Todd Minikus and Quality Girl. (Photo courtesy of Team Minikus)
Tryon, NC (July 24, 2018) – Todd Minikus tackled the courses at the Tyron International Equestrian Center on five different horses during week six of the summer circuit. However, Minikus’ standout performance on long time partner Quality Girl took top honors in the $70,000 Ingles Grand Prix CSI2*. Besting a field of twenty-four other horse and rider combinations, Minikus and Quality Girl took the win by a solid two seconds in the jump off.
“She knows how to come into the ring and go fast. She’s good in every ring and atmosphere, and she jumped fantastic tonight,” said Minikus of the mares’ incredible efforts in the ring. USA’s Oscar Soberon designed the course, and only seven horses bested it to make the jump off round. Minikus has been bringing along a few sale horses and new up and coming mounts at Tryon, while he aims Quality Girl, his longtime partner, at some high-level classes both at Tryon and further north. “There are some big money classes in the fall and hopefully we can grab some of that. I’ll probably target her for the Saugerties $500,000, and she goes well in that ring, so that’s probably where we will focus her next,” Minikus remarked with a knowing twinkle in his eye, probably remembering his Million Grand Prix win aboard Quality Girl at HITS Saugerties in 2013. To top it off, Quality Girl’s groom Cory Singleton, who helps get Todd and Quality Girl in the ring, received the Absorbine Groom’s Award and a check for five hundred dollars.
In addition to Quality Girl’s success in the Grand Prix, Minikus rode Chaco 34, who is owned by Maidensway, to first and second place in the $1390 1.40m Open Jumper and $5390 1.40m Open Jumper Stake. Minikus took home the win in the $1390 1.40m Open Jumper with Julesraimus De Barisy owned by Erin Rorabaugh.
Team Minikus continues to be a family affair after Minikus’ daughter Langley had back to back winning Tryon weekends. This week Todd’s wife, Amanda Minikus, came home with two top five finishes in the Low Amateur division collimating with a win in the $500 Low Amateur 1.20, while student, Zachary Yariv, also enjoyed three top five finished in the Junior Jumper division.
Next stops for Team Minikus after the Tryon Summer circuit is Balmoral Park, Chicago for the end of their HITS summer series, then Saugerties Hits- on-the-Hudson VIII for the FEI CSI5*, followed by the Hampton Classic in late August.
To catch up with FEI Nations Cup veteran and U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist Minikus and his team, follow on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, visit Team Minikus on Instagram, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
Mill Spring, NC – July 21, 2018 – Todd Minikus (USA) and Quality Girl claimed top honors in the $70,000 Ingles Grand Prix CSI 2*, the highlight competition for Tryon Summer VI at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), stopping the short-course timers in 38.541 seconds to top the podium. Brian Moggre (USA) and MTM Vivre Le Reve, a 2009 Westphalian gelding (Ustinov x Chello II) owned by Major Wager, LLC, were awarded reserve honors for their 40.616 second jump-off performance, while Mattias Tromp (USA) and Chicago Hof Eversem Z, a 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Con Spirito R x Papillon Rouge), put in a 42.048 second short-course round to claim third for Swede Ventures LLC.
Twenty-four entries toured the track set by USA’s Oscar Soberon, with seven horse-and-rider pairs accepted back to test the jump-off course. Minikus and the 2003 Oldenburg mare (Quidam’s Rubin x Dobrock) owned by Quality Group & Todd Minikus, LTD were last to challenge the short course and bested the class by more than two seconds.
“It’s not Quality Girl’s first rodeo,” said Minikus of his mount’s longtime experience at the Grand Prix level. “She knows how to come into the ring and go fast. She’s good in every ring and atmosphere, and she jumped fantastic tonight.”
Minikus noted a particular obstacle to which he paid close attention with Quality Girl: “There were a couple jumps [where riders had rails down] throughout the course, like the orange oxer that came down a lot of times. I had it down on my other horse,” he detailed. “But it rode just like it walked.”
Though Minikus admitted that his mount prefers very firm footing, rain from earlier in the evening did not diminish the quality of the footing nor deter Quality Girl from putting in a solid round, even at the end of the jump-off lineup; he explained: “We had a lot of rain [earlier] tonight, so whoever takes care of the footing does a good job. Quality Girl likes the footing very hard.”
While Minikus primarily deals in sales and is looking forward to acquiring and selling new mounts, Quality Girl is a longtime partner for Minikus and he plans to aim her for some high-level classes both at Tryon and elsewhere, he elaborated. “There are some big money classes in the fall and hopefully we can grab some of that. I’ll probably target her for the Saugerties $500,000, and she goes well in that ring, so that’s probably where we will focus her next,” Minikus remarked.
“To tell you the truth, I really like this venue. It’s good for young horses, and the crowd is amazing every Saturday night. It’s great for the family and the kids can run around,” Minikus concluded.
Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.
Todd Minikus’ Exceptional “being exceptional” (Photo courtesy of Team Minikus)
Tryon, NC (July 11, 2018) – Todd Minikus and his team wrapped up two more successful weeks at Tryon, NC with more than a dozen wins in the jumper, hunter, and yes, cross rails divisions!
During the Tryon Summer 3 CSI2*, Todd Minikus once again showed his exceptional versatility for winning on numerous fronts by winning the Green Hunter 3’6 and the Green Hunter 3’6 Handy Hunter Class on Exceptional, owned by Todd Minikus, LTD. The pair then raised the bar to the 4’ Hunter Performance Division winning first and second over fences and first in the under saddle class and a Division Championship. “Exceptional just keeps doing the job,” said Minikus after winning the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby the week prior. “Exceptional is, well, exceptional!”
