Aaron Vale is Victorious in Grand Prix for Three-Peat at HITS Ocala

Ocala, Fla. – Feb. 2019 – The Ocala Winter Classic featured new classes this week, with riders from across the country aiming to test themselves against the very best competition. Based on the results, competitors and spectators alike were treated to some of the very best riding.

It all started Wednesday in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium with the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Welcome. Manuel Torres captured the blue ribbon on Chistofolini H. The pair finished with the winning time of 38.260 seconds. Kris Killiam and Gangster CHS followed in 38.455 seconds to capture second place while third place was awarded to Lisa Goldman-Smolen aboard Nike with a time of 38.986 seconds.

A dominating performance highlighted the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. Kirk Webby and Brando Du Rouet posted an amazing two-plus second win in a jaw-dropping time of 39.229 seconds. Tracey Fenney captured second place aboard MTM Como No with a time of 41.519 seconds. Fenney and MTM Reve Du Paradis were hot on their heels, flying to a time of 41.690 seconds to round out the top three.

Brian Moggre, the only junior in the field, was the winner of the $10,000 KindredBio Open Prix with MTM Flutterby, crossing the timers in 28.530 seconds. The second place award went to Goldman-Smolen with Hindsight in a time of 30.327 seconds. Fenney captured another third place award, riding MTM Apple to a 30.804-second finish.

Saturday introduced a new class in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium, the $10,000 1.35m Gambler’s Choice. The winning rider for this special class was Holly Shepherd aboard Manchester. The pair accumulated a total score of 1,630 to seal the win. Moggre and MTM Flutterby followed in second place with a 1,620 score while Sima Morgello rounded out the top three with Azur Van Overis Z and a score of 1,550.

Grace Debney and Dark Kiss Z captured the win in the $2,500 Pyranha Junior 1.25m Jumper Classic on Sunday. Taking top honors in this week’s $2,500 Pyranha A-O/Am 1.25m Jumper Classic was Laura Linback aboard Big Smile.

The winning round for the $5,000 Summit Joint Performance Jr/A-O/Am 1.35m Jumper Classic went to Erin Haas riding Udo DV. In a close jump off, Bryn Sadler took the win in the $7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O/Am 1.45m Jumper Classic, aboard Cinven CR.

Aaron Vale and Major Photo: ESI Photography
Aaron Vale and Major
Photo: ESI Photography

Boehringer Ingelheim week at the Ocala Winter Classic wrapped up with the $50,000 Boehringer Ingelheim Grand Prix in the Ocala Horse Properties Staduim. It was a three-peat for Aaron Vale and Major who have won the Sunday Grand Prix for three weeks in a row. The dynamic duo had the fastest time of 38.549 seconds, nearly three seconds ahead of the pack to take home their third victory.

Haley Gassel captured second place aboard Quite Dark 2 with a time of 41.051 seconds while Jenni McAllister followed with Escada VS in 41.585 seconds for third place.

Jillian Piesco and Cassino Royale took home the blue ribbon this week in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. Piesco had a first round score of 82, followed by a second round score of 85, giving the pair a total of 167 to capture the win. Second place was awarded to Lena Rae Reeb and Call Me with a 163-total. Lila Ouellette and King Of Hearts rounded out the top three with a combined score of 151.

Holly Shepherd and High Society Photo: ESI Photography
Holly Shepherd and High Society
Photo: ESI Photography

The first of two $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derbies took place in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium this week and provided a great display of top notch hunter performances. Holly Shepherd took home top honors aboard High Society with a score of 178 in round one, and a follow up score of 199 in round two. This gave the pair a combined score of 377 to take home the win. Kristen Bumpus and Diadora followed with a total of 365 for second place while third place was awarded to Cassandra Kahle and Garsino with a two-round score of 350.

The Ocala Winter Classic was also host to the $1,500 USHJA International Pony Hunter Derby. The junior rider to boast top honors was Lauren Studstill. Studstill guided Rollingwoods Lemony Sticket to score an 80 in the first round and an 85 in the second round, winning the class with a combined total of 165. Izzy Beisel and Boutonniere rode to a total score of 160 for second place. With a 157 total score, Brooks Hull captured third place aboard Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog.

Week V returns to highlight the $50,000 SmartPak Grand Prix on Friday and the $100,000 Ocala Electric Utility Grand Prix on Sunday.

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