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Aaron Vale wins the $75,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

OCALA, FL (February 23, 2009)—Aaron Vale continued his hot streak when he won his second consecutive Sunday Grand Prix capturing the blue aboard Joan Kalman's Tarco in the $75,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix at HITS Post Time Farm, in Ocala, Florida.

Vale took out a field of 30 that challenged the course built by Leopoldo Palacios of Caracas, Venezuela. Just two advanced to the jump-off, and Vale came out on top to secure the first-place check of $22,500.

"The last line seemed to trip a ton of people up in the first round," said Vale. “It was a difficult combination and a lot of people were heading home with clear rounds and ended up with 12 faults."

"When I walked it, I thought there would be a lot more than two who would jump clean," continued Vale.

First to go in the jump-off was Manuel Torres and Ana Maria Cadena's Chambacunero. The duo looked as if they would come home with a clean round, but had a late rail down and stopped the clock in 35.500.

Sitting in the enviable last-to-go spot was Vale and Tarco. They had a rail down early at the CWD vertical, meaning he would have to be clean the rest of the way, even through the combination that gave so many riders plenty of trouble on the first round course if he planned on winning the class. Once he cleared the combination, he stepped on the gas on the way to the final jump to stop the clock in 33.760 to win the blue.

"I watched Manuel go and he looked quick," said Vale. "Once I cleared the combination, I didn't have a good enough read of my time so I decided to go for it as fast as I could because even if I dropped another rail, the worst I could finish was second."

Show jumping action at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit continues next week with the Ocala Tournament, and features a full week of classes, including Sunday's $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix and the always-popular Purina Kids Day.

HITS, Inc. is a special events management company primarily focused on producing hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS produced its first horse show circuit in Gainesville, Florida in 1982. Since that time, HITS has grown into a nationwide company with world-class hunter/jumper circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit http://www.HitsShows.com.

Photo Credit: ©Lili Weik Photography

Photo Caption: Aaron Vale and Tarco on course during the $75,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix.


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