Aaron Vale Rolls On with Win on Mobile U in $15,000 Bluegrass Derby at Kentucky Spring Horse Show
Lexington, KY May 13, 2006
Aaron Vale, one of the most successful show jumping riders in United States history, continues to pour it on at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in Lexington this week. His latest triumph, his seventh win of the week, came on Saturday morning in the demanding $15,000 Bluegrass Derby.
Richard Jeffery of Great Britain is this weeks Course Designer, and today he set his traditional Derby course for the Saturday morning feature. We use the same course every year, said Jeffery. I think people really look forward to jumping some of the natural obstacles in this event. The course consisted of seventeen numbered obstacles and nineteen jumping efforts.
Scoring for the $15,000 Bluegrass Derby was USEF Table III, Faults Converted Into Seconds, with four seconds added for each knockdown. Twenty-nine hopefuls went to the post for the 10am start.
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pattons Conquest II, a past winner of this event with Olympic Gold Medalist Beezie Madden at the controls, grabbed the early lead today. Riding out of the fifth slot in the starting order, the duo stayed at the top of the charts through a majority of the class. Madden toured the course in 89.737 seconds, with no penalty seconds added on.
Three challengers, Todd Minikus on Elton, owned by Tracy Topping, Timbuktu, owned by Emily Zand and ridden by Peter Leone, and Serval Groups Serval, piloted by Aaron Vale, all saw their potentially winning times increased by four seconds for a single knockdown.
Madden was finally unseated when Aaron Vale, riding out of the twenty-seventh spot in the twenty-nine horse field, tripped the timers in an amazing 86.278 seconds, a shocking 3.4 seconds faster than Madden. Vales win came aboard Mobile U, owned by the Sagamore Farms.
Vale had a chance to watch Madden go and had time to figure out his personal game plan for victory. She put in a real good, fast round. She was quite quick everywhere, he said. Im not sure where I made up the time exactly, maybe just a little bit everywhere on the course. Then he added, I think my route up to and then down the bank was a lot quicker than most riders.
This is one of those classes you look forward to every year. You read the Kentucky Spring Horse Show prize list, you see the Derby, and you start thinking if you might have a horse or two that might have a good chance in the class, said Vale. Its a classic, old-time class. Richard [Jeffery] sets the same track every year, and its really a lot of fun. Actually, the rain weve had this week and the muddy, sloppy conditions almost add a little nostalgia to it, he smiled. It was a lot of fun galloping around out there.
Was the footing an issue today? Not really. The sand was perfect, and even the grass on the bank was in good shape, Vale noted. I was very aggressive turning on the grass, and if the footings bad, thats where youre normally going to slip, but it didnt happen out there today. So, the footing wasnt a factor.
Vale talked about his new partnership with todays winner Mobile U. Its a new horse for me. It belongs to Debbie Dolan and Sagamore Farm. I got her about three weeks ago. We had a few training rides at home, jumped the 1.30m the first day, the 1.40m the second day with a good ribbon, and then she won the 1.45m yesterday. Shes a classy, classy horse, he said. Today, anytime anything was a little questionable, she just tried that much harder and made up the difference.
Vale will try and keep his winning streak alive on Sunday with Artur 28, in the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, the main event for the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
229 $15,000 Bluegrass Derby, Table III - Kentucky Spring Johnson
Class 216 - YJC 5 Year Olds Sec 2(b) - Kentucky Spring Horse Show Walnut
Class 217 - YJC 6 Year Old II, Sec 2(b) -Kentucky Spring Horse Show Walnut
Class 218 - YJC 7/8 Year Olds II, Sec 2(b) - Kentucky Spring Horse Show
Walnut Ring 5/13/-06
THE KENTUCKY SPRING HORSE SHOWS: http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com/
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