The Winter Spectacular closed out the final classes on its opening weekend at the World Equestrian Center Ocala with some added money events and warm sunshine. This week saw the first of its 12-week circuit sanctioned by the National Snaffle Bit Association.

Aaron Vale Wins Second Added Money Event

The champion of Saturday’s Grand Prix, Aaron Vale, returned to win his second added money event in the $12,500 Added Money 1.45 meter Jumping Classic. This time he was aboard Candro Van De Zuuthoeve, showing for Taylor Mc Murtry.

Candro Van De Zuuthoeve was one of four five horses in the class to go clean in the first round, and Aaron had to work to beat the time go of Dollar Cash and Trapp O’Neal to win the class. Aaron and his mount bested Dollar Cash’s 40.528 by going in 37.858 in the jump off.

“This horse belongs to a friend of mine, and she sent him to me to see how we could do,” Aaron said of the 13 year old Warmblood gelding. “He’s done quite well. He won a Grand Prix at HITS a few weeks ago, and this was the second class I’ve shown him in.

“It was kind of a quick class today, and I didn’t have a lot of time to watch the others go. I knew there was another double clear, and I just tried to go fast. I took a few chances. I was conservative in the combination, because I knew it had come down a few times in the jump off, but once I got through that, I took a little run to the last jump and hoped it was quick enough, and it worked out.”

Cezarro and Bryn Sadler Win Junior Am/Am Owner Hunter Classic

Bryn Sadler was a busy lady in the $10,000 Added High Junior Amateur/Amateur Owner Hunter Classic on Sunday, but she ended the day with a win aboard Cezarro.

“Cezarro is a horse I’ve had for a quite a while. He’s very competitive, and he loves good footing, so he’s really enjoying showing here at WEC,” Bryn said. “He got used to the arena, and he really hit his stride here.”

Bryn piloted the 13 year old Brandenburg Warmblood through a clean first round and had to beat the pace set by Katy Abrahamson and Any, who took the jump off in 33.870 as the second pair on the course. Bryn and Cezarro finished the jump off in a time of 33.858.

“I saw Katy Abrahamson go and she’s always fast, so I knew I had to try to beat her. My horse never wants to settle for second. He tries, and I knew he could do it,” Bryn said.

“Cezarro is a little more of a speedster, so he is kind of built for this class. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to win it. Going into the jump off, I just wanted to go fast, and we did.”

Bryn and her family enjoyed the opening weekend of competition at the World Equestrian Center Ocala. “We’re so happy to be here,” she said. “My parents enjoyed being able to sit in the shade, get something to eat. The stalls are big and made for our horses. We live about ten minutes away, so it’s extremely convenient. We will be here for the whole 12 weeks, and however long throughout the year that they hold shows here.”

Other Sunday champions in the added money events included MTM Catoki’s Clever and Kaitlynn Butler, winning the $5,000 Added Medium Junior/Amateur/Amateur Owner 1.3 Jumper Classic and Numero Dos and Kristen Franz, winning the $5,000 Added Low Junior/Amateur/Amateur Owned 1.2 meter Classic. They joined champions Riptide and Kristen Franz, who won the $3,000 Added Modified Child/Adult 1.15 meter Classic.

The second week of the Winter Spectacular Series will begin on Wednesday, January 13, at World Equestrian Center Ocala. For more information, please visit worldequestriancenter.com.