Pan Am Games veteran Todd Minikus and his crew of students have kept a hot streak rolling from spring and into summer, and a group of talented four-legged prospects are keeping the prize money rolling in. After a brilliant winter in Wellington and matching up some talented horses to their perfect long-term partners, Todd headed to Kentucky Horse Shows to get the next string up and rolling – with great success.
New String of Jumpers Getting it Done
Riding more than a dozen horses in the first week alone, Todd and his team raked in the ribbons at KHP: Carvelo Z, a 10-year-old chestnut gelding owned by Alex Verlooy, captured the win a 1.35m against a massive field; Alice Lawaetz’s two stunners Incitatus and Sancento both finished in the ribbons in their divisions, with Sancento going clear in his first Grand Prix ever; And The Coverboy Group’s four horses in Todd’s charge also hauled in checks.
“The highlight of the week was when Alice’s horse Sancento jumped clear in his very first Grand Prix,” said Todd. “We were very excited about that.”
At the start of June, Todd and his team of workers and students trekked east to Tryon International Equestrian Center to help kick off the start of their summer season, and the horses responded with absolute enthusiasm.
One of the great surprises at Tryon has been a series of wins in the 1.4m Open Jumpers aboard Juju VDM, who is just getting into the show ring after life as a broodmare. The Belgian Sporthorse is only eight years old and produced two lovely foals before turning her attention to the show ring. She competed briefly last fall in Europe, but has really hit her stride in the states under Todd’s experienced hand.
Todd also finished second on VDL Excel in the 1.40m class last week, as well as picking up another red ribbon on Los Establos Sporthorses’ Chablis S in the 1.30m Open Jumpers.
Perfectly at Home in Hunter Land
Even with all the action in Todd’s native land competing against the clock, he’s always willing to make time to dabble in the hunters and look good doing it. Todd’s own gelding Exceptional proved to be just that in Kentucky, scoring wins in the Young Hunter 3′ and 3’3″ classes.
Exceptional got even better with the move to Tryon, and the six-year-old Warmblood gelding won four classes and the championship in the Green Hunter Division.
Students Rise to the Occasion
Just as important to Todd as his young string and personal future success is the growth and development of his talented students, who range from young rising stars to adult amateurs with big dreams.
Sixteen-year-old Tori Zelch is Team Minikus’s youngest representative, and Tryon has been good to her. She picked up two blue ribbons in the Low Jumper 1.2m division aboard Sniper, a horse Todd and his wife Amanda personally developed. They also took the reserve championship in the $3,000 Low Junior Jumper Classic in Tryon last week.
“Tori joined us during the winter season at WEF competing in the Children’s Division, and wanted to move up to the Juniors,” said Todd. “Now, not only has she moved up to the Junior Division, but she is winning in the Juniors.”
In Adult Ammy land, student Catherine Wachtell scored a win and three yellow ribbons in the 1.2m Low A/O Jumpers the second week of June in Tryon aboard her seven-year-old warmblood, Elarina.
“I am proud of these young up-and-coming horses and riders. It’s so rewarding to see their progress,” said Todd.
Todd and his team are going to be at Tryon through the end of July, so if you hit up the future World Equestrian Games venue, be sure to catch a round or two by this talented team!
You can learn more about Todd and his string at www.toddminikusshowjumping.com, or follow them on Facebook.
Go Team Minikus and Go Jumping!
Todd Minikus is proudly sponsored by Draper Therapies. Team Minikus uses Draper pads, wraps, and blankets on their horses regularly to help them recover from the rigors of practice and the show ring, and to live their longest, healthiest, best lives. Learn more about Draper’s full line of therapeutic products through the link below.