Doesnt Slow Aaron Vale on Opening Day at Kentucky Spring Horse Shows;
Lexington, KY May 10, 2006
Competitors at the 2006 Kentucky Spring Horse Show were greeted with a steady rain and a threat of late day severe weather as a slow moving storm front moved through the Lexington area on Wednesday. But the downpour did nothing to slow down Aaron Vale as he grabbed two of the days featured jumper events. Vale galloped to victory in the 1.40m Jumpers at the Johnson Arena, outlasting forty-two other competitors for the victory. In the 1.30m Jumpers at the Walnut Ring, Vale was even more impressive as he grabbed the top five prizes in a class of fifty-six starters.
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show is the first of two weeks of action at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The shows, two of the nations finest and most popular spring equestrian competitions, feature a $30,000 and a $50,000 Grand Prix each week. Week twos main event, the $50,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI 3*, is a member event of the $3 million dollar American Grand Prix Association (AGA) Series. The shows play host to the highly praised and innovative Legacy Cup of the American Hunter and Jumper Foundation. In addition, the first week is a World Championship Hunter Rider sanctioned event.
This weeks courses are being designed by Great Britains Richard Jeffery. The scoring for the class was Table II, Sec 1, Time First Round. Forty-three starters went to the post in the 10 a.m. opener at the Johnson Arena.
Vale edged Olympic Gold Medalist Beezie Madden by less than 3/10ths of a second for todays win. Vale, aboard his long time partner Artur 28, owned by Millstream, Inc., cruised home in 70.129 seconds. Madden on Conquest II, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Patton, fell just short of Vales target in 70.389 seconds.
I really was in there just to relax him and get him trained up for the big classes, said Vale following todays win. I went early, before the bad weather. It was kind of a galloping course, and hes got a fast gallop. I wasnt trying too hard, but I think the weather deteriorated after I went, and that helped my ride hold up through all those other horses.
Vale admitted that when he went, early in the class, he wasnt really thinking victory. I wasnt even thinking about whether my time would hold up or not. I was just trying to prepare my horse for later in the week, he said. And training wise, I got exactly what I wanted out of him. I was able to ride the whole course at a nice pace, hardly ever touching the reins other than to turn, and he went around at a nice pace. I was just thinking about training. I wasnt even thinking about winning, so that was a heck of a nice bonus, Vale said with a smile.
The 1.30m Jumpers, held in the Walnut ring under a Table II, Section 2(b) format, had a pool of 56 riders compete over the course designed by Jose Pepe Gamarra of Venezuela. Aaron Vale had an extraordinary sweep in the class and occupied the top five slots in the final class rankings.
Vale piloted Rio 2, owned by Millstream Inc., to a first place finish with a speedy jump off time of 28.098 seconds, edging La Gato into second place. La Gato and Mobile U, Vales mount that captured third, are also owned by Millstream Inc. The fourth place award went to Mexico 47, owned by Paxton Mendelssohn of Aiken, South Carolina, and fifth was pinned on the bridle of Millsteam Inc.s Leone.
I showed some new horses and just wanted to get them all over the water [jump] today, related a smiling Vale about his incredible rides. They all jumped the water beautifully and got to show over a neat little jump off course. I was able to sneak around there, and I finished up in the top five places.
He elaborated, They all jumped well, and I think it was a little bit tricky for the first day in there. You had the first line going straight up the middle of the ring with a real spooky fence at number two, which was right between the water jump and a liver pool. So it was a lot to ask of new horses, but they all handled it and were great. Rio 2 is an old experienced horse that will be showing in the Junior Jumpers later in the week, so I was getting him prepared for that.
Hes a sale horse that belongs to us, so I kicked him the hardest so he would pay the bills, Vale said with a laugh. Alex Skiffington will show him later on, but hes a really nice old horse who has been all over the world and can teach kids how to compete in the Junior Jumpers.
In the 1.45m Jumpers, the second event at the Johnson Arena, the weather took its toll as many of the starters elected to call it a day early. Scoring was under Table II, Sec. 2b, Time First Jump-Off. Because of the deteriorating conditions, the class was reduced to seven starters.
