Articles: Press Release
Pandur and Aaron Vale Grab $25,000 Jacksonville Finale Grand Prix
Photo Credit: Pandur and Aaron Vale, winners of Jacksonville $25,000
Grand Prix. Photo by Flashpoint Photography.
Foncine Wood of Phelps Media Group, Inc. International at
(904) 742-4254 or at email@example.com
Green Cove Springs, FL- February 4, 2006-.. As the temperatures
plummeted, Pandur, owned by Town Creek Investments, and Aaron Vale
heated things up as they raced around the jump-off course and captured
first place. Along with the blue ribbon, they received the $25,000 prize
and provided a thrilling close to the Jacksonville Grand Prix series.
The $25,000 Finale course, designed by Pierre Jolicoeur, "was a tricky
first round course," said winner Aaron Vale. He also commented, "There
were several places where you were coming off diagonals and would
normally make a right turn, but Pierre had us making a left turn." In
fact, one of the riders did so and had the crowd yelling at him, "The
other way. The other way!" It was a fun evening for the audience who
was quite vocal.
The course had thirteen obstacles with two sets of multiple jumps, the
fourth and the seventh. The seventh was a vertical in and out to an
oxer, in and out to another vertical. This combination caused the most
trouble on this night for five of the horses who finished with only four
faults. The time allowed was a generous ninety-three seconds. Out of
the twenty-eight horses that attempted the first course, twelve went
clear, seven had four faults and nine had more than four faults.
The jump-off was a shortened course of seven obstacles with one
combination, the sixth in the order (the seventh combination from the
first round) with a vertical in and out to the oxer. There was a
possibility of two tight turns if the riders chose to use them. The
jump-off started with Cassius, a thirteen year old Oldenburg gelding
ridden by David G. Wright for Joy Elizabeth Pittman and Beau Cheval Ltd.
Unfortunately, Wright and the chestnut caught the top rail on fence
three and fence five for a total of eight faults and a time of 39.558.
Next in was Polyfax and Roberto Teran, winners of last week's $35,000
Jacksonville A to Z Grand Prix. Riding for KingRidge Stables, Teran and
Polyfax were not as successful this week. They started out by catching
the first fence with a back leg and then misjudged fence six. They
finished with eight faults and a time 39.417.
Lavaro and Emily Wygod, riding for River Edge Farm, were next in. Wygod
was riding in her first Grand Prix and had won the Open Welcome class
the day before. She and the thirteen year old Dutch Warmblood gelding
chose to make the outside turns on the first two fences, going for a
smooth, clear round. But on fence number six, Lavaro caught the top
rail with his back leg. The pair finished with four faults but a slow
time of 44.765.
Next came Angelstone Farms' Arriscraft Soleil and Aaron Vale on his
first jump-off ride. Vale and the chestnut moved quickly, making tight
turns around the first three jumps and angling sharply to fence five.
They knocked the first fence in the combination quite hard, but the rail
stayed up. They flew over the rest of the combination and around the
corner toward the final fence, a liverpool. The time was looking really
fast, but, alas, they caught the rail and it came crashing down for four
faults and what would have been the winning time of 37.105. A large
groan was heard from the sympathetic crowd.
On The Sly and Kristi Smith, riding for Knight Sfork, Inc., came off the
first fence with a wide turn with the hope of a better angle on the
second fence. But their luck failed, and On The Sly caught the top rail
with his front foot and it toppled to the ground. The rest of the
jump-off went well and they finished with just four faults and a time of
The jump-off was proving to be a real test. Ariado and Wilhelm Genn
came in and attacked it with the intent to go clear, not super fast.
Genn and Ariado made wide turns on the first fences and smooth turns
everywhere else and finished with the first double clear and a time of
42.952. Ariado is a nine year old gelding that is owned by Wilhelm and
Patty Genn. Wilhelm Genn is originally from Germany, but now calls
Dayton, Ohio home.