Also during Summer 3, Minikus enjoyed some top finishes in the jumper ring culminating with double wins on Maidenway’s Chaco 34 in the 1.35m Open Jumper and the 1.40m Open Jumper. Team Minikus super star Victoria Zelch rounded out the week three winnings taking top honors in the NAL Low Junior Classic aboard Sniper.
It should have been a tough act to follow, but not so for Team Minikus. At the Tryon Summer 4 CSI3*, Exceptional delivered a repeat performance winning the 3’6 Green Hunter and the 3’6 Green Handy Hunter. Then Todd rode three horses to wins in their respective 1.40m Open Jumper classes. The triple threat included Minikus’ own Juju VDM, Erin Rorabaugh’s Julesraimus De Barisy, and Melissa Bilodeau’s handsome stallion, Lord Calador.
But the biggest celebration of the show was for Team Minikus’ littlest rider, Todd and Amanda Minikus’ 7-year-old daughter Langley. Despite a rain out on day one, Langley Minikus took to arena on day two riding Reagan Thoennes’ pony Love Bug and showed her jumper linage by winning both Cross Rail classes.
It made the winning weekend just a little bit more special. “We love showing at Tryon,” said Amanda Minikus. “It’s beautiful here, the facility is awesome, the horses love it, we love it, and my kids love it.”
Next stops for Team Minikus after the Tryon Summer circuit is Balmoral Park, Chicago for the end of their HITS summer series, then Saugerties Hits-on-the-Hudson VIII for the FEI CSI5*. To catch up with FEI Nations Cup veteran and U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist Minikus and his team, follow on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, visit Team Minikus on Instagram, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
Lexington, Ky. – May 9, 2018 – The first day of competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show kicked off in exciting fashion at the Kentucky Horse Park where the Rolex Stadium highlighted the $35,000 Welcome Speed 1.45m CSI3* with 27 entries contesting Alan Wade’s (IRL) 15-effort track resulting in 11 clear rounds. Racing to an impressive and unbeatable clear round, Todd Minikus (USA) and the Quality Group’s Quality Girl claimed the lead by over three seconds with a time of 65.24 seconds to earn the victory.
With an extensive list of accolades to her name including the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties in 2014, the Elm Rock Farm Trophy at the inaugural Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach in 2015 and a clean sweep with three FEI victories at the Kentucky Spring Classic in 2016, Quality Girl is a proven winner. After nearly a year off, Minikus took his time bringing the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare back to the show ring and it paid off.
Second place was awarded to Samuel Parot (CHI) and his own 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Couscous Van Orti, with a clear round and a time of 68.85 seconds. Hot on Parot’s heels in 69.22 seconds was Kevin Babington (IRL) and his own Mark Q, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding.
Scott Stewart Shines with Playbook in the Green Hunter Incentive Program
Earlier in the day, the Green Hunter Incentive Program took place in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park. Twenty-one horse and rider combinations competed in the 3’6” and 3’9” sections of the Green Hunters for top honors and it was Scott Stewart and Fashion Farm’s Playbook that executed a flawless round at the 3’6” fence height. Second place was claimed by another veteran hunter rider, Kelley Farmer and Exceptional, owned by Todd Minikus. Havens Schatt and Diatendro captured third place in the class.
Stewart is coming off of a successful season at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Fla. with consistent champion titles in the High Performance Hunters and the Green Conformation Hunters. Stewart has also had great success in the Green Incentive Program, having won the championship title three times, most recently in 2017 with Playbook.
The Green Hunter Incentive Program was created by the USHJA in the hopes of increasing participation at the Green level. This year, the program introduced the option for athletes to compete at the 3’6” and 3’9” height in order to attract even more entries. At the end of the year, the top placing horse and rider combinations will be invited to return to the Kentucky Horse Park to compete at the Green Hunter Incentive Championships in August at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, which will include four fence height options upon adding the 3’6″ and 3’9″ to the existing 3′ and 3’3″ fence heights.
Wellington, FL – April 25, 2018 – The third installment of the ESP Spring Series concluded on Sunday, April 22, after a successful week of wins for Todd Minikus and Kevin Babington at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
The week boasted yet another win for Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL and Amex Z, owned by Chris Brems, in the $25,000 Spring Welcome Grand Prix on Friday, April 22. This victory was Minikus’ fourth Grand Prix win of the series, and the second for this specific mount. The pair topped the class of 39 entries, blazing through fast track timers in 39.592 seconds. Second place was captured by Fabio Levias da Costa of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Tosca de L’esques after contesting the eleven-horse jump-off in 39.592 seconds. Third place was rounded out by Celso Ariani of Wellington, FL and Dali T, owned by Rodrigo Padilla and Ricardo Romero, who completed the jump-off in 41.893 seconds.
A total of 31 entries contested the $40,000 Triple Crown Nutrition Grand Prix on Sunday, April 23, but none could catch Kevin Babington of Gwynedd Valley, PA and Shorapur, owned by Shorapur LLC, who stopped the clock in a winning time of 39.258 seconds.
Second place went to Margie Engle of Wellington, FL and Gladewinds Farm Inc.’s Bockmanns Lazio, who rode through the Richard Jeffery designed jump-off course in 40.409 seconds. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL took third with his own Hardrock Z, jumping off in 40.867 seconds.
Avery-Anna Hogan of Wellington, FL and her own Eurocommerce Tampa rode to victory in the $1,500 NAL Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic after completing their jump-off trip in 38.268 seconds ahead of Emerson Lane of Miami, FL and Diddlina D’Ive Z, owned by Lane, who took second with a time of 39.756 seconds. Katie Sansone of Coconut Creek, FL and Tropobella 3K, owned by Sansone, earned third place after riding to a jump-off time of 39.925 seconds.
