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Aaron Vale and Prescott earn sweet victory in the $100,000 Mars Equestrian Grand Prix CSI3*

Sunday, 03 March 2024
CSI3* World Equestrian Center Ocala 2023

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography Aaron Vale and Prescott in the $100,000 MARS Equestrian Grand Prix CSI3*. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.


Press release from World Equestrian Center



The WEC Grand Arena once again became the epicenter of thrilling international competition as spectators from near and far gathered at World Equestrian Center – Ocala to witness the highly anticipated $100,000 MARS Equestrian Grand Prix CSI3*. An elite lineup of the world’s best jumping athletes competed for the top prize, but it was Aaron Vale who clinched the well-deserved victory aboard Prescott (Lordanos x Bb Carvallo), owned by Thinkslikeahorse.

Catsy Cruz (MEX), an FEI Level III course designer, crafted the challenging tracks that allowed 11 duos to qualify for the jump-off. 

Anna Dryden (USA) and Gipsy Love set the initial pace in the jump-off, but Samantha Schaefer (USA) and Bonne Chane LLC’s James Bond HX (Douglas x Cash) blazed through, clocking in at 41.33 seconds to take the lead.

Daniel Coyle (IRL) came close to taking the win with a speedy performance aboard Ariel Grange’s Legacy, but had a heartbreaking rail, leaving the door open for Aaron Vale, determined to seize the win.

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography Aaron Vale and Prescott jumping to first place. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

At the sound of the tone, Vale and Prescott were off, “I really shaped out to fence one, and got the six done easily in the turn. We caught that nice enough I was able to get eight down to the next oxer, and I think everybody else did nine. Then he actually grabbed a shoe landing, and I wasn’t sure what was happening, but for three or four strides he was scrambling. By the time everything cleared, the next oxer was going to be really long, but I had to win the class, so I took it. Then I was able to be patient to the combination, and after we landed that, I could just let his speed do the rest.” 

With a time of 37.30 seconds, Vale and Precott snagged the top spot on the leaderboard, and ultimately took home the victory. 

Vale reflected on his longtime partnership with the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, “I bought him as a four-year-old and he’s 12 years old now. He may have never been my best horse, but on a night, he can win a really fast class. The jump-off tonight really suited him, and we nailed it.” 

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography Aaron Vale and Prescott accepting their first place award presented by Bridgett McIntosh, Director of MARS Equestrian and Jim Wolf of World Equestrian Center. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) and Oakridge Farm’s 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Loukas De La Noue (Malito De Reve x Mr Blue) clinched second place with a time of 39.96 seconds. Ashe Cawley praised the crowd at World Equestrian Center – Ocala, “Whenever I come here, I am always blown away by the crowd. They are always into it, and they really have become educated about the sport,” she shared. “I can’t thank MARS Equestrian and the Roberts family enough for what they’ve done for our sport. They’ve really made an impact with this incredible facility, and I think there is nothing but amazing things to come from it.” 

Bridgett McIntosh, Director of MARS Equestrian spoke about the thrilling night, “Congratulations and thank you to the athletes and four-legged friends for joining us on this spectacular evening of equestrian sport. We are so proud to be a Founding Partner of World Equestrian Center and this venue truly embodies our vision: to create a better world for horses, pets and people. Our love for animals and the sport is evident, and we sincerely appreciate the entire equestrian community’s essential role in making it all possible.”


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