Ainsley Vince Wins $40,000 Swisscan Grand Prix

September 5, 2010 – Halton Hills, ON – Strong winds and scattered showers in no way dampened the enthusiasm of fans and participants winding up the 2nd week of Halton Place’s Canadian Country Classic. Guests and fans continued to enjoy unparalleled viewing atop the newly elevated berm area, and VIP hospitality with award-winning catering by Bistro Riviere and complimentary bar courtesy of Equifera Estate Winery.

Despite a forecast of possible showers, it remained a beautiful crisp fall-like day for the $40,000 Swisscan Grand Prix.  A festive occasion preceded the grand prix with a ‘concours’ of classic British saloon cars followed by the Highland bagpipe band ‘Clans of Tecumseh’ which officially opened the Sunday feature event at Halton Place, known historically as “The Scotch Block”.

Twenty-seven entries, including some of Canada’s elite riders, competed over international course designer Michel Vaillancourt’s daunting course of 1.50 m fences. Airy combinations and tight corners proved the nemesis of many riders, with nine managing clear rounds for the jump-off.

Erynn Ballard’s veteran horse Robin Van Roosendael is making a strong comeback after a layoff to recover from an injured tendon.  A clean round and a time of 40.11 secs. earned the Hockley Valley native third place and a $4800 share of the purse.

In second place was veteran team rider Jay Hayes of Orangeville, ON aboard Livarot with 39.96 secs, for an $8,000 prize.

Small but mighty, the fastest round of the day belonged to Ainsley Vince of Milton, ON and her mare, Frieda, with a blistering time of 38.25 secs. to snare the $13,400 first prize.

Ainsley had her hands full with the feisty little mare. “She was a little too mighty in the first round” said Vince, but the game mare proved quick and agile through the tight jump-off course. “Michel created a course with just the right amount of technical difficulty, tough, but not too scary” said Ainsley who has had the 9 year old mare since she was five, bringing her carefully along until she competed in her first grand prix last year.   The pair intends to take a couple of weeks rest, before taking on some indoor events in preparation for the Royal Horse Show in Toronto later this fall.

The Canadian Country Classic wraps up next week (Sept 8 -12) with a fashion show as riders strut the catwalk, showcasing designs by the Equestrian Factory Outlet and Red Scarf Equestrian with proceeds to the Sunrise Therapeutic Riding Centre which provides support, through riding, for disabled adults and children.

Competition highlights for the closing day, Sunday September 12th, include the LongRun Thoroughbred Hunter Classic Finale and the $10,000 Villarboit Hunter Classic.

RESULTS
$40,000 Swisscan Grand Prix (Sept 5th)

Rider – Horse – Town – Results
1. Ainsley Vince – Frieda – Milton. ON – 0: 0 / 38.25 secs
2. Jay Hayes – Livarot – Orangeville, ON – 0: 0 / 39.96 secs
3. Erynn Ballard – Robin Van Roosendael – Hockley Valley, ON – 0: 0 / 40.11 secs
4. Michelle Vandal – Divine Diva – Acton, ON – 0: 0 / 40.91 secs
5. Beth Underhill – Quelqu’un De La Musardiere – King. ON – 0: 0 / 41.07 secs
6. Chris Sorenson – SS Bobby – Caledon, ON – 0: 0 / 42.06 secs

For complete results and show schedule visit:  http://www.haltonplace.com/