The $10,000 Triple Crown Nutrition Open Welcome Stake awarded the win to Pablo Barrios of Wellington, FL and Gut Einhaus, LLC’s Le Vio with a jump-off time of 29.246 seconds. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and his own Jenni’s Chance were presented with second place after completing the track in 29.753 seconds. Joaquim Malta de Abreu of Wellington, FL placed third with Two Swans Farm’s Arino du Rouet with a jump-off time of 30.207 seconds.
The $5,000 Omega Alpha® 1.35m Stake saw Alexis Trosch of Wellington, FL and her own Cortex Z, owned by Trosch, take first place, stopping the jump-off timers in a quick 33.929 seconds. Fabio Leivas da Costa of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Luziada Jmen, owned by Bonne Chance Farm LLC, took home second place after finishing the track in 34.601 seconds. Leslie Howard of Darien, CT scooped up third place aboard Flo, owned by GJ Stable, finishing with a time of 35.412 seconds.
The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby saw Kaitlin Porath of Charlotte, NC and her own Breaux take the championship title, after earning a total of 182 points after round two of competition. Lisa Rex of Westbury, NY and Over the Top Stables LLC’s Overjoyed secured reserve champion honors on 178.5 points. The yellow ribbon was snatched by Kelsey Duff of PBTD Ruffian, FL aboard Renee Eddy’s Playin’ for Keeps after riding to 175 points.
Nancy Hooker of Wellington, FL and Coolidge, owned by Richard Prant, took top honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter Older Division during ESP Spring. Marcie Marcus of Villanova, PA and Caliber Z, owned by Marcus Equestrian Enterprises, LLC, rode to reserve.
Katherine Newman of Wellington, FL aboard Dandelion, owned by Allwyn Court, secured champion honors in the Triple Crown Nutrition Green Hunter 3’6″ Division, ahead of Maria Rasmussen of Oak Creek, WI aboard Sidarta, owned by Over Fences Farm, LLC.
Alexa Elle Lignelli of New York, NY and Fox Creeks Curious George, owned by The Lignelli Family, finished atop the Score at the Top Medium Pony Hunter Division ahead of Georgia Schmidt of Lutherville, MD, who collected reserve champion with Cleverist, owned by Emily Aitken.
Maggie Gould of Wellington, FL was awarded champion of the USHJA 2′ & 2’3″ Hunter Division aboard winning mount Masterpiece, owned by Alexandra Raffy. Reserve champion was presented to Alliyah Antoniadis of Middletown, NY and True Colors, owned by Joe White.
Margaret O’Meara of Kirkland, WA captured a tricolor ribbon aboard Just Nick, owned by Woodland Way, Inc., in the USHJA Hunter 3′ Division. Denise Monopoli of Loxahatchee, FL and Poetry in Motion, owned by McKenzie Wade, finished as reserve champions.
The Gold Coast Feed Performance Hunter 3’3″ & 3’6″ Division saw Havens Schatt of Georgetown, KY riding Aristocrat, owned by Tracy Scheriff-Muser, collect the division’s champion honors. Reserve champion also went to Schatt and Use the Ring LLC’s Noble Blue.
Amelia Ruth of New York, NY and Broadway, owned by Carol Ruth & Sumner Hill Farms LLC, finished atop the #1 Education Place Junior Hunter 3’6″ Division. Reid Arani of Lexington, KY and Margot Bay Farm, LLC’s Soldier captured reserve placement.
Dagny Mactaggart of Millbrook, NY and Ziezo captured the Equiline High Junior Amateur Owner Division, earning champion, while reserve champion was awarded to Mireya Godoy of Wellington, FL and Paddy’s Dream Z, owned by Godoy.
Molly Sewell of Winter Park, FL and Inverness, owned by Leslie Campbell, took champion accolades in the Triple Crown Nutrition Green Hunter 3’3″ Division. Reserve champion was awarded to Havens Schatt and Totality, owned by Jennifer Speisman.
Competition will resume at PBIEC on Friday, May 4, with the fourth week of the ESP Spring Series continuing through Sunday, May 6. For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Wellington, FL – April 18, 2018 – Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL welcomed another successful week of competition during the second installment of the ESP Spring Series at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL after taking a first-place finish in the $35,000 ProElite® Grand Prix last week. Minikus once again piloted the Quality Group owned Quality Girl to the blue ribbon in the $25,000 ESP Spring II Grand Prix, after a speedy run around the fast track, designed by Anna Catalina Cruz of Mexico in 35.281 seconds, before taking the $35,000 ESP Spring II Grand Prix aboard Amex Z.
Minikus brought his A-game once again, capturing his third Grand Prix win of the ESP Spring Series. The duo bested the class of 36 horse-and-rider combinations, finishing out ahead with a final jump-off time of 32.929 seconds.
“It’s taken me a little while to get her [Amex Z] going my way,” commented Minikus, “and now we’ve really got it. I decided to take the winter in slow motion with her because to come out and do those 1.40m classes during WEF with hundreds in it, it just didn’t make sense. We spent the winter training up and it’s really paying off. She’s a great mare and I expect some big things from her. We’re looking at potentially the WEG with her. I’m maybe a few weeks behind, but now we’ll come out and start jumping the bigger classes. She’s already gotten a few nice ribbons here and hopefully we’ll be seeing more Grand Prix wins together.”
Of the ESP Spring Series, Minikus concluded, “These shows are great. I love them. It’s fantastic to be able to come out and get some of the younger and up and coming horses mileage in the big ring, with the same course designers that we had during the main circuit. Quality Girl had most of the winter off and Amex Z too, so, to be able to come out and jump in the big ring again over nice courses is great.”
Margie Engle trailed just behind after crossing through the timers in 36.23 seconds on her seasoned mount Indigo, owned by Gladewinds Farm Inc., Griese, Garber, and Hidden Creek. Third place went to Celso Ariani of Wellington, FL and Ukulman de la Nutria, owned by Ricardo Romero, after stopping the jump-off clock in 37.619 seconds.
