(c) ESI Photography. Aaron Vale and Quidam’s Good Luck jump clear in Sunday’s $50,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix.
Ocala, Florida (January 25, 2015): HITS regular Aaron Vale of Williston, Florida turned on the afterburners in the $50,000 Equine Couture/TuffRider Grand Prix jump-off Sunday to knock out the competition and win the class on Troy Glaus’ Quidam’s Good Luck.
Forty-five horses competed in the first round over a course designed by Manuel Esparza of Mexico City, Mexico. Thirteen qualified for the jump-off. Going second in the jump-off, with the likes of Mclain Ward, Ian Millar and Candice King behind him, Vale rode clean and fast to win.
“I know if we leave the jumps up, he’s got a good chance,” Vale said of the 9-year-old bay gelding Quidam’s Good Luck. Vale said the horse has a jumping style that’s “fairly extravagant – the way he kicks his hind end up and flicks his tail at the same time.”
Vale and Quidam sped around the abbreviated course, setting the Great American Time to Beat at 38.330 seconds for others to chase, and ultimately earning the blue and a $15,000 prize check.
“We’ve had a great week here showing over Manuel’s courses,” Vale said. “Flowing across the ring with time alloweds being a little tight, it really encouraged you to go forward. He did a good job of making it technical but making you have to go forward at the same time.”
Five more riders were clean in the jump-off but none were able to match Vale’s time. Mclain Ward from Brewster, New York and Double H Farm’s HH Ashley came close with a time of 39.886, securing their second place spot.
Ward said, “I kind of lost sight of the last jump heading into the sun and took one extra pull, but she was good.” On a different horse, his and Susie Heller’s Dulien Van De Smeets, a fault put Ward in eighth place with a time of 41.040.
Ian Millar of Perth, Ontario, who rounded out the top three with a time of 40.289, said jokingly after the class, “Aaron (Vale) gave us all a riding lesson.”
Also clean in the jump-off were Jared Petersen on Derek Petersen’s Titus 2:11, coming in fourth, Juan Pablo Betancourt on his Troya Retiro, for fifth place, and Millar again, on Team Works’ Star Power, in sixth place.
Morgan Ward and Orberose du Gord take blue in $2,500 Junior Jumper Classic Low; Samantha Schaefer and Sugar Ray win $2,500 Pyranha Amateur Jumper Classic by nearly three seconds
Morgan Ward of Milford, New Jersey, riding Redfield Farm’s Orberose du Gord, topped the $2,500 Junior Jumper Classic Low at HITS Ocala.
Four had clean rounds and went on to the jump-off over a course designed by Manuel Esparza, of Mexico City, Mexico. Ward finished both first and second in the class with clean rounds each time. Orberose du Gord went last and finished with the winning time of 33.305. Vanessa McCarthy’s Halladay earned second place with a time of 33.501. Third place went to Mary Katherine Hargreaves of Alpharetta, Georgia, on her own Quartus, with a clean round and a jump-off time of 34.179.
$2,500 Pyranha Amateur Jumper Classic
Samantha Schaefer of Westminster, Maryland topped the leaderboard in the $2,500 Pyranha Amateur Jumper Classic Low on her own Sugar Ray. Schaefer said of the Swedish Warmblood, “I’ve had him for six years. He’s 16 now and he’s probably my favorite horse ever. He always tries so hard to win. He has a huge heart.”
Schaefer’s time of 30.604 beat the other five horses in the jump-off by nearly three seconds. Second and third place went to Mallory Vale of Williston, Florida on Ashwey Calisto and Mi Phone with times of 33.128 for second and 33.440 for third, respectively. Both horses are owned by Thinkslikeahorse.
Laura Linback and Whittaker MVNZ Take Top Honors in $7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O Jumper Classic High
Laura Linback of Mundelein, Illinois rode to the only clean round in the jump-off on Whittaker MVNZ with a time of 31.331 seconds, to beat the other three who made it to the final round over the course also designed by Esparza in the $7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O Jumper Classic High.
Linback said she’s had Whittaker MVNZ for four years. “He’s a wonderful horse. He’s game and happy, but a little lazy, too. He needs inspiring.”
Hayley Waters from Sparr, Florida, riding Qurint, owned by Chuck and Dana Waters, came in second with the final rail coming down for four faults in 29.831 seconds. Rounding out the jump-off in third was Nicole Bellissimo from Wellington, Florida, riding Bellissimo LLC’s Harley David, to a four fault round in 29.943, and Sima Morgello from the Bronx, New York, with Orientales, owned by the Double S Farm, with eight faults and the fastest time of 28.236 for fourth. Sima was the winner of the Medium Jr/Am Classic earlier in the day on her other horse Zopala.