Bridgehampton, New York, USA – September 03, 2022 – Americans once again topped the leaderboard on Saturday at The Hampton Classic for the $74,000 Longines Cup CSI 5*, where Aaron Vale (USA) piloted Thinks Like A Horse’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Elusive to one of only two double-clear rounds in 37.770 seconds to clinch the win.
Thirty-four horse-and-rider combinations representing nine countries tackled Alan Wade’s (IRL) winding 16-effort, 1.50m course. Only seven made it to the jump-off, where Katie Dinan (USA) had the fastest time of 37.270 seconds. Unfortunately, her mount Atika des Hauts Vents knocked a rail toward the end of the shortened track, landing them behind Vale and second-place finisher Molly Ashe Cawley (USA).
“When McLain Ward (USA) put in a good round but had the last fence down, I was looking for a target to run after, and it was almost like that target had been taken away,” Vale said of his predecessor in the jump-off. “It made me think twice about how fast I could try to go. Of course, I know Molly is very fast, and Katie’s little horse is just a rocket. I wanted to be fast enough where even if I had one down, I could leave the ring on top. I had a rub at the Jaguar fence, and luckily it stayed up. Then that time held up to win the class.”
Cawley immediately followed Vale’s round with a clear of her own aboard Louisburg Farm’s 11-year-old Zangersheide mare Berdien, but the pair was just 0.06 seconds shy of the time, tripping the timers in 37.830 seconds.
“I was pretty sure I didn’t have it when I finished, so I didn’t really need to look at the clock,” Cawley said. “I’m always a tenth of a second slower than Aaron is, it seems, but today was my own fault. I had a different striding down the first line than everybody else, which cost me in the end. But my mare was amazing as always. I’m very proud of her, and it’s a hard-earned second place.”
The Hampton Classic, August 28-September 4, is one of the world’s most prestigious horse shows, offering more than $1 million in prize money during a full schedule featuring competitors at every level from young children in leadline to Olympic, World, and World Cup Champions. The Classic also has competitions for riders with disabilities.
Final Results – $74,000 Longines Cup CSI 5*
1) Aaron Vale (USA) & Elusive – 0 / 0 – 37.77
2) Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) & Berdien – 0 / 0 – 37.83
3) Katie Dinan (USA) & Atika des Hauts Vents – 0 / 4 – 37.27
Source: Press Release by Marty Bauman / Classic Communications for The Hampton Classic Horse Show
Photos: © KindMedia