Above: Todd Minikus riding Victorio 5, owned by Plain Bay Sales, the pair won the $6000 1.4m class and took reserve in the $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup during week one of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. (Photo courtesy of Todd Minikus)
Wellington, FL (January 16, 2018) – Top show jumper Todd Minikus, of Wellington, Florida, kicked off week one of the Winter Equestrian Festival with a bang by winning the $6,000 1.4-meter class on a new ride: Victorio 5, a big bay 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion by Uccello x Graf Top and owned by Adam Prudent’s Plain Bay Sales.
The win was remarkable for more than one reason — the pair bested the large class of 100 entries, and this was only Minikus’ second time in the saddle on Victorio 5. Not many riders can pull that off.
“I rode him once at the farm and then showed him in the 1.4,” said veteran show jumper MInikus. “We won that class, and then I showed him in the $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup and had the lead there until we got nipped at the end and got reserve. So yeah, it’s a lot of fun and sure a pleasure to ride for professionals.”
But Minikus was just getting started — on Saturday afternoon Minikus lit up the ring again on Carlo — a handsome 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Erin Haas of North Face Farm. Fresh off of winning the $25,000 ProElite Grand Prix at Equestrian Sport Productions Holiday II series in Wellington, Minikus and Carlo once again took home first place honors by winning the $25,000 Hollow Creek 1.5m Championship class.
Not only is Minikus a successful rider himself, but he is also a top-notch trainer. His 16-year-old student Victoria “Tori” Zelch took first place out of 67 entries riding her horse Sniper to victory in the Low Junior Jumper. She then went on to take fourth place in the $10,000 Low Junior Jumper Classic out of 64 entries riding Mary Jane. Student Catherine Wachtel rounded out the week by taking home a third place out of 31 entries in the Medium Amateur Owner Jumper class on her horse Indy Van De Roten.
Minikus and his stable of students and top mounts are scheduled to compete at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival now through April 1. To keep up with Team Minikus, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.