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. Two Canadians placed top-ten in this class: Quintyn Baeumler of Burlington, ON, placed 6th riding Haydn, and Angela Covert of Wellington placed 7th aboard Hollywood de Rase Z.
“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.”