It was a “girls’ day” no doubt in the $25,000 ESP Spring II Grand Prix on Friday, April 13. After Minikus secured first aboard Quality Girl, Michelle Guardino’s Fancy Girl was ridden to the second-place position with Willie Tynan of Wellington, FL after finishing the jump-track in 38.86 seconds. Margie Engle of Wellington, FL rode Bockmanns Lazio, owned by Gladewinds Farm Inc., to third place in a swift 36.239 seconds, but ended the second round with four jump faults.
The $10,000 Open Welcome Stake was another successful ride for Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and his own Jenni’s Chance, who raced to the win in 33.219 seconds. Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL and Chris Brem’s Amex Z kicked off their week with the second-place finish, crossing through jump-off timers in 34.174 seconds. Alexis Trosch of Wellington, FL and her own Cantara Z rounded out the top three in 34.865 seconds.
The $5,000 Omega Alpha 1.35m Open Stake saw Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL and Lord Calador, owned by Melissa Bilodeau, take top honors after stopping the jump-off timers in 32.779 seconds. Abigail McArdle of Barrington, IL and Chuck Berry 8, owned by Plain Bay Sales, captured second place with a time of 33.483, ahead of Peter Lutz of Waccabuc, NY aboard Camillo VDL, owned by E2 Show Jumpers, with a time of 34.224 seconds.
The $1,500 NAL Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic awarded the win to Jorge Gomez of Loxahatchee, FL and his own Dallas de la Bonnett, with a jump-off time of 26.586 seconds. Avery-Anna Hogan of Wellington, FL and Eurocommerce Tampa, owned by Hogan, were presented with second place after completing the track in 27.406 seconds. Hogan also placed third with her own Zenith Z collected third place in the class with a jump-off time of 28.91 seconds.
Stephanie Nell of New Fairfield, CT was the winner of the $1,5000 Low Adult Jumper Classic riding Cash Advance, owned by Julian Cournane, who completed their jump-off time in 42.446 seconds. The red ribbon was awarded to Lauren Bardy of West Bloomfield, MI and Epic, owned by Leslie Howard and Uri Burstein, after completing their round in 47.093 seconds. Cynthia Screnci of Boca Raton, FL and Vichy, owned by Volado Farms, rounded out the top three, achieving a jump-off time of 39.39 seconds but with four added faults.
Charlotte Matthews of Bayville, NY and Sagamore Farms-owned Tinto des Contes topped the $1,500 Low Children’s Jumper Classic after securing the win with a jump-off time of 40.824 seconds. Kayla Walker of Jamaica Plain, MA and River Run Farm LLC’s Middlemarch finished in second place with a jump-off time of 42.132 seconds, ahead of Stephanie Garrett of New York, NY and Westwind Equestrian’s Dusty S Z, who completed the track in 42.143 seconds.
Victory in the $1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic was awarded to Allyson Blais of Boynton Beach, FL riding LandaniMA, owned by Blais, after completing the jump-off in 37.24 seconds. Second place was awarded to Stacey Mahoney of New York, NY and Charisma Blue, owned by Mahoney, riding to a time of 38.75 seconds. Third place honors were presented to Kyle Olson of Pawling, NY and Wilhelmina who passed through timers in 38.769 seconds.
Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL and Sarah Cressy’s Delft Blue championed Friday’s $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, landing on a final score of 175. Samantha Senft of Wellington, FL and Carson Cavalline’s Blueberryhill’s Blue Dream rode to second place honors, while Sara Ballinger of Marion, OH and her own Wanderprinz rounded out third place with a 158.5.
Ellen Toon of South Salem, NY rode Mirror Image to champion honors in the Amateur Owner Hunter 3’6″ division, while reserve honors were awarded to Laura Sexton of Greenwich, CT and Set To Music, owned by Sexton.
Debi Maloney of Honeoye Falls, NY aboard Fortitude, owned by Maloney and Sarah Cressy, secured champion honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter Division, ahead of Christina Plichta of Wellington, FL aboard her Rightfully So, owned by Purple Lane Farm, LLC.
Sam Walker of Nobleton, ON and Broadway, owned by Carol Ruth and Sumner Hill Farms LLC, took champion accolades in the #1 Education Place Junior Hunter 3’6″ Division. Reserve champion was awarded to Jordan Allen of West Bloomfield, MI and Eclypse, owned by Holly Orlando.
The Modified Hunter Division saw Anabella Cottone of Davie, FL and her own Aurora take champion honors for their performances throughout the week, while reserve champion was presented to Alliyah Antoniadis of Middletown, NY and True Colors, owned by Joe White.
The Walk/Trot Division saw Caitlin Sweeney of Oyster Bay, NY and Golden Ticket, owned by Cheryl Amaral-McKee, ride to the division’s top honors ahead of Madison Chouinard and Persnickety, owned by Hannah Randolph, who finished with reserve champion honors.
Lainie Wimberly of Ridgefield, CT captured a tricolor ribbon, aboard For Freedom, owned by Laurie Stevens, in the USHJA Hunter 3′ Division. Wimberly and Santiago, owned by Stevens, finished as reserve champions.
The USHJA Hunter 2′-2’3″ Division saw Maggie Gould of Wellington, FL riding Masterpiece, owned by Alexandra Raffy, collect the division’s champion honors. Reserve champion went to Stacey Shore Werner of Jupiter, FL and her own Sebastian.
Ella Bostwick of Wellington, FL and Soffia Cady’s Royal Classic finished atop the Score at the Top Large Pony Hunter Division, earning champion, while reserve champion was awarded to Kierstin Antoniadis of Middletown, NY and California Dreamin’, owned by Millennium Farm, INC.
