Tag Archives: Todd Minikus

Live Oak International Underway with Show Jumping and Driving Competition

A driving competitor enjoys the scenic competition venue of Live Oak International. Photos by Mark Astrom.

Ocala, Florida – Competition is underway at the Live Oak International in Ocala, FL.  The only equestrian event in North America to feature both world-class driving and show jumping, the Live Oak International takes place at Live Oak Plantation from March 20 to 24.

For the first time, live coverage of Saturday and Sunday’s events from the Live Oak International will be available to view on the USEF Network, www.usefnetwork.com.

In show jumping, Todd Minikus got the weekend off to a strong start by winning both featured show jumping events on Friday, March 22.  In the $5,000 1.30m Waldron Wealth Management Power & Speed competition, Minikus was clear through the power phase to immediately advance to the speed phase.  Riding Edulcee d’Hulst, a mare he’s only had the ride on for a couple of weeks, he was again clear in a time of 22.53 seconds to easily overtake the lead from Colombia’s Daniel Bluman, who finished second with Cantando Lyngriis in a time of 24.97 seconds.

Of his mount, the nine-year-old Belgian-bred mare Edulcee d’Hulst, Minikus noted, “Friends of mine in Belgium sent her to me to be sold.  I’ve had her for a couple of weeks, and she won two classes in Wellington before coming here.  She’s pure winner, so that’s good news!”

Todd Minikus guided Edulcee d’Hulst to victory in the $5,000 1.30m Waldron Wealth Management Power & Speed competition
Todd Minikus guided Edulcee d’Hulst to victory in the $5,000 1.30m Waldron Wealth Management Power & Speed competition

While Edulcee d’Hulst was a winner, Quality Girl also lived up to her name by carrying Minikus to victory in the $10,000 E2 Show Jumpers Welcome Stake.  Two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios set a track in the John Deere Arena that saw nine of the 26 entries jump clear.  With time being the deciding factor, Minikus was once again untouchable, posting a time of 56.60 seconds that no one else could catch.  Fellow American Brianne Goutal came closest, stopping the clock in 60.10 for second place, while Daniel Bluman settled for third this time out, again riding Cantando Lyngriis.

With two wins to his credit, Minikus is enjoying his Live Oak International debut.

“I have not been here, this is my first time, and I didn’t realize what I was missing,” said Minikus of Wellington, FL.  “It’s fantastic.  It’s nice to get away.  We’re in one spot for six months, really, and that’s a long time, especially when you have a little gypsy in you.  The family here at Live Oak, and all of the people behind the scenes that I don’t even know about, are doing a great job.  It’s beautiful, and has excellent footing.”

In driving, the FEI divisions competed in the opening phase of dressage with U.S. drivers sweeping the top spots.  Tracey Morgan currently leads the field of seven entries in the FEI Single Pony division with a score of 49.28 penalty points while Wendy O’Brien is out in front in the FEI Pair Pony division with 39.94.  Allison Stroud with her FEI Pony Team is at the top of the leaderboard after posting 55.87.

Leslie Berndl topped six other competitors to take the lead in the FEI Single Horse division with 43.39 penalty points while Misdee Wrigley Miller is leading the FEI Pair Horse division with an impressive 41.41.  Two-time World Championship individual silver medalist Chester C. Weber came out on top in the FEI Horse Four-in-Hand Team with the best score of the day, a 37.22, to place ahead of Casey Zubek with 53.98% and Canada’s Darryl Billing with 71.84 penalty points.

“The team was fantastic, we set a new world record with test number 11,” said Weber in reference to the new driving dressage test released by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) at the beginning of 2013.  “It was great because we have a jury comprised of officials that have all judged at World Championship events.  It was a real international jury, and a real world record.  It’s always a pleasure to do it at home in front of our local fans and sponsors.”

Offering the highest amount of prize money of any driving event in North America, Live Oak International is also hosting the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) National Championship for Pairs.  Zenon Gal is currently eying the honor, having earned a dressage score of 47.58 over Peter Harding, who lies second with 62.47.  Bettina Scherer leads the Intermediate Single Pony division while Boots Wright is out in front in the Intermediate Pair Pony division.  Attracting a total of 12 entries, the Intermediate Single Horse division is led by Canadian Tina Sully with 52.66 penalty points.

In addition to being one of the world’s foremost four-in-hand driving competitors, Weber is one of the driving forces behind the Live Oak International, acting as Co-President alongside his mother, Charlotte C. Weber, and his sister, Juliet W. Reid.

“It’s fantastic,” said Weber of this year’s event.  “The horses all seem to be doing well, and it’s so much fun to see the jumper horses standing outside the ring with their heads down, eating grass.  It was a special view.  You don’t see that in many places.  I think this is paradise for horses, and my mom had a lot of vision many years ago in creating Live Oak.”

