Aaron Vale and Constantin De Hus Leave Lasting Impression in $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix
The $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix took place Sunday to round out of Spring IV competition at Equestrian Village. Twenty-eight competitors took to the 13-obstacle course designed by Héctor J Loyola (PUR), with twelve returning for the tie-breaking jump-off. Aaron Vale (USA) and Constantin De Hus, owned by Sigma Stables, were the final to compete of the returning dozen, pulling out all the stops to take home the win.
The first clear round of the jump-off, setting the pace at a competitive 40.598 seconds, was Sheer Levitin (USA) and Vitus K. Vale managed to cut off just less than a second from that initial time-to-beat, setting the winning time at 39.963 seconds.
Vale mentioned that his partnership with Constantin De Hus is fairly fresh, sharing, "This is only our second show together. We won a Grand Prix a few weeks ago at another competition where we were the only pair clear in the jump-off. In that instance speed wasn't the key concern, but today it certainly was. It was a great challenge for this horse as we have been focusing on turning ability over the past few weeks."
Following Vale and rounding out the podium was Rowan Willis (AUS) who took second place with his own Primo Troy, and third with his own Cornet’s Girlensky. Willis was third to go in the jump-off with Cornet’s Girlensky, setting the pace at 40.225 seconds, only to follow up with Primo Troy, cutting off just fractions of a second off his own time, leaving Vale with a winning time of 40.101 seconds.
"This time of season is really a treat for us," Vale shares. "For our horses that are moving up in levels it's great for them to get exposure to jumping on the grass with these technical courses."
Spring IV kicked off on Thursday with the $5,000 4Ever Young 1.35m Open Jumper Stake. Twenty-three competitors entered the class, held in an immediate jump-off format, but one pair came out on top. Andrew Welles (USA) and Irocco Blue S, owned by Olivia Williams, took home the win with a double-clear jump-off time of 35.354 seconds, setting the winning time in the latter half of the class. Setting a swift pace early on and finishing second and third was Luis Fernando Larrazabal. The Venezuelan rider took home the red ribbon with Belle De Muze, owned by Driss Ngadi, with a double-clear time of 36.398 seconds, and closed out the podium with Pebbels Z, owned by Treasure Coast Stables, in a double-clear time of 38.027 seconds.
Competition continued Friday with the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Jumper Stake. Of the thirty-four competitors taking on the Stake, Rebecca Conway (USA) and Unestar D’ysenbeeck Z, owned by Blue Hill Farm, LLC, reigned supreme. Going in the beginning half of the class, the pair set a double-clear time to beat of 42.148 seconds in the immediate jump-off. Following close behind Conway was Matt Williams (AUS) and Meadowvale Cruise, owned by Wyndmont, who jumped double-clear finishing in a time of 42.480 seconds. Chasing William’s tail was Stephanie Gallucci (CAN) and Jersey, owned by Equine Partners International, LLC, who finished in a double-clear time of 42.484 seconds.
The Spring Series will conclude next week with the fifth week of competition, hosting both National “A” rated and 4* competition.