Wellington, FL – December 19, 2017 – Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and his own U took top honors in the $25,000 Ultima Fitness Grand Prix at ESP Holiday I hosted at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Thursday, December 14, after stopping the jump-off timers in 41.904 seconds.
Liza Finsness of Wellington, FL and Shiver captured second place with a jump-off time of 43.292 seconds, ahead of Michael Morrissey of Wellington, FL and QBS Equestrian LLC’s La Lopez 3, who narrowly missed first place and finished the course, designed by Mauricio Garcia, with a time of 38.617 seconds but with four added faults.
Later in the week, Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL and Carlo, owned by North Face Farm, captured a speedy win in the $25,000 ProElite Grand Prix at ESP Holiday II, besting a class of 44 entries on Sunday, December 17.
The pair finished a strong first round on the course, also designed by Garcia, and proceeded to stop the jump-off timers in 37.549 seconds, just tenths of a second faster than Alvaro Tejada of Guatemala and Voltaral Palo Blanco, owned by Agroprosa, who completed the round in 38.187 seconds. Liza Finsness of Wellington, FL once again rode Shiver to another top three finish, this time finishing the short course in 39.33 seconds.
Ian Millar of Perth, ON and Vittorio 8, owned by Future Adventures, championed the ESP Holiday I $10,000 Ultima Fitness Open Stake after completing their jump-off round in 34.838 seconds to best the class. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and Jenni’s Choice, owned by Andrade, collected second place with a time of 35.787 seconds, as well as third place aboard his own Gran Mamut, rounding out the top three with a time of 35.138 seconds and eight faults.
The ESP Holiday II $10,000 ProElite Welcome Stake was won by Alex Granato of Wellington, FL and Beorn, owned by Moyer Farm, LLC, after crossing through jump-off timers in 32.49 seconds. David Oberkircher of Collegeville, PA and Upper, owned by Southfields Farm LLC, earned second place with a time of 34.037 seconds. Alejandro Karolyi of Wellington, FL and Willow, owned by Amalaya Investments, finished in third place after finishing in 34.042 seconds.
The ESP Holiday I Child/Adult 1.10m Jumper Classic saw Julia Strawbridge of West Grove, PA and his own Ailee rise to the top of the class. The pair completed their round in 77.308 seconds with two time faults for the win ahead of Strawbridge and her second mount C’est La Vie, also owned by Strawbridge, who completed the track in 78.878 seconds and with three faults. Christina Castillo finished with a third-place ribbon aboard Eduardo and Isabel Castillo’s Waltaire Palo Blanco, who stopped the timers in 69.142 seconds and with four faults.
Sophia Thomson of Jupiter, FL and her own Bull Run’s Eternal rode to victory in the $1,500 Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic during ESP Holiday I, stopping the jump-off timers in 40.549 seconds. Joshua Baird of St. Charles, IL and Lollipop S secured second place with a time of 41.661 seconds, while Juliett Johansson of Fort Lauderdale, FL and her own Viva’s Roxanna W took third place after adding four faults to their jump-off time of 41.292 seconds.
Elizabeth Kirby of Wellington, FL and Cor de Pomme, owned by E. K. Equestrian LLC, finished in first place in the ESP Holiday I $2,500 M&S Child/Adult Classic after finishing their second round in a time of 43.542 seconds, during ESP Holiday I. Bevo Tarika of Fairfield, CT and Kanneau, owned by Tarika, took second place as the only other combination to advance to the jump-off round. The pair finished in 41.658 seconds with four faults. Lisbeth Hazoury of Wellington, FL and Los Establos Sporthorses Corp.’s Valmach des Abbayes finished in third with 4 faults in the first round.
Lauren McCaulley of Lake Charles, IL and Umano de la Ruche, owned by Ilan Ferder, rode to victory in the ESP Holiday II $1,500 NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic with a jump-off time of 42.241 seconds. Alexandra Elkins of Dallas, TX and Shosy TSP, owned by Elkins, finished in second after stopping the jump-off timers in 43.747 seconds. Bruna Silva of Windermere, FL and Lorenza Jmen secured third place with a time of 47.401 seconds.
Anne Meyer of Plymoth, MN and Stella Luna, owned by Meyer, took home the blue ribbon in the ESP Holiday II $2,500 M&S Child/Adult Classic with a speedy jump-off time of 41.725 seconds. Phoebe Alwine of Delray Beach, FL and Zenith Dance, owned by In the Clover Equestrian, finished the class with a jump-off time of 42.328 seconds for second, while Kaila Robert of St. Bruno, QB captured third aboard Ninja, owned by Ecuries La Montee, after riding the fast track in 42.889 seconds.
The ESP Holiday II $1,500 Low Adult Jumper Classic was championed by Catherine Kenny of Wellesley, MA and Nubia 11, owned by Maggie Savoie, as the pair finished with a jump-off time of 36.248 seconds, ahead of Nicole Sarett of Vero Beach, FL and Vaya Con Dios, owned by Alexandra Vanderrest, who finished their jump-off round in 42.92 seconds. Jenny Swanson of Dover, MA and Patriot K, owned by Swanson, secured third place with a second-round time of 35.682 seconds and four faults.
Margaret O’Meara of Kirkland, WA and Woodland Way, Inc.’s Just Nick, championed the ESP Holiday I Child/Adult Amateur Hunter Division, while Sidney Jefferson of Toronto, ON and her own Socialite took home reserve champion honors.
The Green Hunter 3′ Division of ESP Holiday I saw Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL and Fortitude, owned by Debi Maloney and Sarah Cressy, capture the divisional championship. Hannah Isop of Pawling, NY and Calica, owned by Christine Watkins, rode to reserve.
The ESP Holiday I USHJA Hunter 2′, 2’3 & 2’6″ Division was won by Kelly Mullen of Franklin, TN and Three Wishes, owned by Warioto Farms Inc. Wendy Picard of Boca Raton, FL and her own Extraordinary captured reserve champion honors.