Saturday brings the thrills of marathon driving, beginning at 9 a.m.  Competitors will negotiate seven obstacles conceptualized by course designer Hartmut Kaufmann of Germany.  Following the driving marathon competition, the $50,000 CSI2* Live Oak International Grand Prix will begin at 2 p.m.

A total of 14 nations are represented in the show jumping competition.  Featured show jumping events include Saturday’s $50,000 CSI2* Live Oak International Grand Prix at 2 p.m., and Sunday’s $33,000 CSI2* Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round at 2:30 p.m.  As an added incentive for competitors, G&C Farm will offer a $10,000 Leading Rider bonus while Jerry Parks Insurance Group will reward the Leading Junior Rider and the Leading Amateur Rider.

While show jumping is being offered for the second year, Live Oak International has hosted international driving competition for more than 20 years.  Sanctioned as a CAI-B driving event by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and offering single, pair and four-in-hand divisions for horses and ponies, Live Oak International attracts the top driving competitors from across North America.

Held at Live Oak Plantation, the private 4,000-acre farm of the Weber family, the Live Oak International is produced by nine-time winner of the USEF Four In Hand Driving Championship Chester C. Weber of Ocala, FL, and his sister, Juliet W. Reid, who led the Washington International Horse Show as President of the Board for the past four years.  Offering unparalleled hospitality, competitors will enjoy the fun and excitement of Saturday night’s Denim & Lugano Diamonds Exhibitor’s Party.

In addition to the competition, spectators can enjoy the Classic Car Show, sponsored by Palm Chevrolet & Kia, as well as a vendor village and the Signature Brands Kids Zone featuring pony rides and a bounce house.  Admission is $10 per person, $5 for children under 12, with proceeds benefiting the Marion County Therapeutic Riding Association.

Live Oak International wishes to recognize its generous sponsors for their support, including 14 Hands Vineyards, ABBA, Adequan, American Invitational, Michael Ayers, BB&T Chazel Insurance, Beloved Farm, Ned Bliss, Brandywine Tent, Camping World, Cannon Carriages, Cape Code Finished Wood Siding, Charles Owen, Cheney Brothers, Jane Forbes Clark, The Clothes Horse, Coast to Coast Truck & Trailer, Connollys Nursery, Dever, Don Stewart Stables, Dutta Corp, E2 Show Jumpers, Equine Journal, Fidelity Investments, Dr. Rae and Nancy Fischer, Florida Express, Freund, G&C Farm, Gloria Austin, Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, Grand Oaks Resort & Carriage Museum, Great American Insurance Group, Hermitage International Training Center, Hillcroft Farm, Hilton, Hollow Creek Farm, Wayne Humphreys, Insight Credit Union, Iron Spring Farm, Jerry Parks Insurance Group, Joan Pletcher Realtor, John Deere, Johnson Horse Transportation, Pixie Keating, Kentucky Classic, Kentucky Equine Research, Mary Mott-Kocsis, John Levy, Louisburg Farm, Lugano Diamonds, Marion County Visitor and Convention Bureau, Mark’s Steak House, Mid State Electric, Morgan Stanley, Ocala Star-Banner, Palm Chevrolet & Kia, Party Time Rentals, Pine Flakes, PlaneSense, Peterson & Smith, RBC, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, The Sanctuary, Seminole Wellness, Shepherd Kaplan LLC, Signature Brands ,Sleepy P Farm, SmartPak, Christine Smith-Byerly, Stella Artois, Stonecliff Farm, Tequestrian, Trout Walk Farm, Waldron Wealth Management, Harley Waller, Waterside Environmental Care, Woodside Stables, WR Ranch and Dave and Boots Wright.

For more information on the Live Oak International, including VIP Hospitality seating and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.liveoakinternational.com.

Contact:  Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439
www.startinggate.ca

Todd Minikus and Quality Girl Master $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic at FTI WEF 6

Todd Minikus and Quality Girl. Photo © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – February 13, 2013 – The sixth week of competition at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) began on Wednesday, February 13, with a full schedule of world-class jumper competition in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). In the highlight class of the day, an impressive roster of top riders vied for Longines FEI world ranking points in the $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumper Classic with a win for Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL, and Quality Girl.

Week six, sponsored by Spy Coast Farm, will run February 13-17. The week will feature three more world ranking classes, including the $50,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Round 6 on Thursday, February 14, the highlight $125,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier CSI 3*-W Grand Prix, presented by Spy Coast Farm, on Saturday, February 16, and the $33,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday, February 17.

Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge set the speed track for 48 entries in Wednesday’s 1.45m class. Ten entries completed successful rounds without fault in the race against the clock, and Minikus and Quality Girl came out on top with their time of 54.51 seconds.

