55th annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show

It was the old one -two punch in last night's $5,000 Power and Speed Open Jumping at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Aaron Vale of Rembert, SC swept first and second honors.It was the old one -two punch in last night's $5,000 Power and Speed Open Jumping at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Aaron Vale of Rembert, SC swept first and second honors.

Story originally posted by: Heidi HillHorseCity.com Free-Lance Writer

It was the old one -two punch in last night’s $5,000 Power and Speed Open Jumping at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Aaron Vale of Rembert, SC swept first and second honors.

Only eight of 27 horses navigated a double clear round. The Power and Speed format works this way: the first half is Power, the fences that high and wide. If the horse goes clean through the Power phase, it continues the Speed phase where the jumps are as high but not necessarily as wide. The challenge for the rider is to maintain a clear round, but quickly.

The most difficult part of the course, according to Vale, was the placement of the combination, a three-jump sequence, near the in-gate but heading away from the gate. "Horses want to be with their buddies, and the combination was some big jumps. It just made it doubly hard. I noticed some skid marks when I came into the ring so I knew other riders must have had trouble with it. The other difficult jump was the last one over water. It was a little hard for the first night," he said.

Garcon, Vale’s second mount, was near the end of the class. "He must like the arena. He won the Big Jump here last year. He likes the crowd. The crowd makes for more electricity, some horses rise to the occasion. He does," Vale said.

Garcon is owned by Mr & Mr. Don Stewart and Millstream Farm. In second was Elan Coriana, ridden by Vale and owned by Elan Farms. Third place went to Let’s Talk, owned and ridden by McLain Ward.

Laura Kraut, a US Olympic Team member, rode two horses in the class. One went clean and placed sixth. She also agreed the course was tough for a first night. She will be competing in the Grand Prix jumping through the week. Asked Harrisburg compared to the Olympics, she noted that challenge of an indoor course is the space. "Jumps aren’t necessarily as big but they are harder to get to," she said.

Nona Garson, also on the US Olympic team finished seventh. The entire team will be on hand for the Pennsylvania Big Jump, Thursday night, the Gambler’s Choice and $50,000 Budweiser "Prix de Penn National."