Todd Minikus and Zephyr. Photo © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – January 25, 2017 – On the opening day of the third week of competition at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Todd Minikus (USA) rode Wyndmont’s Zephyr to victory in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m speed class at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
Belgium’s Luc Musette is the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for week three’s competition. Musette began his week with 46 entries in the 1.45m speed class and 11 clear rounds.
Richie Moloney (IRL) took an early lead, fifth to go with Equinimity LLC’s Alsvid in 65.16 seconds, but eventually finished second. Samuel Parot (CHI) also jumped early, clocking a time of 65.34 seconds riding JK Horsetrucks Chantilly, and settled for third place in the end. Luis Larrazabal (VEN) and San Francisco Stables’ G&C Close Up jumped a clear round in 65.70 seconds to place fourth. Last to go, Minikus bested them all riding Zephyr, crossing the timers in 63.95 seconds.
“He has been going quite well,” Minikus said of the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Landor S x Calvados). “This is the third or fourth show that I have ridden him in, and he has been very competitive. A couple of times Valinski beat him, but he was right in there.”
Though he did not get a chance to walk the course Wednesday morning, Minikus had Wyndmont’s Ronnie Beard watching for advice.
“Ronnie told me that there were only eight clear and we did not have to pull out all of the stops, so I think he was trying to tell me not to go too crazy!” Minikus laughed. “Once I found a nice pace to number one, I just stayed on that rhythm, and he was great. We changed bridles today, and I liked the way I could slow down after pushing him. It was a nice round, and as always, if you are able to win a class here in Wellington it is always a good win because there are so many competitive horses and riders.”
Also competing in the International Arena on Wednesday, the $6,000 Illustrated Properties FEI 1.40m speed class saw a win for Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) aboard Francesca Damasceno’s Chaco 34. The day concluded with the national $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m speed class and victory for Ronan McGuigan (IRL) riding Capall Zidane.
The 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Thursday featuring the $35,000 Ruby Et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 3. For full results and more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.