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Todd Minikus Conducts Successful Show Jumping Clinics during Equine Affaire

Photo courtesy of Vita Flex Nutrition

Springfield, MA (December 5, 2012) – International show jumping veteran Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, Florida conducted four highly successful clinics over two days at the 46th Equine Affaire in Springfield, Massachusetts which ran November 8 to 12, 2012. Following his time in the ring on Friday and Saturday, Minikus headed up to the Vita Flex Booth for a “Meet & Greet” where he signed autographs for fans and chatted with attendees.

Minikus, who has won over 75 Grand Prix show jumping events to date, was part of the “Ride with the Best Program,” which offers clinics for various levels and disciplines throughout the popular equestrian event.  Known not only for his own riding talent but for his skill as an educator, Minikus employed a variety of proven theories, supplemental training techniques and show jumping exercises that benefited both the riders and the thousands of equestrian enthusiasts auditing from the stands.

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Katie Dinan Victorious in $50,000 Holiday & Horses FEI World Cup Qualifier

Katie Dinan and Nougat du Vallet © ManciniPhotos

Wellington, FL – December 1, 2012 – Nineteen-year-old Katie Dinan (USA) and Grant Road Partners’ Nougat Du Vallet earned an exciting victory in Saturday night’s $50,000 Holiday and Horses FEI World Cup Grand Prix at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. American riders took top four honors in the eleven horse jump-off. Dinan beat Todd Minikus and Macoemba and Margie Engle and Royce, who finished second and third respectively.

More than 4,000 spectators were at PBIEC tonight to partake in an evening full of activities, including watching the FEI World Cup Qualifier and the drawings of charities for the 2013 FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge, as well as the Wellington Chamber of Commerce WinterFest sponsored by International Polo Club Palm Beach, The Wellness Experience, Equestrian Sport Productions/PBIEC and LED Source.

Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY, set the course for the 41 entries in Saturday night’s class with eleven returning for the jump-off and four of those entries completing double clear rounds.

Continue reading Katie Dinan Victorious in $50,000 Holiday & Horses FEI World Cup Qualifier

Todd Minikus and Macoemba Win $25,000 ESP Fall III Grand Prix

Todd Minikus and Macoemba. Photos © ManciniPhotos

Wellington, FL – October 31, 2012 – Equestrian Sport Productions, the management company of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), hosted its ESP Fall III Horse Show this weekend on October 26-28, 2012. Competing in the International Arena at the beautiful Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, Todd Minikus and Macoemba were the winners of the $25,000 ESP Fall III Grand Prix on Sunday, October 28.

The ESP Fall III Horse Show hosted “A” rated hunter and 3-star jumper competition all weekend. Competition featured the $25,000 grand prix as well as a $10,000 Open Jumper Stake class on Friday, October 26.

In Sunday’s Grand Prix, 24 horse and rider combinations jumped the course with only two clear rounds. Todd Minikus and Macoemba went sixth in the original order and were the first pair to clear the course. Hayden Morresey and Filip Amram’s L. B. Stanislaus were last to go and completed the only other clear round to make it a jump-off.

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Vita Flex Victory Team Member Todd Minikus to Teach Show Jumping Clinics during Equine Affaire

Todd Minikus will teach four clinics during the Massachusetts Equine Affaire. (Photo courtesy of Todd Minikus)

W. Springfield, MA (October 18, 2012) – Vita Flex Nutrition is proud to announce that Victory Team member Todd Minikus, a Grand Prix show jumper based in Loxahatchee, Florida, will teach four clinics during the 2012 Equine Affaire in Massachusetts.  Minikus’s clinics will take place on Friday and Saturday, November 9-10, and will address important exercises and theories in show jumping, from starting a young horse at the 3 foot level to strategies for riding in a jump off.

“We are very pleased to have Todd representing Vita Flex and the Victory Team at Equine Affaire,” said Alyssa Barngrover, Product Manager at Vita Flex Nutrition.  “His long career as a successful Grand Prix show jumper makes him an ideal clinician and auditors are sure to learn something from him.  They can also meet Todd at the Vita Flex booth at Equine Affaire, and we encourage everyone to visit us.”

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Magnificent New Venue for American Gold Cup Is a Hit on Opening Day

McLain Ward and Esplanade sail away with the win in the Hallmark Feeds 1.40m. Photos: Parker/Russell-The Book LLC

North Salem, NY − September 12, 2012 – The first day of The American Gold Cup FEI CSI 4* dawned clear and cool with a cloudless sky in North Salem, NY. The magnificent Old Salem Farm is the new home of the 2012 show after an off-and-on hiatus and it’s back and better than ever. The American Gold Cup is one of the world’s most prestigious show jumping events, now celebrating its forty-second year.

