Atlanta, GA- What a week at the Atlanta Summer Classics! Big numbers in both the hunter and jumper divisions and sold out attendance in the VIP tent has set the back drop for non-stop show jumping competition at the home of the 1996 Olympic Games at the Georgia International Horse Park.
Week II heated up Thursday when the Nalley Toyota Stonecrest $15,000 Open Welcome took to the Olympic Stadium when a field of twenty four horse and rider teams battled it out on a course designed by International Course Designer, Steve Stephens. Stephens is one of the world's most well-known designers and acted as the Official Course Designer of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Only nine went clean in their first round effort and Aaron Vale of Morriston, Florida led the pack in the irons of Sarah Turner's Acolina R. After posting a clean first round in a time of 68.75 seconds, well within the 76 seconds time allowed, Acolina R and Vale went on to jump a clean second round in a time of 39.128 seconds beating the time allowed of 44 seconds.
Eliza, owned by Kyle Dewar and ridden by Katherine Dewar of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin turned in a clean first and second round in times of 70.014 seconds and 41.957 seconds, respectively which had them following Vale and Acolina R on the scorecard.
Vale had the next clean round with his second ride in the class, Troy Glaus' Quidam's Good Luck in a time of 72.197 seconds. Their clean second round in a time of 37.310 seconds put them in the lead and set the new time to beat.
Haley Gassel of Lenoir City, Tennessee in the irons of Westwind Equine Training Center's Quite Dark 2 followed Vale with a clean first round time of 72.004 seconds, but with four jump faults in their second round in a time of 39.049 would finish in sixth place overall.
Bowers Cone of Collierville, Tennessee and Bowers Cone, LLC's VIP Quality Royale was the next to post a clean first round in a time of 73.328 seconds. But their second round in a time of 38.860 seconds and no jump faults wasn't fast enough to beat Vale and Quidam's Good Luck, so the pair settled for second position. Vale followed Cone with Bonzini S, owned by Thinks Like a Horse Farm and turned in a clean first round effort in a time of 70.793 seconds. Four faults in their jump off round in a time of 39.381 seconds would see the pair finish in seventh overall.
Deborah Stephens of Palmetto, Florida and Centennial Farm Inc.'s Swagger were next to go and turned in a clean first round effort in 70.812 seconds. Four faults in their second round with a time of 38.069 seconds would see them take the fifth place ribbon overall.
Vale returned with the next clean first round effort in the irons of Equi-Sport LLC's E.S. Finou 4 in a time of 73.600 seconds. But, eight jump faults in a time of 36.481 seconds in their second round would find the pair finish in eighth place overall.
Last in the order and the final clean first round of the class was Gassel and Westwind Equine Training Center's Werner 61 who finished it in 68.485 seconds. However, eight jump faults in a time of 38.593 seconds would find them out of the ribbons.
Final results had Vale take the win with Glaus' Quidam's Good Luck as well as third, seventh and eighth place ribbons in the irons of Acolina R, Bonzini S and E.S. Finou 4. Cone and Bowers Cone, LLC's VIP Quality Royale held second place while Katherine Dewar and Eliza received fourth.
Vale continued his winning streak Friday in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, besting a field of thirty three horse and rider teams taking both the first and second place ribbons with Donald Stewart's Dress Balou and Fairfield Farms, LLC's Just Sayin.
L'Esperado owned by Amber Hill Farm and ridden by Emma Mandarino from Bedminster, New Jersey earned third place while Susan Friedland's Cape Capital, ridden by Lauren Kissel of Canton, Georgia took fourth place honors. Fifth was awarded to Chrystalle, owned by Audrey Gallagher and ridden by Abigail Dubose of Alpharetta, Georgia won sixth place while Benetton, owned and ridden by Dubose took seventh place. Eighth was awarded to Winter White, owned and ridden by Elizabeth Stork of Dallas, Texas. Ninth place went to Mythbuster, owned and ridden by Julie Curtin of Roswell, Georgia and tenth was awarded to Mandolin, owned by Lynn Laird and ridden by Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina. Eleventh and twelfth places were awarded to Wendel We Go, owned by Wendel We Go, LLC and ridden by Savannah Russell of Cumming, Georgia and Lee Cessery's Swagger, ridden by Nashea Rowland of Jacksonville, Florida, respectively.
Vale was again awarded the Kastel Denmark Hunter Style of Riding Award. Kastel Denmark is the Official UV shirt of the Atlanta Summer Classic and The Great Magnolia Show Jumping Tour. Kastel Denmark is known for its sporty, active wear and its beautiful UV protectant shirts in a range of colors inspired by the Danish landscape. Kastel Denmark's shirts come in both men and women's sizes and is available at finer tack stores everywhere.
Vale has been unstoppable since arriving at the Atlanta Summer Classics. As winner of Week I and II's Open Welcome, USHJA National Hunter Derbies and last week's $35,000 Regions Private Wealth Management Grand Prix, all eyes will be on him for tonight's $35,000 Classic Grand Prix, presented by EMO.
The Atlanta Summer Classic is the first stop on the Great Magnolia Show Jumping Tour which combines three show-destination circuits. The Olympic spirit of the Atlanta Summer Classic, Brownland Farm's pastoral venue in close proximity to America's music scene in Nashville, Tennessee and the show-cation destination of the Charleston Summer Classic on Johns Island, South Carolina make up the Tour that offers MORE!