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.