OCALA, FL (March 12, 2012) – Purina Mills was on hand this weekend at HITS Ocala as the title sponsor of the $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. The weekend was full of Purina Mills sponsored festivities and Purina sponsored rider Aaron Vale, of Morriston, Florida, put the exclamation point on the weekend when he captured the coveted first place prize in the Grand Prix aboard Bonnie Smith’s Tibor. To put the icing on the cake, he also won a ton of Purina Mills feed through the Purina Mills Rider’s Bonus.
Canada’s Danny Foster of Milton, Ontario designed the course, and saw 33 competitors attempt to conquer it.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve won a big Sunday Grand Prix and I was hoping to do it this circuit, so I was pretty thrilled,” said Vale, who showed two mounts on Sunday and finished in tenth place aboard Honeyland’s Douglason, owned by Doug’s Crew. “I think Danny [Foster] did a fantastic job today giving us a big course to jump. The line to the triple combination gave a lot of difficulties today and the six strides made the horses kind of dive at the jump and take a down. I was able to do seven strides with both of my horses and was able to sneak them through it. The jumps came up quick and there was a lot of riding to do in 88 seconds. There were 14 fences and it was about the same time allowed for a 12 jump course, so it kept you busy.”