Next in was Pandur, a little dark bay horse, ridden by Aaron Vale for
Town Creek Investments. Vale spends summers in Aiken, South Carolina
and winters at his Millstream Farm in Ocala, Florida. Vale and Pandur
rode a tight turn back from the first fence to the second fence and also
made a very tight inside turn to the third fence. The little horse
moved quickly around the rest of the jump-off course with little wasted
motion and flashed to the finish and over the liverpool, giving Vale the
fastest clean ride of the evening with a time of 37.134. This moved the
pair into first place with five more riders still to go.
Kennedy and Melissa Sarle galloped in to challenge the jump-off next.
Sarle and the fourteen year old Dutch Warmblood had the course well in
hand until the combination, when Kennedy slid to a stop. They circled,
completed the course, and finished with four faults and a time of
49.800. Kennedy is owned by River Edge Farm.
Black Forest Commodoro and Gautama Tschannerl trotted into the arena to
the cheers of the crowd. Tschannerl has been showing in grand prix
events in Ireland and has recently moved to St. Augustine, Florida, so
he had many friends there to cheer him on. Commodoro and Tschannerl
made all the tight turns and quickly piloted their way around the
course, racing to the last fence to cheers of, "Hurry!!" They finished
clear to move into a current second place.
Mark Jungherr rode Olinoeska, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Waters, in for
the jump-off. This was another pair who seemed to be looking for a
clean round. Their turns were wide and the ride was smooth. Jungherr
and the nine year old Belgian gelding accomplished the clean ride but
their time was on the slow side at 48.033.
The next-to-last horse to attempt the jump-off was Jewel Thief, a grey
fourteen year old Dutch Warmblood owned and ridden by Daniel Damen.
Damen and Jewel Thief made all the tight turns and zipped around the
course. With the crowd yelling, "Go, go!", they finished clear and with
a time of 37.991, moving into second place.
With the final chance to take over first place, Rio Corde and rider Bill
Lowry entered with their own cheering gallery at the west end of the
arena. Rio Corde is owned by Winsor Sales, Inc. Lowry and Rio Corde
also made all the tight turns, took as much time off the clock as they
could, had the crowd cheering loudly, and finished clear with a time of
40.947, but this was not fast enough to move them into first. They
finished in third place.
Speaking with Aaron Vale after he led the finishers in the victory
gallop, he said of the first round course, "Remembering it was probably
the hardest thing. The turns were so unusual. I was surprised that
many went clean. But the horses jumped well tonight." Vale said that
Pandur was a new ride for him and he commented, "I don't really know him
too well yet. I jumped him in Ocala the last two weeks. We just missed
in a couple of Grand Prix."
When asked if the jump-off gave him any concern, he grinned and said,
"It was a fun course. He's a quick, little horse. I made a tight turn
back to the second fence. I knew if I could leave the first couple of
jumps up, the rest were easier. But it was pretty nerve wracking
watching Daniel (Damen) and Bill (Lowry) go. I knew they would be
fast." In closing, Vale offered, "It's great to end in Jacksonville on
a winning note. I can't wait to come back next year!"
Official Results: $25,000 Jacksonville Finale Grand Prix
1. Pandur, Aaron Vale, 0/0/37.134
2. Jewel Thief, Daniel Damen, 0/0/37.991
3. Rio Corde, Bill Lowry, 0/0/40.947
4. Black Forest Commodoro, Gautama Tschannerl, 0/0/41.733
5. Ariado, Wilhelm Genn, 0/0/42.952
6. Olinoeska,Mark Jungherr, 0/0/48.033
7. Arriscraft Soleil, Aaron Vale, 0/4/37.105
8. Lavaro, Emily Wygod, 0/4/44.765
9. On The Sly, Kristi Smith, 0/4/45.321
10. Kennedy, Melissa Sarle, 0/4/49.800
11. Polyfax, Roberto Teran, 0/8/39.417
12. Cassius, David Wright, 0/8/39.558