Aaron Vale Gallops to Victory in the Jacksonville Internationale CSI** $50,000 Grand Prix

January 22, 2004 – Green Cove Springs, FL –

Aaron Vale of Ocala,FL/Aiken, SC earned a lion's share of the prize money by finishing first and third in the Jacksonville Internationale CSI** $50,000 Grand Prix Presented by Sleiman Enterprises at the Jacksonville International Horse Show. The competition took place at the Paul E. Reinhold Agricultural Center Fairgrounds on State Road 16 in Green Cove Springs, FL.

Riding Artur, an 11 year-old German Warmblood gelding owned by Millstream, Inc., Vale took home the victor's trophy in a blistering time of 38.73 seconds for the final jump-off course. Aboard Romulus, owned by Hollow Creek Investments, he won the yellow ribbon for third place in a time of 41.52 seconds.

Second place went to Olympic veteran Mac Cone of King City, Ontario and Melinda with a time of 40.82 seconds. Melinda, owned by Southern Ways, was seventh in this event last year. Cone also rode his popular grey Holsteiner mare, Cybella, in the class but dropped a rail in the first round through the tricky in and out combination of fences 10A and B. Cybella and Cone won this class last year, and jumped to the top last night in the Welcome Stake. An audible sigh rippled through the crowd when the rail fell dashing Cone's chance of back to back Jacksonville victories.

Fourth place was awarded to eight-time Canadian Olympic rider Ian Millar of Perth, Ontario. Known as ‘Captain Canada' for his amazing record over the years, Millar and his mount, In Style, turned in a time of 41.67 seconds in the final jump-off course.

Thirteen riders went clear in the first round to advance to the deciding second round. Canadian course designer Dave Ballard built a jump-off test that included both long galloping approaches and extremely tight turns. A master course designer, Ballard is internationally known for his fair yet challenging courses. Ballard had the honor of serving as the assistant course designer at both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.

The mid-class break to drag the ring was enlivened by the raffle of a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer. The lucky winner was Dennis Hall of Orange Park, FL. The truck was donated by Coggin Automotive Group and Sleiman Enterprises to raise funds for three charities. The proceeds of the raffle will be going to the Jacksonville Zoo, 4-H, and the U.S. Marine Corp's Toys for Tots Program.

The Jacksonville Internationale CSI** $50,000 Grand Prix Presented by Sleiman Enterprises is an American Grandprix Association (AGA) member competition. The CSI** prefix designates that the event has also been granted recognition by the Federation Equestre International (FEI), the international governing body of equestrian sports.

Organized by the North Florida Hunter Jumper Association (NFHJA), the competition is a featured event during the shows of the Jacksonville Winter Series and Sunshine Winter Circuit. The NFHJA is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting equestrian sports while raising money for worthy charities.

The show management wishes to thank the Presenting Sponsor, Sleiman Enterprises, for their generous support. Sleiman Enterprises is a corporation dedicated to property management, site planning, design, architecture, construction, and leasing. For more information about Sleiman Enterprises, please call (904) 731-8806.

For further show information, details, and results, please go to www.nfhja.com or www.classiccompany.com .

Rider - Country - Horse
1) Aaron Vale - U.S. - Artur
2) Mac Cone - Canada - Melinda
3) Aaron Vale - U.S. - Romulus
4) Ian Millar - Canada - In Style
5) David Jennings - U.S. - Costa Sur
6) Roberto Teran - Columbia - Tandil Ex Santa Fe
7) McLain Ward - U.S. - Galant
8) Tie - Laura Kraut - U.S. - Joyous
8) Tie - Leslie Howard - U.S. - Youp
10) Kent Farrington - U.S. - Madison

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