Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL, welcomed another successful week of competition during the second installment of the ESP Spring Series at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, after taking a first place finish in the $35,000 ProElite® Grand Prix last week. Minikus once again piloted the Quality Group owned Quality Girl to the blue ribbon in the $25,000 ESP Spring II Grand Prix, after a speedy run around the fast track, designed by Anna Catalina Cruz of Mexico in 35.281 seconds, before taking the $35,000 ESP Spring II Grand Prix aboard Amex Z.
Minikus brought his A-game once again, capturing his third Grand Prix win of the ESP Spring Series. The duo bested the class of 36 horse-and-rider combinations, finishing out ahead with a final jump-off time of 32.929 seconds.
“It’s taken me a little while to get her [Amex Z] going my way,” commented Minikus, “and now we’ve really got it. I decided to take the winter in slow motion with her because to come out and do those 1.40m classes during WEF with hundreds in it, it just didn’t make sense. We spent the winter training up and it’s really paying off. She’s a great mare and I expect some big things from her. We’re looking at potentially the WEG with her. I’m maybe a few weeks behind, but now we’ll come out and start jumping the bigger classes. She’s already gotten a few nice ribbons here and hopefully we’ll be seeing more Grand Prix wins together.”
Of the ESP Spring Series, Minikus concluded, “These shows are great. I love them. It’s fantastic to be able to come out and get some of the younger and up and coming horses mileage in the big ring, with the same course designers that we had during the main circuit. Quality Girl had most of the winter off and Amex Z too, so, to be able to come out and jump in the big ring again over nice courses is great.”
Margie Engle trailed just behind after crossing through the timers in 36.23 seconds on her seasoned mount Indigo, owned by Gladewinds Farm Inc., Griese, Garber, and Hidden Creek. Third place went to Celso Ariani of Wellinton, FL, and Ukulman de la Nutria, owned by Ricardo Romero, after stopping the jump-off clock in 37.619 seconds.
It was a “girls’ day” no doubt in the $25,000 ESP Spring II Grand Prix on Friday, April 13. After Minikus secured first aboard Quality Girl, Michelle Guardino’s Fancy Girl was ridden to the second place position, with Willie Tynan of Wellington, FL, after finishing the jump-track in 38.86 seconds. Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, rode Bockmanns Lazio, owned by Gladewinds Farm Inc., to third place in a swift 36.239 seconds, but ended the second round with four jump faults.