Penny Lombardo of Loxahatchee, FL and Northampton, owned by Catherine Bray, finished atop the division in the ESP Holiday I USHJA Hunter 2’9″ Division. Lombardo also collected reserve champion with First Star, owned by Bray.
The Score at the Top Small Pony Hunter Division saw Cecilia Perry of North Venice, FL guide Sparkle, owned by Fielding Stichman, ride to the divisional title in ESP Holiday I, ahead of Sterling Malnik of Ocean Ridge, FL and Amber Asbell-Jackson’s May-B-Tango, who were awarded with reserve champion.
Adam Edgar of Leesburg, VA and Honor, owned by Salter Hydinger, took champion honors in the ESP Holiday II Adult Amateur Hunter Division. Catherine Kenny of Wellesley, MA and her own Bliss received reserve champion honors.
The ESP Holiday II Cross Rail Hunter Division was captured by Orly Antvey of Plantation, FL piloting Heaven Scent Raindrop, owned by Melanie Antevy. Reserve champion went to Matthew Scharbo of Winnetka, IL and Lanes End’s Shimmer.
Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC and Unexpected, owned by Derby Lane, LLC, were champions of the ESP Holiday II Junior Hunter 3’3″ Division. Reserve champion was also awarded to Gordon, riding her own More Fun.
Alexa Elle Lignelli of New York, NY was awarded champion of the Score at the Top Small/Medium Green Pony Hunter Division during ESP Holiday II. Her winning ride was Just Right, owned by Agatha Lignelli. Reserve champion was also presented to Lignelli and Entourage, owned by the Lignelli Family.
Mill Spring, NC – October 12, 2017 – Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili topped 82 horse and rider pairs in the Tryon Fall IV $35,000 Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 3*, stopping the short course timers at a blazing 35.26 seconds. Kent Farrington (USA) and Dublin were just seven-hundredths of a second behind, claiming second place honors with a jump-off time of 35.33 seconds, while Beezie Madden (USA) and Coach finished third, posting a 37.59 second jump-off round.
The Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) designed track saw 82 entries, of which 20 pairs qualified for the jump-off and 13 went double clear. Vanderveen and “Frosty” were fresh and ready to make up for past losses, she explained. “Kent and I were just at Central Park together and he got me in both classes, so knowing that Kent was behind me and is incredibly fast, I wanted to lay it out and take all the risks I could and see what we could end up with.”
Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, a 2005 BWP stallion (Berlin x Bijou Van De Vijfheide), has not jumped in two weeks, said Vanderveen, so she was primarily focused on managing his energy. “He can be a little bit strong, so I didn’t know how strong he would be today,” she commented. “He’s had a bit of a vacation for the past two weeks and hasn’t jumped at all, so my biggest thought today was about how and where he could get strong towards the end of the course, or at a few verticals, but he loves this ring, loves Tryon, and was listening well today.”
The pair has been together for three years, but have really succeeded at high levels starting this year, explained Vanderveen. “The first year [I had him] it really took us a while to get to know one another. We still had a couple Grand Prix wins in there, but it was very up and down, and last year I did a lot of 1.45m Speed classes, and we were clicking there, and this year we’ve really clicked at a higher level and are starting to make classes,” she said.
Vanderveen, who won her first CSI 5* competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and is known as the “Tryon Queen,” admitted that she’s excited for next week’s CSI 5* competition. “If everything keeps going well I’ll probably use him in the CSI 5* next week, and possibly at the CSI 4* in Kentucky, and we’ll keep going as long as he still feels fresh,” she concluded.
Todd Minikus Pilots Quality Girl to Quality Win in Tryon Fall IV $6,000 Nutrena® 1.40m Power & Speed CSI 3*
Todd Minikus (USA) and Quality Girl started their week off on a positive note, besting 60 horse and rider combinations in the $6,000 Nutrena® 1.40m Power & Speed, on Wednesday October 11, at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Roberto Teran (COL) captured the second-place position aboard Brilliant Du Rouet, a 2005 Oldenburg gelding (Balou Du Rouet x Faretana) owned by Liubov Kochetova, after completing the jump-off track in 30.21 seconds. Third place was rounded out by Alberto Michan (MEX) and Ilan Ferder’s Glasgow De Muze, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Andiamo x Paris Vh Waterschoot Z), after stopping the timers in 30.67 seconds.
Minikus and the 2003 Oldenburg mare (Quidam’s Rubin x Dodirka) climbed to the top of the leaderboard after a speedy jump-off round, ending in 29.72 seconds. “This was just a schooling round for most horses,” commented Minikus. “With that being said, the way I school Quality Girl is to let her just go for it. She’s been out of the ring for a long time, and when she did come back in, she did several big classes. Because this is a smaller class, sometimes the horses have to practice being the winner, to be the winner.”
Minikus continued, “It looks like everybody is off to a good start this week. There are some nice horses here showing at Tryon; we have some of the big names out here for the CSI3* and it should be a good week.”
Todd Minikus riding VDL Excel. (Photo courtesy of Sportfot)
New York, NY – Central Park is a common meeting place in New York City for tennis, baseball, basketball, and ice skating – but this past Thursday night, sports in Central Park rose to new heights. The U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance took center stage in the Wollman Rink, exposing city dwellers to a nail-biting equestrian show jumping competition.
The three winners – Todd Minikus, Kama Godek, and Emanuel Andrade – each could have jumped basketball player LeBron James with an inch to spare as they soared over the 6 foot, 9 inch wall.
