Lexington, Ky. – July 28, 2020 – Competition at the Kentucky Summer Classic launched Tuesday with full schedules in five rings at the Kentucky Horse Park. In the Rolex Stadium, upper-level showjumping competition got underway with the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper class. Out of the 17 starters, it was Aaron Vale and Elusive who started off the week in fine form and earned the first piece of the prize money this week.
Bobby Murphy’s kickoff course required competitors to cover some serious ground across the Rolex Stadium, which resulted in one horse and rider retiring on course and ten pairs seeing faults in the first round. The remaining ten competitors moved on to the jump-off immediately following their first rounds. Vale was first in the ring this afternoon with one of his two entries, Chaccman, owned by Thinks Like a Horse. The duo mastered both rounds and set the early time to beat of 39.71 seconds. His lead would hold for eight more rounds until Daisy Ford and Angela Gonzalez’s Baltazar D Z trotted into the ring, drawing a bead on Vale’s time and shaving just fractions of a second off of it to slide into the top position on a score of 39.67 seconds.
Ford’s lead was fleeting, however, as Vale and his second Thinks Like a Horse entry, the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding named Elusive, mastered the course immediately following Ford’s round to cross the finish line at 38.69 seconds. Six more entries would follow, but none could take Vale’s lead. Upon the conclusion of the class, Ford and Baltazar D Z would be awarded second place honors, while Vale and his pathfinding partner Chaccman would finish in third.
Vale has had quite a bit of success with Elusive, putting in unparalleled performances at HITS Ocala earlier this year to win the $150,000 Crum and Forster Grand Prix in February and the $200,000 CaptiveOne Grand Prix in March.
Jumper competition in the Rolex Stadium will resume Wednesday, July 29th with the $5,000 1.40M Open Jumper at 8 a.m. Feature jumper classes throughout the Kentucky Summer Classic include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Thursday, July 30th and the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix on Saturday, August 1st.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Aaron Vale – $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper winner
“We have had Elusive since he was six years old and he is eleven now. He is a family horse! My wife showed him, now I show him, maybe mom will show him again, one day my daughter Kinzer will probably show him. We all take turns showing him. He is super sweet.”
On what’s next for Elusive:
“Well, we are just fiddling around and trying to reclaim our groove that we had in the winter. He has jumped well, but he has just been missing just by a hair. If I don’t get that groove back soon my wife is probably going to take him back from me!”
On the Kentucky Horse Park:
“It is a wonderful facility, as always, it’s great to be here. We are just glad to be here, showing our horses at a great facility, eating at our favorite restaurants and seeing our friends here in Kentucky!”
$5,000 1.40m Open Jumper:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Elusive / Aaron Vale / Thinks Like a Horse / 0 | 71.82 / 0 | 38.68
2. Baltazar D Z / Daisy Ford / Angela Gonzalez / 0 | 73.92 / 0 | 39.71
3. Chaccman / Aaron Vale / _ / 0 | 73.81 / 0 | 40.21
4. Buga Z / Samuel Parot JR / Samuel Parot JR / 0 | 70.43 / 0 | 40.21
5. Latino VanDe Looise Heidi / Sarah Hubbard / Hubbard Horses LLC / 0 | 74.82 / 0 | 40.25
6. VDL Gerinus TM / Ryan Genn / Wilhelm Genn / 0 | 72.89 / 0 | 40.40
7. Hachi / Victoria Colvin / Limona Road Partners LLC / 0 | 74.25 / 0 | 42.19
8. Boucanier / Theo Genn / Taylor Blackman / 0 | 74.28 / 4 | 41.01