of the courses. We're just trying to get where he pays attention the whole way."
For more information on the Kentucky Summer Series please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
1.40m Open Jumpers
1 657 H & M CISCO AARON VALE 0 0 0 71.027 0 0 0 31.224
2 60 SHAMROCK JUAN PABLO GASPAR 0 0 0 67.812 0 0 0 31.601
3 874 DELPHINE TATIANA DZAVIK 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 32.498
4 1447 MIDNIGHT DANCE SARAH SCHEIRING 0 0 0 75.567 0 0 0 34.671
5 978 HARLEY 86 BENJAMIN MEREDITH 0 0 0 77.990 0 0 0 38.006
6 1722 AMARETTO D'ARCO SHANE SWEETNAM 0 0 0 73.673 0 0 0 38.496
7 881 ACORINA WILL SIMPSON 0 0 0 67.152 4 0 4 31.617
8 470 DIAMONTE DARCO WILTON PORTER 0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 33.758
9 1081 PARK LANE DAVID BLAKE 0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 34.902
10 1280 VAROM ANGEL KAROLYI 0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 41.189
11 667 ZIPPO II AARON VALE 0 0 0 0.000 8 0 8 32.891
12 59 GAMA COCU JUAN PABLO GASPAR 4 0 4 65.914
Source: Press release from Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
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