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!”
Mill Spring, NC – July 7, 2017 – Hunt Tosh of Milton, GA and Flamingo-K, owned by Ceil Wheeler, finished as the winning pair in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The duo were tied for second place after the first round with a combined score of 177 and turned in another strong performance in the handy round, earning a score of 200, for a total score of 377. Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, NC and Celtic Gold, owned by Meg Valnoski, secured the second place honors with a two round total of 368, while Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI and Olympic Fire, owned by Roger Smith, rounded out the top three with a score of 363.
Tosh and family made a special trip to TIEC for the weekend, bringing only Flamingo-K to contest the duo’s abilities in this very class. Navigating the handy round with precision and beauty, the duo ended the day with a blue ribbon, proving the journey to be well worth their travels. Tosh and Flamingo-K have only been partnered for a short time and this was Tosh’s second class with the 12-year-old chestnut gelding.
“He is very new to us,” Tosh explained. “The Wheelers bought him for me at Devon this year because they have been looking for that special derby horse. I showed him in one other derby before this, so I am really just getting to know him.”
Flamingo-K only started competing in the hunter discipline this year, originally coming from the jumpers, and his transition to the hunter derby ring has been flawless. Tosh detailed how Flamingo-K is very well suited for derbies, saying, “He finds the jumps really well. I hate trot jumps. I think I’ve lost more classes because of trot jumps, but he is a good trot jumper and that helps out! With his scope, you just have so much range. You can be where it’s not optimal and he makes up for it. He has a great rhythm and is just really fun to ride.”
Although the mount is rather new, he spoke very highly of the horse’s ability to perform in the big George H. Morris Arena.
“He is a blast to ride. He is super scopey, brave, very careful, and really just a sweet horse. I think he is going to be an amazing derby horse.”
Tosh’s daughter, Maddie Tosh, competed multiple mounts in last weekend’s $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby. Tosh had never showed in this arena and therefore relied on his daughter’s insight for the class.
“The best part about Maddie is that she is so hands on in the barn and she knows all of the horses just as well as I do and everything about them. I told her tonight she would have to give me pointers on how to show in this ring because I have never shown in it before! So I asked her how it rode and for her advice,” laughed Tosh.
Tosh and his team have loved their experience at TIEC, especially after his impressive win. Tosh commented on the layout details of the TIEC, saying, “We love it here. The footing and the facility overall is just so nice. You are standing under shaded covers with fans in-between rounds. I mean you can’t ask for more accommodations at a horse show. What they have done here is phenomenal.”
Tosh was very appreciative of the opportunity to compete in such a large ring, while also expressing his gratitude to the Wheeler family, saying, “I can’t thank them enough for buying him for me to ride. They have been after me for a derby horse for quite some time, and we finally got one!”
Todd Minikus and Exceptional Take $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL and Exceptional were just that in the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at TIEC. Minikus and Exceptional bested twenty-six other pairings with phenomenal scores of 92 and 96, capturing the win by more than ten points with a final score of 188. Taylor Ann Adams of Ocala, FL and Lucretia finished in second place with a two round score of 177.5, while Kianna Luscher of Hawthorne, NJ and Carissima W took third place with 175 points after two rounds.
Minikus explained that he wasn’t sure how to approach the inside turns for the handy round in particular with this horse, and needed to improvise a bit on course, which Exceptional, owned by Todd Minikus LTD, handled with ease.
He commented, “I thought it was a very nice course. The inside turns in the handy were really inside, which I do have some practice with, but he’s a very green horse and I didn’t know how he would take it. He handled it exceptionally well and evidently the judges thought he did it as well as I did!”
The pair has been together since midway through the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit in Wellington, FL when a friend of Minikus found Exceptional in Belgium and connected the two. A six-year-old bay gelding, Exceptional has only done six or seven shows in his career.
“He was champion both this week and last week, so he’s turned himself into a real winner,” said Minikus. “We make our living selling horses, so hopefully somebody wants to have a winner and buys him from me, but until that time, I’ll continue to show him in his prospective division and these derbies. Hopefully we’ll keep winning,” he added with a smile.
Sharn Wordley and Famoso D Ive Z Take $6,000 Nutrena® 1.40m Classic CSI 3*
Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Famoso D Ive Z topped the $6,000 Nutrena® 1.40m Classic CSI 3* on the Grass Complex at TIEC, stopping the jump-off timers at 37.09 seconds. Kyle Timm (CAN) and Georgie B sped to second with a 38.179 second dash, while Erynn Ballard (CAN) took third place aboard Thalys Z, stopping the timers in 39.845 seconds.
Famoso D Ive Z, a 2007 Zangersheide gelding (For Pleasure x Chin Chin) owned by Sky Group & Sharn Wordley, has been with Wordley for two years now and the pair have amassed an impressive record together.
