Two-for-Two! Aaron Vale and Obi Wan Win $75,000 Showcase Properties Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

Two-for-Two! Aaron Vale and Obi Wan Win $75,000 Showcase Properties Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

Obi Wan proved that he is officially back in top form, winning his second grand prix of the week with Aaron Vale during the $75,000 Showcase Properties Grand Prix at HITS Ocala. Saving the best for last, Vale and Obi Wan topped a seven-horse jump-off with two seconds to spare as the last to compete during Sunday’s highlight event. Sharn Wordley and his winning mount from week two, Mick Jagger, claimed the second-place prize, while Vale also earned the third-place honors with Elvis De Wijendaele Z. The highest-placed female rider was Dorothy Douglas, who was double clear with MTM Cedrik and received the Everleigh Collection Best Turned Out Award.

The fourth week of HITS Ocala marks Obi Wan’s first week back in the show ring after an injury this fall, and Vale is excited to have the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding back in top condition. “He is ahead of schedule, mentally, from where I thought he’d be, so I am just thrilled with where he is,” expressed Vale. “We’ll be trying to keep him healthy and happy for the [Great American $300,000 Grand Prix] at the end of the season, with some stuff sprinkled in between now and then.”

Florencio Hernandez set a long and technical first-round track for Sunday’s $75,000 Showcase Properties Grand Prix, which eventually yielded seven clear rounds. The tiebreaker began with a bending line to a large oxer, utilized the entire Grand Prix ring, and finished with a gallop away from the gate over a delicate vertical. Vale was the pathfinder with Elvis De Wijendaele Z, producing the first clear jump-off and setting the Great American time to beat at 48.280 seconds. Douglas and MTM Cedrik were next, and while they left all the rails intact, their time of 50.909 seconds would eventually place fourth.

Wordley and Mick Jagger took to the Grand Prix ring next and had their eye on Vale’s path with Elvis De Wijendaele Z, clocking in just ahead with a clear round in 48.120 seconds to go to the top of the leaderboard. The following two riders each tried to chase Wordley’s time, but it came at the expense of a rail each time. Vale was the last to return with Obi Wan, and with a victory already in hand for the week, Vale felt confident that his mount would be able to make up the time. They galloped quickly over the track, easily clearing the fences and leaving out a stride to the final vertical, blazing across the finish line in 46.281 to run away with the win.

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Two-for-Two! Aaron Vale and Obi Wan Win $75,000 Showcase Properties Grand Prix at HITS Ocala :: HITS (