USEF Rated

Aaron Vale & Obi Wan Show their “Jedi Power” in $100,000 Split Rock Jumping Tour Championship

Sarasota, Florida, USA – January 29, 2023 – The Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) highlighted the final day of the Split Rock Sarasota CSI 2* with its inaugural $300,000 Split Rock Championship Series taking center stage in the main arena at TerraNova Equestrian Center. With nearly 140 combinations contesting Sunday’s new events, the winners were awarded at heights of 1.35m, 1.25m and 1.15m to Alex Granato (USA), Caelinn Leahy (USA), and Aaron Vale (USA), respectively.

The new championship series operated under a winning round format with the top 25% of each section returning for the second shortened round in reverse order of qualification from the first round as each championship tackled a new track set by Canada’s Peter Holmes.

The largest division with 62 entries, the $100,000 1.15m Championship would start the series off and see a second round of 16. A clear round alone would not secure a spot in round two, so riders needed to be quick as well if they wanted to advance. Andrea Towriss (USA) set an impressive pace early on with FLB Lux Inclusive, laying down a fast clear to hold the lead through much of round one until Petra Sobotova (CZE) and Jabab de Reve entered near the end, to ultimately earn the coveted spot as the last pair to tackle the next round. 

Aaron Vale (USA) was seated in the tenth spot and had nine riders to follow his track in the second round. Putting the pressure on, Vale blazed around the short course with the Thinkslikeahorse and Alison Register-owned Obi Wan (Centadel x Continue) to give a clear round finish of 43.183 seconds.

Amy Foster (USA) followed immediately after with Juliet Johansson’s TH Magic, keeping the quick rounds going and giving it a good run to finish close behind in 43.205 seconds. 

Many that followed would try daring rollbacks and sharp slices across the verticals, causing them to fall victim to rails. Mustafa Shah would come the closest aboard Stakko Couer in 44.138 seconds, earning him the leading Junior/Amateur bonus to finish third overall behind Vale in first and Foster in second. 

Final Results – $100,000 1.15m Championship

1) Aaron Vale (USA) & Obi Wan – 0 / 0 – 43.183

2) Amy Foster (USA) & TH Magic – 0 / 0 – 43.205

3) Mustafa Sha (USA) & Stakko Coeur – 0 / 0 – 44138

Source: Press Release from SRJT – Split Rock Jumping Tour

Photo: © SRJT / Winslow Photograpy