Aaron Vale Scores a One-Two in the $100,000 Hits Grand Prix at Ocala

Ocala, Florida – February 05, 2021 – The Hits Ocala Winter Circuit continued into the third week, welcoming riders to the Winner’s Circle at HITS Post Time Farm to accept honors in featured Hunter and Jumper competition. Along with the $100,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday, Week III featured the $7,500 M&S Children’s and Adult High Jumper Classic in the Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as well as the Diamond Mills and Platinum Performance Hunter Prix in the Main Hunter Ring.

The Hits Ocala Winter Circuit continues with USEF-Rated Hunter/Jumper competition through March 28, culminating with the seventh Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. As you make your plans to join us for the Hits Ocala Winter Circuit, please be sure to review the USEF Covid Protocol and the HITS Covid Protocol prior to your arrival. Read on for a recap of featured class winners from the Ocala Premiere or click here to enter for the Hits Ocala Winter Circuit!

Vale started and finished the week on a high note, completely dominating featured competition at Hits Post Time Farm! He added another one-two finish to his record, this time in Sunday’s $100,000 Hits Grand Prix, making this his fourth Grand Prix win of the season at HITS Ocala.

Vale was piloting two of the five horses that jumped clear in the first round and had a plan for each horse in the jump-off. that definitely paid off. He captured the lead aboard his first mount in the jump-off, Chaccman for Thinkslikeahorse in a time of 40.196. 

“My first horse [Chaccman] isn’t very rideable,” Vale laughed. “He kind of runs off with me so I figured I would let him do that and lucky for me the jumps came up where he could clear them, so that was awesome.” Continuing to go over his jump-off round aboard Chaccman, Vale explained that it felt a little dicey, especially across the middle section of the jump-off, but sure enough he cleared the fences and took the lead.

Aaron Vale (USA) & Prescott parading triumphantly during the awards ceremony

The excitement didn’t end there, however as Vale quickly jumped onto his second mount, Prescott, also owned by Thinkslikeahorse, and entered the ring for another go at the jump-off. At this point he was up against himself, as the last to go and already holding the lead in what had been a very competitive jump-off. What else would Vale do than try to make it a one-two finish?

Vale clocked in under the 40-second mark with a time of 39.825 to take the lead. “He’s a younger horse, but he steers a lot better than the other one,” said Vale about Prescott, a coming 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Lordanos.

“I jumped number one on a good angle and he [Prescott] was very quick away from it. I felt like he was going to be quick enough for the win at that point. The angle to the third fence – the vertical – I decided to put an extra stride in there since he’s a little green,” Vale continued. “I knew he would turn better to the last few fences so I thought if I left the jumps up after that he would take the lead and he did.”

In the end, it was a one-two for AaronVale , finishing second abord Chaccman backed by a penalty-free effort in 40.196 seconds.

Andre Thieme (GER) and Conaco ended up in third place after clearing all the obstacles and completing the jump-off course in 40.737 seconds.

Source: Press release (edited) from Hits Horse Shows

Photos: © ESI Photography