Tryon, NC (October 24, 2017) – After winning the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic and the $3,000 Low Junior Jumper Class in week three at Tryon International Equestrian Center, Team Minikus returned to score even more victories in week four’s Equus Tryon Fall 4 CSI 3*. Minikus led off by winning the $6,000 Power & Speed 1.40m on crowd favorite Quality Girl.
“Quality Girl won the $6,000 1.40m Power and Speed class out of a field of 60 entries,” Minikus recollected. The Quality Group’s 14-year-old Oldenburg mare (Quidam’s Rubin x Dubrock) recently returned from a well-deserved break from the show ring. “Quality Girl went clean in the first round with a 53.98, and then won the jump-off . In the $130,000 Grand Prix 3*, Quality Girl had a great performance and we made it to the jump-off.”
Minikus collected a bevy of blue ribbons at Tryon on three other horses, including Exceptional, a six-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding who quickly found his stride in the winner’s circle under Minikus’s training this year. Minikus and Exceptional earned first place in three Green Hunter 3’3″ classes throughout the week. Some of Exceptional’s other recent victories with Minikus include the $5,000 USHJA Hunter Derby at the Lamplight Equestrian Center and the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Minikus’s next endeavor with the talented horse will be to find just the right new owner for him.
Even as Minikus jumped to multiple wins at the North Carolina show grounds, he found time to coach his students to victories of their own. Zelch pulled in two blue ribbons in the Low Junior Jumper 1.20m classes riding Sniper, a horse that Minikus discovered and trained for the 16-year-old up and coming rider.
Minikus’s ability to match riders with their perfect equine partners was also apparent in 22-year-old Wachtell and her eight-year-old mare, Indy Van De Roten. The pair won the High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper 1.40m in their first time jumping on grass together. “I actually don’t think I’ve ever gone that fast on a horse,” said Wachtell. “I ended up winning the class by three seconds. There were about 20 riders, and some really important riders and trainers, so it was cool to come out and win!” Additionally, Wachtell made it to the jump-off and placed a solid third in the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic.
Minikus found Indy Van De Roten in Europe in July, and paired her with Wachtell for an instantly successful team. “The trip over was a little hard on her,” said Wachtell. “Todd’s done a great job at riding her to be fit, getting her strong, and fine-tuning her. She was already a great horse, but even great horses can benefit from Todd!”
Throughout nearly a year in Minikus’s training program, Wachtell has never looked back. “It makes you feel like you made the right choice when you start winning right away. It’s a pretty cool feeling, and it doesn’t always happen,” she said. “It’s a big improvement in my life to be riding with Todd. His program really reflects in the way my horses perform. He focuses a lot on obedience, discipline, and the basics. When you tell the horse to move forward off your leg, the horse has to do it in that exact moment, not a second later. These classes are won by hundredths of seconds, so your horse’s reaction time needs to be immediate and your communication needs to be clear at all times so that they know exactly what you’re asking. All the flatwork, lateral work, and flexibility work we do just reinforces that. It’s about communication and discipline in both the horse and the rider.”
Minikus is proud of his students and horses, and plans for Team Minikus to continue collecting blue ribbons at Tryon in the coming weeks. “Catherine and Victoria have both had back-to-back championship wins three weeks in a row. It’s really rewarding as a trainer to see them as they progress. I am really proud of them,” he said.
For more information on Minikus’s show schedule, training program, and sales program, follow him Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.