The highlight of Wednesday’s action was the $7,500 Hallway Feed & KER Sport Horse Nutrition Open Jumpers held in the meticulously groomed grass Grand Prix field.

McLain Ward came away with the win aboard Esplanade 7.

“Esplanade is a nice seasoned horse, has a lot of experience on grass fields like this,” he said. “I went pretty early in the order but I knew what my plan was and I was lucky enough she performed great and then held up for the whole afternoon.” Ward said he has been riding the 14-year-old chestnut mare for the owners, Louisburg Farm, off and on for about two years. “I don’t show her too often because she’s a Iittle bit in her sunset years but when she comes out, she’s normally in the prizes.”

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Todd Minikus and Sweetheart Blaze to Victory in Sasco Creek Farm $50,000 Welcome Stake at the Alltech National Horse Show

Todd Minikus and Sweetheart won the Sasco Creek Farm International Open Jumper $50,000 Welcome Stake at the Alltech National Horse Show. Photo By: Shawn McMillen.

Lexington, KY – November 2, 2011 – It was a thrilling night of competition in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park as the Alltech National Horse Show, 128th Edition, made its debut at its new home. The top horses and riders from around the world showed up tonight to compete during the Sasco Creek Farm International Open Jumpers $50,000 Welcome Stake, benefiting the Alltech Sustainable Haiti Project. Riders raced over the technical track set by Richard Jeffery, and with a blazing pace of 57.93 seconds the winning honors went to Todd Minikus riding Sweetheart, owned by Candy Tribble and the Windsor Show Stables of East Windsor, CT. McLain Ward and Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve, owned by Louisburg Farm of Boston, MA, followed in second with a clear time of 58.02, while Laura Kraut and Teirra, owned by Stars and Stripes of Middleburg, VA picked up the third place honors with a time of 60.56 seconds.

Jeffery built an excellent course for tonight’s event, big but inviting. It included multiple inside options, as well as striding options and a technical oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination. Fourteen horse and rider combinations managed to complete clear efforts.

Continue reading Todd Minikus and Sweetheart Blaze to Victory in Sasco Creek Farm $50,000 Welcome Stake at the Alltech National Horse Show

Sweetheart Lives Up to His Name for Minikus

Todd Minikus and Sweetheart galloped to victory in the Sasco Creek Farm International Welcome Stakes on the opening night of the Alltech National Horse Show 2011. Photo: Shawn McMillan Photography.

Kentucky, USA, 2 November 2011 — Floridian Todd Minikus stormed to victory in the Sasco Creek Farm International Welcome Stakes on the opening night of the Alltech National Horse Show at the Horse Park in Kentucky, USA tonight riding the aptly-named Sweetheart.

With a sparkling field of 43 starters from six nations all vying for a cut of the $50,000 prize-fund this was never going to be an easy one to win.  And, sixth to go, fellow-American and newly-crowned Pan-American team champion McLain Ward made sure of that when setting a super-fast early target with Pjotter van de Zonnehoeve.

Ward’s dare-devil ride saw him race through the finish in 58.02 seconds to put it up to the rest of them.  And, in the final analysis, only Minikus found a faster route home when leaving all the fences up with a great ride on his handsome 12 year old gelding.

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Tredennick Gallops to Win in $31,000 International Open Jumper Victory at 53rd WIHS

Vigaro and Sarah Tredennick. Photos © Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Washington, D.C. – October 27, 2011 – The 53rd Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued today with classes for jumpers. The International Open Jumpers had two classes, and Sarah Tredennick of Denver, CO, rode Vigaro to the win in the $31,000 International Open Jumper Jump-off class. Todd Minikus and Sweetheart wowed the crowd in their Uncle Sam costume and cleared the Georgetown Cupcake Joker fence to win the $20,000 International Open Jumper Gambler’s Choice Costume class. Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers competed today as well. KC van Aarem and Mastermind won the Low division class, while Meagan Nusz and Banana d’Ive captured the High division win.

Tonight was the always popular “Barn Night,” presented by Dover Saddlery, where local barns, teams, and groups celebrate equestrian sport with their barnmates, friends, and families. Breyer Animal Creations had a Stablesmates Painting booth. Contests such as Best Banner, Best Video, Best Barn Spirit, and Largest Group Contest were held for special prizes like a Kawasaki All-Terrain Vehicle courtesy of Gaithersburg Equipment Company, and gift certificates from Dover Saddlery. Additional thanks go to sponsor, Peterson Family Foundation, and media partners The Equiery and Virginia Horse Journal.

Continue reading Tredennick Gallops to Win in $31,000 International Open Jumper Victory at 53rd WIHS