“The horse came from Europe, so he jumped on grass quite a bit, but I’ve had him for two years and this was my fifth class on grass,” he explained. “We don’t have much grass around. He loved it today and he was fantastic.”
In the last year, Wordley and Famoso D Ive Z have won seven ranking classes together at TIEC alone and Wordley emphasized that he is an important horse in his successful string.
“He wins a lot of classes. He’s fast. He does the ranking classes to save the grand prix horses or if there’s a grand prix that’s appropriate to him. He’s a good horse and very fast.
“I love TIEC. It’s one of my favorite horse shows. I think now, too, they’ve got the grass fantastic to ride on and it’s really good,” he said. “Oscar [Soberon] did a great job and always builds good courses. He’s a great course designer.”
For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.
Todd Minikus at award ceremony for finish on Incitatus in the $86,000 Adequan® Grand Prix FEI CSI2* (Photo courtesy of Todd Minikus)
Tryon, NC (July 6, 2017) – Todd Minikus and Incitatus opened up the Week V competition at Tryon CSI 2* in a big way, handily winning the $6000 1.40m Nutrena Power CSI 2* and Speed Open, by besting a field of 56 entries. After going clean in the first round, the duo prevailed in the jump off, finishing out the round with a sizzling 31.45. Lawaetz’s flashy Oldenberg gelding Incitatus then forged onward with Minikus at the helm, seizing an impressive 3rd place amongst 45 entries in the $86,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI2*.
Minikus noted, “This was a nice win for Incitatus. His owner, Alice Lawaetz, and I are so pleased with his progress. He continues to show his great potential and I am excited to see how he develops. I think he is going to be a top-notch jumper.”
As usual Minikus’ feet barely hit the ground between rounds – jumping from one mount to another to notch additional wins and top placings on a bevy of mounts throughout the competition. VDL Excel continued to shine in the 1.40m Open Jumper division, seizing another first place win and several additional top placings. Minikus and Chablis S owned by Los Establos SportHorses, dominated 55 other horse and rider teams to win first place and bragging rights in the Adequan 1.30m Open Jumper class. Chablis S and Minikus then stayed the course, picking up another reserve ribbon in the same division to boot.
Minikus continued on with this winning ways with his own horses — Exceptional outperformed in the Green Hunter 3’ 3” classes again, winning a championship ribbon and taking three reserves. Minikus’ mare Spring Girl took a second place in the 1.10m Open Jumper class with Minikus at the reins.
“Most of these horses are young and gaining experience. This summer at Tryon is all about bringing them up the levels. It is so rewarding to see them come into their own and fulfill their potential,” explained Minikus.
Minikus is scheduled to compete at Tryon throughout July 17th. To keep up with FEI Nations Cup veteran and U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist Minikus and his crew, follow on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
Mill Spring, NC – June 29, 2017 – Santiago Lambre (MEX) and Ibabco rose to the top of a massive class to take top honors in the $35,000 1.45m Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The pair finished the jump-off track in 37.194 seconds ahead of Abigail McArdle (USA) and Chuck Berry 8, who finished just behind the winning duo with a time of 37.223 seconds. Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Cocq A Doodle rounded out the top three, stopping the timers in 37.753 seconds.
The class saw 82 entries contest the first round track set by Ken Krome (USA), with 29 pairs advancing to the jump-off round. Only 12 combinations secured a double clear effort on the afternoon. Lambre and Ibabco went 22nd in the original order and held their lead through the remainder of the jump-off round.
“I thought it was a difficult course. There were a lot of clears for the first day of the week, but that’s okay,” said Lambre. “From the second vertical to fence fourteen in the jump-off was where I felt like I made up the time. Also, to the last fence I left out a stride. We were at a full gallop and he was great.”
Ibabco, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nabab de Reve x Darco) owned by Lambre, has started to shine in international competition with Lambre over the past year. The duo connected last spring after Lambre purchased the gelding and the duo have finished with top placings since their partnership began.
I bought him at the end of last year and when I was in Wellington this season, I was jumping a few classes with him at the 1.45m and 1.50m height. The idea is that this is a horse for the future and to maybe jump the FEI World Equestrian Games™ here next year,” explained Lambre. “I also think maybe at the end of the second part of this year, I’d like to jump some of the CSI 5* shows with him to see where he is before heading into the winter season.”
The duo will forgo the $86,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday night, instead to contest the $35,000 1.45m Tryon Challenge CSI 2* class on Sunday. Lambre explained, “He’ll jump again on Sunday. The other horse that I rode in the class today, I didn’t want to go to the jump-off today, but he’ll try to go into the big class on Saturday.”