The Puissance, a traditional crowd favorite, returned this week to the Rolex Central Park Horse Show for the second year in a row. Competition began with a brick wall obstacle set at 4 feet, 6 inches high. Horse and rider pairs took turns jumping the wall, which was raised after each round. The event was called to an end after the three longest-lasting pairs each cleared the 6 foot, 9 inch wall with apparent ease. Todd Minikus on VDL Excel, Kama Godek on De Grande, and Emanuel Andrade on Clouwni were all named victors.
Minikus, an internationally successful show jumper with a U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medal and over 150 Grand Prix wins to his name, was left wishing they’d had a chance to jump even higher. “VDL Excel jumped the 6 foot, 9 inches very easily,” he said. “Six feet and 9 inches is a big enough jump, but I think if they had raised it again, he would have been able to do that easily enough. He seemed really brave and comfortable.”
Minikus and the eight-year-old horse, owned by Autumn View Farm, have had an impressive summer even before the Puissance. Last month, the pair claimed the reserve title in the $20,000 Jumper Derby at Equifest II in Wayne, Illinois. “He’s is a very scopey jumper. I just knew he would do well in the Puissance,” said Minikus. “He’s young, and just breaking into the upper level classes. He’s got a lot of talent.”
With Minikus in the saddle, there’s no doubt that VDL Excel is not finished with his time in the limelight. Minikus’s own highest jump cleared to date is 7 feet and 4 inches, and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The Wellington, Florida based rider is next taking his talented team to compete at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina, where they will jump through the month of October.
To learn more about Todd Minikus and his winning record as he jumps around the world, follow him Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
New York, NY – September 21, 2017 – The second day of the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show (RCPHS) featured international and national show jumping competition, showcasing top equestrians from around the world on Thursday, September 21, in the heart of New York City’s Wollman Rink.
The evening was presented by CSX, highlighting the $40,000 U.S. Open CSX FEI Speed Class, which saw a win for Hardin Towell (USA) and Lucifer V, as they opened elite show jumping competition for the week. The evening’s competition also featured the U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance, which saw Emanuel Andrade (VEN), Kama Godek (USA), and Todd Minikus (USA) split the victory three ways after each cleared the traditional brick wall at a height of 6’9″ inches. The $5,000 1.20m Junior/Amateur Jumper Speed Class was topped by Mimi Gochman of New York, NY aboard Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s entry, Avoloma BH.
Guilherme Jorge (BRA), course designer of the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, returns to Wollman Rink as the show jumping course designer for this week’s national and international competition. The U.S. Open $40,000 CSX FEI Speed Class saw 30 horse and rider combinations take to Wollman Rink for their first night of competition, including some of the world’s very best, highlighting rounds by Kent Farrington (USA), and McLain Ward (USA), alongside rising talent Lucy Deslauriers (USA), who finished in a competitive fifth place.
The winner of the U.S. Open $40,000 CSX FEI Speed Class, Hardin Towell (USA), guided Evergate Stables’ Lucifer V, a 2006 Westphalian gelding (Lord Pezi x Grandina), improving upon the pair’s third place finish last year and crossing through the timers in 53.53 seconds. Towell was the last entry on course and ultimately overtook Daniel Bluman (ISR) aboard Bacara D’Archonfosse, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare (Asca Z x Queen D’Archonfosse) owned by Kim Douglas and Alexa Schwitzer, who stopped the clocks in 55.75 seconds. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Bijous Van De Vijfheide) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC, rounded out the competition in third place, finishing in 55.98, adding four faults to their converted time.
“I felt the course was nice. It had a twisty turning start, but it wasn’t so big and my horse has been jumping big classes all year,” he said. “Tonight was a very competitive class, but I had a lot of confidence in my horse, so I took some shots and it was fantastic. I felt he was pretty quick to the second to last jump, and I thought my turns were nice. Last week at Gold Cup I only got third, but I didn’t trust my horse or myself through the first line and in the second line I had the third jump down. I would’ve ended up third even if I’d gone clean, so today I decided to believe in my horse. I felt fast today and I knew it was quite good.”
Towell and Lucifer V have been partnered together for several year and amassed top finishes around the globe in international competition. The pair has excelled during the summer season and Towell felt that the size and structure of the ring helped the duo secure the win and spoke to the versatility of Lucifer V.
“He’s a very diverse horse. In big fields like Spruce Meadows, he’s also great. He doesn’t have the biggest stride, so in an arena like this it’s even better because he’s quicker in the turns, but this is quite a good ring. I’d also like to add that Daniel is one of my very close friends and we’re very competitive, so it’s always fun to win, but to beat one of your friends is even better,” laughed Towell. “I’m not going to lie, the reason I really tried was because Daniel was winning, and he’s won enough the past couple of weeks.”
Bluman is also coming off of a very successful European tour, like his friend Hardin Towell, and was pleased with Bacara D’Archonfosse and her performance, as they look towards the $216,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Rolex.
“The mare jumped really well again tonight. We’ve been jumping great the past few shows and winning some classes. I walked the course and like Hardin said it wasn’t too big,” he explained. “I got to see Kristen [Vanderveen] go after me and she had a beautiful round and was super-fast. At that point I figured Hardin would get me at the end. He’s a competitive guy. We work together and grew up together, and I knew he was going to try and he got me, so I’m happy for the second place, happy for him, and looking forward to tomorrow.”
Bluman explained that though the mare is a serious competitor in the competition arena, she’s extremely relaxed outside of the ring. He commented, “Hardin and I were joking in the warm-up that if she were a horse used for transportation two hundred years ago, it wouldn’t do. She doesn’t want to work because she’s so relaxed. It took her twice the amount of time to get from stabling to the ring than any other horse, but she goes in the ring and she knows what she has to do. She’s a competitor and she likes to win. She allows me to do my job. She’s really fantastic horse who always wants to jump clear.”
Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili were incredibly close to stealing the win in Wollman Rink and used the tight course to their advantage, posting the third fastest time despite knocking the first rail at the one-stride combination.