Great American, owned by All Seasons and Ri-Arm Farm, produced the only clear round for todays win with Mark Leone aboard,
The conditions were a little rough for opening day, laughed a water logged Leone after picking up the top prize. The really wet weather, and more importantly, the water jump was in todays class. My horse is a little spooky and a little young and Ive been working on that. So, I had to show today just to set him up for the Thursday and Sunday Grand Prix events. So, today was an important class for me.
The footing was pretty short, explained Leone. It was a little sloppy, and there was a lot of standing water, but no one was slipping. I think a lot of riders opted to go home, just hoping for better weather and conditions tomorrow.
Leone said that he is happy with a win, no matter the competition. I was lucky enough that there werent a lot of competitors. My horse jumped a good clear round and again, more importantly handled the water really well. The water jump caught four of the small field of seven today, so I was thrilled that he handled that well, he said. I feel good about his set-up now for the rest of the week. To get a good ribbon, let alone win the class, was a great bonus, but most important was the fact that he was comfortable and confident.
Georgina Bloomberg and Lancelot
Out Duel Competition in 1.35 M Open Jumpers
Lancelot had a lot of time off since the winter, and this is his first show back, commented Bloomberg about her win. We just started jumping him last week, so it was nice for him to come back and do so well today. The course was great because there were options and an open water. Im going to keep him in the meter 1.35 for the week because hes going great, and hes just getting back into the show ring. She added, We just want to give him a little time in the ring because were taking him to Europe next week. He has a big tour coming up, so its better to have one solid show at a smaller level.
In addition to Lancelot, Bloomberg will compete with Cim Christo and Nadia, both owned by Gotham Enterprizes LLC, tomorrow and will show Cim Christo in the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix on Sunday, May 14th.
The 7/8 Year Old Jumper class, held under a Table II, Section 2(b) format, granted top honors to Todd Minikus aboard Reamino 3, owned by Todd Minikus LTD of Loxahatchee, Florida. The pair broke the timers in 37.915 seconds, securing the top spot for the win. Chari Klapman of Kildeer, Illinois, and Limelight, owned by Lynda Frodsham, finished in second, and Minikus also took home third place with Lamborghini, owned by Mordechay Shahak.
In the 6 Year Old Jumper class, David Jennings of Wellington, Florida, earned the blue ribbon with Eso, owned by Amy Lefferdink. Aaron Vale finished in second place with Noble Carthago, owned by Paxton Mendelssohn, and Marilyn Little took home third place aboard Rumba L.S. La Silla, owned by Club Hipico La Silla.
The 5 Year Old Jumper class, held under the optimum time Table V, Section 1 format, was lead by Lindsay Kendall of Lexington, KY, and Mandolin Rain, owned by Barbara Gilbert. Aaron Vale and Millsteam Incs horse Baroli Vant Merelsnest rank second in the final standings, with his other mount, Baldato Vant Merelsnest, finishing in third.
Leone, Bloomberg and Vale will be part of the starting line up for tomorrows debut of the all new Hagyard Challenge Series. The $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix will kick off this exciting new seven event series. The Hagyard Challenge Series, featuring $170,000 in prize money, will continue the following Thursday at the Kentucky Spring Classic. The Hagyard Challenge Series will run throughout the summer at the Horse Park. The final event, the $50,000 CSI-W Lexington, at the Kentucky National Indoor Horse Show on September 22, 2006, is a U.S. East Coast League World Cup Qualifier.
Results of Class 225 $5,000
Open Jumper 1.40m table II, Sec 1 - Kentucky Spring Johnson Arena
Results of Class 226 $5,000
Open Jumper 1.45m Table II Sec 2(b) - Kentucky Spring Johnson Arena
Results of Class 222 OPEN
JUMPER 1.35M TABLE II SEC 2(B)-Kentucky Spring Walnut Arena
Results of Class 219 OPEN
JUMPER 1.30M TABLE II SEC 2(B)-Kentucky Spring Walnut Arena
THE KENTUCKY SPRING HORSE SHOWS: http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com/
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