VALE SEIZES THIRD VICTORY IN A ROW WITH 1-2 FINISH IN $25,000 HITS OCALA GRAND PRIX
OCALA, FL (March 5, 2004)-
For any Grand Prix rider, having a good string of up-and-coming horses is fundamental to sustained success. Aaron Vale, the record holder for the most Grand Prix wins in a single year, certainly looks like he is going to stay at the top of his game. Vale had a 1-2 finish, his third win in a row in Thursday's $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, and is consistently placing in the top four spots in jumper classes across the board at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Quendo, owned by Town Creek Investment, was Vale's horse for the win. He rode Romulus to second place, also owned by Town Creek Investment. Quendo and Romulus are both new mounts—this is their first full season in the Grand Prix ring with Aaron. Harold Chopping and Shadwell, owned by Mr. & Mrs. Wyatt Steward, took third place in the competition.
Twenty-three competitors took to the field to tackle the challenging 14-obstacle Round One course set by Canadian course designer Danny Foster. Foster's course included a few tight turns, with a triple at fence no. 7 and a double at fence no. 12. Time allowed was set at 105 seconds. Fence no. 5 proved to be trouble for a number of riders as they cut a turn into 6. Only five horse/rider combinations went clear to advance to the jump-off.
For the jump-off,
Foster built a seven-obstacle short course and set time allowed at 56
seconds. By removing the C element of the first round triple combination,
Foster left a long gallop to a vertical - vertical in-and-out, which
caused most riders to slow down and re-group in the middle of the course.
After the class,
Aaron Vale paid homage to the legendary Ian Millar, saying, "I
heard Ian say once, 'if you take the chance and go fast and leave the
jumps up, you have a pretty good chance of winning. If you play it safe
and take your time, even if you leave the jumps up, you're probably
going to be too slow to win anyway.'" Never one to play it safe,
Vale always gives the crowd a show of speed, and HITS Ocala spectators
are enjoying every split second of it.
$25,000 HITS Ocala Grand Prix - Thursday, March 4, 2004 HITS Ocala
IV - Ocala, FL Danny
Foster, Georgetown, Ontario
Danny Foster, Georgetown, Ontario
THROUGH SUNDAY, 2004 REMAINING SHOW DATES ARE:
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