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Aaron Vale and Carissimo 25 best the rest in the $62,500 Lemieux Grand Prix qualifier CSI4*

Friday, 08 March 2024
CSI4*/CSI2* World Equestrian Center Ocala 2024

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Aaron Vale and Carissimo 25 soaring to first place. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.


Press release from World Equestrian Center



The WEC Grand Arena was full of excitement this evening as four-star competition took center stage for the $62,500 LeMiuex Grand Prix Qualifier CSI4*. Thirty elite Jumping combinations, representing 10 different nations, showcased their skills over Gregory Bodo (FRA) and Pieter Vitse’s (BEL) challenging course. In the end, it was Ocala’s own Aaron Vale (USA) who claimed the top spot on the leaderboard aboard Debbie Smith’s Carissimo 25 (Cascadello x Clinton).

Out of the starting field, an even 10 combinations successfully navigated the challenges of the first round, earning the opportunity to return to the jump-off. Ultimately, only four managed to achieve a double clear effort.

Trailblazing the jump-off, Gabriela Reutter (CHI) and Lumiere Horses Inc.’s Castle Oj delivered an impressive clear round, setting the time to beat at a swift 40.68 seconds.

Canadian rider Sean Jobin elevated the competition aboard the stylish 12-year-old Zangersheide gelding Coquelicot Vh Heuvelland Z (Catoki x Cassini II), clocking in at 40.50 seconds and shaving a tenth of a second off the leading time.

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography Aaron Vale and Carissimo 25 accepting their first place award presented by Marley Jordan, Marketing & Sales Coordinator at LeMieux. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

Returning fourth in the order, Aaron Vale and Carissimo 25 (Cascadello x Clinton) aimed to secure the lead. “I knew from one to two I could get eight with his ability. Eight to the double was almost too slow for him. The seven to the liverpool was slow and patient feeling. Then I was quick and efficient everywhere else.” 

Vale and the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding crossed the timers in an impressive 38.84 seconds, securing a time that proved unbeatable.

“Down the road, to be number one in the world, I think I am going to have to find a few more strides to take out,” laughed Vale. “Tonight was about the plan, we stuck to it, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.” 

Vale has been selected to compete on the USA Team for the Longines League of Nations™ and is excited to compete for his nation on home turf, “I am really looking forward to it. It was a lot of fun to compete in Abu Dhabi and I think it will be even more fun here,” he continued. “I almost feel like there is more pressure this week because I feel like I can’t make a mistake. During [Longines League of Nations™] you know it’s going to be hard so if you get a rail, it’s understandable, but this week I feel like I have to perfect. So far, it’s going pretty good.” 

Callie Schott (USA) and Southern Arches, LLC’s Garant (Warrant x Verdi Tn) clinched the final double-clear ride with a swift pace. Schott and the 13-year-old KWPN gelding completed the course in 39.87 seconds, just one second short of the winning time.


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