Speaking of the talents of Ibabco, Lambre touched on the athleticism and carefulness of the gelding, which are qualities he believes will make him a star in the coming months.
He added, “He’s a very brave horse and he has super technique with his front end. He’s very fast in front and quite athletic. He’s just careful and very nice all around.”
Todd Minikus and Incitatus Victorious in $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Power & Speed Opener CSI 2*
Todd Minikus (USA) and Incitatus, a 2009 Oldenburg Springpferd gelding (Stakkatol x Con Air) owned by Alice Lawaetz, captured the win in the $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Power & Speed Opener to kick off FEI competition at Tryon Summer V. The pair took the class with a jump-off time of 31.45 seconds, ahead of Abigail McArdle (USA) and Chuck Berry 8, who stopped the timers in 31.964 seconds. Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Cocq A Doodle collected third place with a jump-off time of 32.13 seconds.
“It seemed like a nice opening class for the FEI horses. It left some room to make horses confident and get them going on the course. This is one horse I haven’t shown much before. He was the first horse in the class and did very nicely. Most of these horses are either young or inexperienced, so it was a good way to start the week for them,” commented Minikus.
Incitatus is a young horse who Minikus is priming for a move up the levels and noted his excitement with the pair’s performance to start the week. He explained, “He’s eight and has just started to move up in the ranks here this summer. That’s my first win with him, so I’m excited that he’s starting to catch onto my system.”
As for the pair’s goals, Minikus is planning on taking it slow through the summer months to help Incitatus find confidence in the larger FEI classes before a jump to some of the more competitive classes later on in the year and looking toward the beginning of 2018.
“I think he’s going to have a big future. We’ll just see how much he can learn this summer and hopefully do the bigger classes this winter,” he concluded.
To learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.
Tori Welch (right) and Sniper pictured with Trainer Todd Minikus (far left) and his son Colt Minikus (middle) after winning two Low Jumper 1.2 classes and reserve in the $3000 Low Junior Jumper Classic at Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Tryon, NC (June 15, 2017) – Once again, Team Minikus has showed what it’s made of with wins and top finishes at the Tryon Summer II CSI4* at the Tyron International Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina. Minikus and two of his students, Victoria (Tori) Zelch and Catherine Wachtell, all pocketed blue ribbons along with top placings on several mounts.
Minikus’ promising eight-year-old bay mare, Juju VDM, showed her mettle once again, winning the Nutrena 1.4 Open Jumper class. Juju VDM is coming into her own after having two foals. Even though she has only shown half a dozen times, her natural talent in the ring indicates a bright future ahead of her. Her illustrious bloodlines include her dam Derly Chin De Muze, who was the Bronze Medalist at the 2009 FEI World Championship at Lanaken and also Eric Lamaze’s mount at the 2012 London Olympics.
Along with his win on Juju VDM, Minikus finished second in a field of 19 horses on VDL Excel in Wednesday’s Nutrena 1.40m Open Jumper class. The following day, Minikus and Los Establos SportHorses’ Chablis S picked up a reserve in the Adequan 1.3m Open Jumper class.
Minikus also made it to the jump off with Alice Lawaetz’s gelding Incitatus, and finished a respectable seventh out of a roster of 40 entries in the Suncast Commercial FEI $35,000 Welcome Stake. “This horse just continues to improve and show his unlimited potential,” said Todd Minikus about Incitatus.
Team Minikus’ youngest competitor, 16-year-old Tori Zelch from Ohio, tallied two first place finishes in the Low Jumper 1.2m on her handsome liver chestnut gelding, Sniper, who she purchased from Todd and Amanda Minikus. She and Sniper also claimed the reserve placing in the $3,000 Low Junior Jumper Classic. Additionally, Zelch won second and third place aboard Musical Wood’s talented mare, Mary Jane, in the Low Jumper Junior Division.
“Tori joined us during the winter season at WEF competing in the Children’s Division, and wanted to move up to the Juniors. Now, not only has she moved up to the Junior Division, but she is winning in the Juniors,” said Minikus proudly.
Not to be outdone, 21-year-old Adult Amateur Catherine Wachtell and her mount Elarina won The Equis Boutique Low Amateur Owner Jumper 1.2m, toping a class of 20 horses as well as scoring two third place finishes in the Low Amateur-Owner Jumper 1.2m and the Low Amateur Owner-Jumper Classic 1.2m.
“I am proud of these young up-and-coming horses and riders. It’s so rewarding to see their progress,” added Minikus, who celebrated his own birthday during the successful show.
In between traveling and competing, FEI Nations Cup veteran and U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist Todd Minikus is based in Wellington, Florida, where he offers sales and training services. Keep up with Team Minikus by following Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
Tryon, NC (June 7, 2017) – Todd Minikus kicked off the 2017 Tryon Summer 1 CSI3* competition with a flurry of blue ribbons for top finishes on a fleet of horses at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina.
