Ainsley Vince Claims $50,000 Collingwood Festival Grand Prix

August 16, 2004 – Collingwood, Ontario – Canadian show jumping athlete Ainsley Vince of Milton, ON, extended her winning streak with a victory in the $50,000 Collingwood Festival Grand Prix held Sunday, August 15, as part of the Collingwood Horse Show in Collingwood, ON.

A hot favourite coming into the Collingwood Festival following back-to-back victories in Grand Prix events in Palgrave, ON, Vince claimed victory for the third consecutive Sunday with a win in the $50,000 Collingwood Festival Grand Prix. Not only did she take first place honours riding her veteran partner Catch 22, but she also finished second with the developing Uno.

Despite being only the second rider to challenge the test set by course designer Rick Smith of Canada, Vince posted a fault-free round to advance to the jump-off riding the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Catch 22, joining lead-off rider Chris Pratt who had also gone clear with Nero. Show jumping fans had to wait until Vince returned to the grand prix ring with Uno, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by the KMA Group, before seeing a third clear round, then Roberto Teran of Colombia made it four for the jump-off with a clear aboard Polyfax.

First back in the jump-off, Pratt set a time of 44.43 riding Nero, an eight-year-old German-bred gelding, but a rail fell at the second last fence, opening the door for Vince. True to fashion, Vince and Catch 22 posted a clear round in a time of 45.83 seconds, a performance she almost duplicated with Uno when she clocked in at 45.84 seconds.

Last to challenge, Teran had Vince’s time beaten with 44.88 seconds, but two fallen rails left him in fourth position overall with Polyfax, a 12-year-old Westphalian stallion owned by KingRidge Stables.

“I tried to be efficient without being crazy, it was more important to leave all of the rails up,” said Vince, 28, a two-time Canadian Show Jumping Champion who recently made her third World Cup Final appearance in Milan, Italy. “Luckily, both of my horses jumped great, and while it wasn’t his day in Collingwood, Kafka won a grand prix event two weeks ago so how could I be disappointed? I am really happy to win for the third week in a row, it takes a lot of work to get to this point and now it is all paying off. And with Catch 22’s victory today, it means that all three of my horses have won in the past three weeks.”

With three horses placing in the top 12 at the Collingwood Festival, Vince picked up a total of $26,500 in prize money, including the winner’s share of $15,000. However, she is quick to point out that the money goes into a fund to help finance not only her competitive career, but also those of her two younger sisters, Courtney and Sydney, who are also aspiring grand prix athletes.

The two-week 2004 Collingwood Horse Show continues August 18-22 at Fisher Field in Collingwood, ON, with the Collingwood Classic. On Thursday, the $5,000 Seven and Eight-Year-Old Collingwood Classic Championship will be held for horses just beginning their grand prix careers. Friday will feature the $5,000 Kubota Canada Open Welcome while Saturday brings the $5,000 Molson Canada Modified Grand Prix. Two weeks of show jumping action culminates on Sunday, August 22, with a $2,500 Junior/Amateur Grand Prix in the morning followed by the $25,000 Scotia Private Client Group Grand Prix, Presented by the Town of Collingwood. Puerto Rico’s Hector Loyola, one of the youngest course designers in the world to hold his international license, will have the honours on the Grand Prix field.

The Collingwood Horse Show is organized by two-time Canadian Olympian Jay Hayes, and his wife, Shawn. All three daughters – Lauren, 24, Ainsley, 22, and Regan, 19, also play vital roles, making the event a true family affair.

In addition to show jumping action, the Collingwood Horse Show will feature numerous vendors in the trade fair and fun family entertainment courtesy of Scooter the Clown and The Master of Magic. Admission is free on Wednesdays and Thursdays, while $5 per vehicle will be charged on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sunday, admission will be $10 per vehicle with a portion of the proceeds being donated to Grace Therapeutic Riding.