Wellington, Florida, USA – May 8, 2022 – ESP Spring IV came to a close on Sunday with the $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix as the last class in the grass Derby Field. Capping off an already incredibly successful week full of blue ribbons, Aaron Vale (USA) triumphed for the fifth time throughout the week, winning the class and adding to his success with third-place and fourth-place results, as well. Vale captured the win aboard I.Adermie R 4, owned by Lori Osterstock, in a speedy and fault-free jump-off time of 40.39 seconds against 13 other challengers.
“Sunday always sends you home, no matter how you do during the week so if you have a bad week and you do well Sunday, you go home happy. If you win all week and lose Sunday, you go home angry. It was nice to put both ends of the spectrum together this week!” Vale remarked.
With three horses qualified for the jump-off and a string of wins behind him from the week, odds were good that Vale would end up on the podium in the class. For the majority of the class, he led the way on I.Adermie R 4 and was in second position with Gray’s Inn, owned by Thinks Like A Horse, just fractions of a second off the frontrunners’ pace. By the end of the class, only Kent Farrington (USA), one of the top-ranked riders in the world, could break up Vale’s one-two position, but Vale quickly placed another top round with Obi Wan, owned by Thinks Like A Horse and Alison Register to finish with three horses in the top four spots.
The final standings featured Vale on top with I.Adermie R 4, followed by Farrington (USA) and Electrique, owned by Farringto nand Haity McNerney, with a clear second-place time of 40.62 seconds. Vale (USA) captured third place on Obi Wan and fourth place with Gray’s Inn.
“The horse that won, she is just very quick. This is probably her fifth grand prix win this year. She is just quick, catty, and gets around the jump-offs really fast,” Vale commented. “Gray’s Inn is quite green. Usually, my wife shows him in the Amateurs. That was probably his first jump-off in a grand prix, so I was quite happy to go that fast with him. He is not very educated to go super quick so that was a great round. My last one, Obi Wan, I actually thought that he was fast enough to be second, but he jumped really high at a couple of the fences. He may have spent a little extra time in the air because I felt like stride-wise we were very quick. I am just thrilled with the way all of them jumped today. We get to go home happy campers.”
Of competing on the grass with his string of horses this week, Vale continued, “These are all younger or newer horses for me. It is really nice for them to come down and jump on the grass. It is something different for them so it was really good. They have been jumping grand prix classes probably a hair higher all winter, but its nice to be at a different venue with different conditions to expose them to more things and hopefully make them into top horses one day. So many of the rings now have the all-weather footing, and it is very similar from show to show. There is not much difference, and this is quite different so it’s very good exposure for the horses, education-wise.”
As the groom of the winning horse, Vale’s groom Marco was recognized with the Schneiders Groom Awards thanks to Schneiders Tack.
“We’re proud to be part of Wellington’s equestrian community and to continue supporting the horse shows year-round through Palm Beach Equine Clinic’s sponsorship, and by providing top-notch services to our clients,” commented Dr. Justin McNaughten of Palm Beach Equine Clinic after the class.
Final Results – $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Spring 4 Grand Prix
1) Aaron Vale (USA) & I. Adermie R4 – 0 / 0 – 40.391
2) Kent Farrington (USA) & Electrique – 0 / 0 – 40.622
3) Aaron Vale (USA) & Obi Wan – 0 / 0 – 40.875
Source: Press Release from ESP – Equestrian Sport Productions
Photo: © Anne Gittins Photography