The talented bay mare Juju VDM opened up strong with Minikus at the helm, coming out on top with a blue ribbon in the Nutrena 1.4 Open Jumper class. Minikus also scored wins in Asheville BMW Center’s 1.2m Open Jumper class, turning in a sizzling first place ride aboard Mary Jane, owned by Musical Woods LLC, and placing third in the same class on KWPN mare Chablis S, owned by Los Establos SportHorses.
Demonstrating why he’s currently ranked second on the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s (USHJA) list of lifetime earners, Minikus added even more to his earnings by picking up additional prize money on Alice Lawaetz’s geldings Sancento and Incitatus, Alex Verlooy’s Carvelo Z, VDL Excel owned by the CoverBoy Group, and Minikus’ own I Dottori VD Richter. Minikus’ horse Exceptional outdid his previous week’s stack of reserve ribbons by cleaning up in the green hunter division, scoring four first place ribbons and some additional cash.
When not on the road competing, FEI Nations Cup veteran and U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist Todd Minikus offers sales and training services in his hometown, Wellington, Florida. Stay tuned for more triumphs at Tryon and check out where Team Minikus is next by following on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
Lexington, KY (May 23, 2017) – It was a rewind of the previous week at the Kentucky Horse Park with Todd Minikus in the money and in the top ribbons again on multiple mounts at the 2017 Kentucky Spring Classic, May 17-22. Minikus again started early with an impressive first place win after an outstanding go on Alex Verlooy’s Carvelo Z in the 135m class.
Once again Minikus was on the move riding a bevy of horses. He piloted Elarina owned by the CoverBoy Group to top placings in both the 7-year-old jumping classes. Minikus wrapped up the weekend with a series of successes on clients’ horses as well as a few of his own, including the 8-year-old bay mare JuJu VDM and 9-year-old I Dottori VD Richter owned in partnership with Brems Sport Horses, the striking bay gelding, VDL Excel owned by the CoverBoy Group, and Alice Lawaetz’s chestnut gelding Incitatus — all finishing in the money for their primo performances in the jumper ring.
And Minikus’ own bay gelding Exceptional continued demonstrate his promise in the hunter ring by earning three second place ribbons in Green Hunter 3’3’ classes. “He is going to make someone an outstanding hunter mount,” Minikus said of Exceptional. “He really lives up to his name and he just a fun horse to show.”
Next Team Minikus heads south to Tryon International Equestrian Center, North Carolina, to get the jump on summer circuit.
When not competing nationally and internationally, Todd Minikus offers sales and training services in Wellington, Florida. Minikus, a FEI Nations Cup veteran, is also a U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist. Be a part of the action by following Team Minikus on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
Sancento, ridden by Todd Minikus, goes clear in his very first Grand Prix. (Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography)
Lexington, KY (May 16, 2017) — Todd Minikus’ feet barely hit the ground between stirrup irons at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in Lexington, May 10-14. Minikus competed on a dozen horses over the weekend making a lot of owners happy with top finishes on several horses. Alex Verlooy’s Carvelo Z took the blue in the 135m leading the Minikus jumper charge. Minikus also finished in the money with eight others including Alice Lawaetz’s handsome bay gelding, Incitatus and her fiery chestnut, Sancento, along with four horses owned by The Coverboy Group — Coverboy, VDL Excel, Eldorado VDL, and Elarina — and Chablis S owned by Los Establos Sport Horses.
As he did at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival this year, Minikus found a few spare minutes to campaign in the hunter rings, as well. Minikus’ own bay gelding Exceptional lived up to his name by earning first place in the Young Hunter 3” & 3’3 class.
Always quick to credit his team, Minikus shared, “I’ve got 12 horses up here and I’m just riding all day. I’ve got my staff with me and they are doing a great job. They are all hustling.”
Though Minikus is a seasoned competitor with well over 100 Grand Prix wins under his belt, his equine partners were a bit newer to the scene. “The highlight of the week was when Alice Lawaetz’s horse, Sancento, jumped clear in his very first Grand Prix. We were very excited about that,” said Minikus. “Hopefully this weather cooperates so we can just keep on moving these young horses up,” commented Minikus.
Minikus is now focusing on the upcoming Kentucky Spring Classic, which runs May 17-24 at the Kentucky Horse Park. Team Minikus will then get the jump on summer competition at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina.
When not competing nationally and internationally, Todd Minikus offers sales and training services in Wellington, Florida. Minikus, a FEI Nations Cup veteran, is also a U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist. Follow the excitement of Team Minikus on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.