Aaron Vale Adds Another Feather to his Victory Hat on Quidam’s Good Luck
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Posted by HITS E-News
Culpeper, VA (August 25, 2014) – Of the four horses Aaron Vale entered in Sunday’s $40,000 Grand Prix presented by Zoetis at HITS Culpeper, his confidence was vested in an unlikely candidate. Eight-year old Quidam’s Good Luck, owned by Troy Glaus, was the youngest of Vale’s rides, but stood as a prime example that pure talent was enough for a win.
With speed, eagerness and tight knees, Quidam’s Good Luck makes it look easy. Vale has been his pilot for two years and the pair began moving up the ranks this winter at HITS Ocala, jumping consistently well in the 1.40m Brook Ledge and 1.45m Prix. Vale believes he’s barely scratched the surface of the horse’s potential.
“This is his first year doing the grand prix and got his first win earlier this season. Our plan is to keep moving him forward into bigger classes as he gains experience,” said Vale (Williston, Florida) of the strapping bay Holsteiner gelding. “He doesn’t have the mileage some of the other horses have, but makes up for it with natural quickness.”
That inherent speed was put to the test in the HITS Grand Prix with 10 horses advancing to Ken Krome’s [Westminster, Maryland] jump-off. Tall verticals and challenging square oxers tested a field of 27 in the first round, weeding out the top contenders for the short course. “I only watched a couple ride before me, but knew if it came down to leaving out strides we were going to have a shot,” said Vale.
He was proved correct by the bending approach to a double combination in the jump-off. “I watched most ride ten strides from a single fence to the combination and I thought we could do eight,” added Vale. “We pulled it off and it’s what made the difference.”
Crossing the timers in 39.48 seconds, Vale took the win with nearly three seconds to spare. Second-place was awarded to Filip De Wandel (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania) and his own Gentley with a jump-off time of 42.25 seconds.
With only fractions of a second deciding second through fourth, Daniel Damen (Ocala, Florida) took third aboard Seth Vallhonrat’s Bahrain 8 in 43.22 seconds, while local girl Brooke Kemper (Culpeper, Virginia) piloted her own Classified to fourth in 43.56 seconds. Ian Silitch (Ocala, Florida) rounded out the top five double-clear efforts in the irons of Cordovo for Gaston Family Investments in 43.90 seconds.
Vale was back on the road first thing Monday morning with plenty of momentum driving him toward the HITS Championship in Saugerties, New York. “I’ve got some promising young horses, but I’m deciding between Honeylands Douglason [owned by Doug’s Crew] and Spirit of Alena [owned by The Spirit Group] for the [Zoetis $1] Million Grand Prix,” he said.
Qualified Zoetis Million contenders from all corners of the U.S. and beyond, including Vale, will soon converge at HITS-on-the-Hudson for the Richest Week in Show Jumping September 3-7. Two more chances remain during Week VII as riders vie for a spot in the coveted high-stakes event. To follow Zoetis Million qualifying, click here.
$40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize $ Rd 1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Quidam's Good Luck Troy Glaus Aaron Vale $12,000 0 0 39.48
2 Gentley Filip De Wandel Filip De Wandel $8,800 0 0 42.25
3 Bahrain 8 Seth Vallhonrat Daniel Damen $5,200 0 0 43.22
4 Classified Brooke Kemper Brooke Kemper $3,200 0 0 43.56
5 Cordovo Gaston Family Investments Ian Silitch $2,400 0 0 43.90
6 S & L Elite S & L Farms Dorothy Douglas $2,000 0 4 41.90
7 Fons Van't Gey Zever Hayley Waters Daniel Damen $1,600 0 4 41.95
8 November Windsor Farm Sales Alexa Lowe-Wiseman $1,200 0 4 45.30
9 Quipit L.F. Quipit Group Ragan Roberts $1,200 0 4 50.21
10 FVF Sailor Man Fox View Farm Maryann Charles $800 0 Elim. -
11 Victoria Santa Catalina Farm Andrea Torres Guereiro $800 4 - -
12 MTM Centano MTM Farm Tracy Fenney $800 4 - -
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$15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix
Tracy Fenney (Flower Mound, Texas) continues her reign over high-performance jumper action at HITS Culpeper. She and MTM Farm’s MTM Timon bested 23 contenders in Friday’s $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix to pocket a $4,350 winner’s check.
One of 14 pairs to advance to the jump-off, Fenney and her 14-year old KWPN gelding are known for their speed, which propelled them to the win over five double-clear efforts.
Kama Godek (Fairfax Station, Virginia) is often at the top of the Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix finisher’s list, but this time she and her own Air Force One settled for second. Hayley Waters (Sparr, Florida) jumped to third with Fine Fleur, owned by Check and Dana Waters.
Mary Lisa Leffler (Brookeville, Maryland) and Carlot finished fourth for Rolling Acres, while Agatha D’Ambra (Rexford, New York) and Trade Winds Farm’s Vitaly settled for fifth.
Brook Ledge Horse Transportation presents a weekly jumper class throughout the HITS Culpeper summer and fall series. Aside from the winner’s purse, Brook Ledge Open Welcome riders also compete for the Brook Ledge Rider Bonus, which includes a $1,500 shipping credit for the rider who accumulates the most points in those classes throughout the circuit.