“He is super-fast and the small ring here actually plays to his advantage because he’s really quick on the turns. I felt that we were very tight everywhere and he ended up catching me off guard by the end of the course. He was so ready for the turns that I cut him a little too aggressively at the combination and it caught up with me,” she explained. “But I was very pleased with him tonight. He’s so rideable for me. He’s listening all the time and asks where I want to go, and that really helps in a ring of this size, and with his size as well. He’s right where I want him.”
Emanuel Andrade, Kama Godek, and Todd Minikus Split Top Honors in U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance
The evening’s competition concluded with the U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance, which saw a three-way tie between Emanuel Andrade (VEN) aboard Clouwni, a 2003 Holsteiner gelding (Colman x Odessa XVII) owned by Andrade, Kama Godek (USA) and her own De Grande, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Verdi x Concorde), and Todd Minikus (USA) piloting VDL Excel, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Douglas and owned by Autumn View Farm.
The class boasted five entries that began the competition at a wall height of 5’3″. All five entries contested a height of 6’9″, before Andrew Kocher (USA), and Paul O’Shea (IRL) were eliminated in the fourth and final round of competition.
“I started to train last year and I had an equitation horse,” smiled Godek. “I got an email asking if anyone wanted to do the Puissance at Central Park and I mean say no more! I had another client riding this horse in the 3’6″ Equitation and I knew he jumped big. I practiced a couple of times last year and we came back to win this year!”
Emanuel Andrade, a notable name on both the national and international show jumping circuits, contested his first Puissance class under the lights aboard his own Clouwni, ultimately clearing the massive wall set at 6’9″.
“This was my first Puissance and it was very exciting. It was impressive the first time I jumped that wall, but after that I started getting confident and it got much better. It was huge! I’m very happy about it,” he said. “I’m very happy about the group of horses that went this year. They were all so good.”
Veteran of the group, Todd Minikus, guided a young talent in his string in the class, also clearing the impressive wall at its top height. At only eight-years-old, VDL Excel looks to be a strong contender for the future and Minikus commented on the experience for both horse and rider under the lights in Central Park, while thanking class sponsor Spy Coast Farm for the opportunity.
“I’d like to thank Spy Coast Farm for sponsoring this. We all really appreciate it and the crowd seems to really appreciate it,” said Minikus. “I rode a young horse tonight. We just started doing some smaller grand prix and this is great for giving the horses experience under the lights.”
The revival of the Puissance in New York City was sparked by the once popular National Horse Show hosted at Madison Square Garden for many years. Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group (IEG), felt it was necessary to keep the tradition alive in Central Park, once again bringing the entertaining brick wall back to the iconic city.
“The National Horse Show used to be here and no one can replace that show, but we are hoping in time we can bring that type of energy with us to the Rolex Central Park Horse Show,” he commented. “This is the opportunity to do that, so last year we decided to add the Puissance class. It’s a great thing to have in this sport. It engages the crowd and gives people something to root for that they understand. It’s simple, if you leave the wall up, you move on to the next round.”
Spy Coast Farm, a sport horse breeding and training operation based in both Lexington, KY, and Wellington, FL, was a first year sponsor of the U.S. Open $50,000 Puissance class and Lisa Lourie of Spy Coast Farm was on hand to discuss their participation in the event this year and discuss her love for Puissance, which was sparked by watching the entertaining class at the Dublin Horse Show each summer.
“I was so happy that we got this group of riders this year and we were so thrilled that they all came out. That’s what the Puissance is all about. If you don’t have good riders and good horses, then the class falls flat. We had the right group tonight, and that’s what it comes down too,” she said. “I called Mark after watching the Puissance at the Dublin Horse Show and told him that I was in for Central Park because it’s such a fantastic class.”
Mimi Gochman and Avoloma BH Ride to Win in $5,000 1.20m Junior/Amateur Jumper Speed Class
The night commenced with the $5,000 1.20m Junior/Amateur Speed Class, which awarded a victory for New York City’s own Mimi Gochman, piloting her new mount, Avoloma BH, a 2005 Dutch Warmblood mare (Quasimodo Z x Voloma) owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC.
“I used to have parties in Wollman Rink for my birthday,” commented Gochman. “It’s amazing to see the transformation from an ice skating arena to an amazing show with a beautiful backdrop. It’s such a privilege to be able to show in the middle of New York City. Central Park has always been a fun place to hang out, but I never imagined I’d be riding in a horse show here.”
Of her round, Gochman said, “It was a nice course. It was a little complicated with the angles but our trainer really helped. She told us where to go and set us up for the best possible route, so that was very helpful. She’s a new mare for me, and we’ve had a lot of success so far. I’m really starting to figure out what she likes and doesn’t like. She’s game for anything and she always tries to jump her best. She’s just a really good mare.”
Gochman completed the track in 52.97 seconds, almost three full seconds ahead of the second position finisher, Alexandra Crown, also of New York, NY, who rode her own Quentucky Jolly, a 2004 Selle Francais gelding (Nirvan V x Fabiola Depinette), to second place on 55.82 seconds.
“I got this horse in the middle of July,” said Crown, “We’ve only gone to about five shows together or so. He’s incredibly competitive and he’s very good at venues like this. He’s comfortable with the tight rings. This worked out in his favor, but we still couldn’t beat Mimi. That was fast! We gave it a go and he was fantastic, so I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
The class continued with an impressive New York native streak as Sophie Gochman took the third place slot aboard Wirina, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood mare (Harlem x Sarina) also owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, after finishing the course in 55.87 seconds.
“I’ve been competing against Mimi for basically my entire life,” commented the eldest Gochman sister. “This doesn’t really change anything. I’m always rooting for her and she’s always routing for me. Tonight I was just taking one for the team. Whoever wins, it’s still good because go team Baxter Hill!”