Tryon Fall 1 Recap: Todd Minikus and JuJu VDM Secure $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix to Kick Off the Tryon Fall Series

Todd Minikus and JuJu VDM ©Sportfot

For Immediate Release

Mill Spring, NC – September 21, 2020 – Todd Minikus (Lake Worth, FL) jumped into the Tryon Fall Series at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with a win in the $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix aboard JuJu VDM, the 2009 Belgian Warmblood mare (Toulon x For Pleasure) owned by Todd Minikus LTD, stopping the jump-off timers at 43.735 seconds. Miriam McClure Adam (New Hope, PA) cruised to second-place honors with a time of 46.1 seconds riding GQ, his own 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contago x Cinderella), securing the duo’s second top-three placing of the week. Samantha Rice (Wellington, FL) rounded out the top three with Ringwood Zebo, the 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Califax x Ringwood Audacity) owned by NRG Farm LLC, clearing the short course in 45.692 seconds with four faults.

Course Designer Nick Granat (Wellington, FL) saw thirty entries test the first round, with five pairs returning for the jump-off. Minikus and his own JuJu VDM were second to go in the jump-off, and “I didn’t really try to win, but I didn’t try to lose,” Minikus said. “I got to watch Ramiro go, and he just put in a nice round anticipating that everyone else would maybe make mistakes. It kinda happened that way.

Miriam McClure Adam and GQ ©Sportfot

“I underestimated the course with the first horse I rode,” Minikus admitted. “It was a little more difficult and the time allowed was a little tighter than I and a few people anticipated. There were only five clear out of 30 riders, which was a good number. There were a lot of four-fault rounds and some were clear with time faults.”

During the Tryon Summer Series, Minikus and JuJu VDM had an unfortunate fall that paused the mare’s competition season. After taking some time off, Minikus shared that he is excited to begin competing with her again: “This particular mare hadn’t shown in a while. She had a fall here about a month or two ago, and this is her first show back. She’s very comfortable and obedient, and all of that equaled a nice win for her. She’s back in action and we can’t wait for the bigger shows to start!”

Samantha Rice and Ringwood Zebo ©Sportfot

Following the Tryon Summer Series, Minikus took time off and then competed at a few shows in New York. He is excited to return to TIEC, “which feels like home,” he said, and will continue competing through the end of the Tryon Fall Series.

John Angus and W. Tonix Hero Ace $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake

September 18, 2020 – Eighteen-year-old John Angus (Fort Lauderdale, FL) guided W. Tonix Hero to a win in the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake in Tryon Stadium, stopping the jump-off timers in 34.676 seconds. Following in second was Ricardo Villa (Campobello, SC) and Joyce van den Bisschop, his own 2011 Belgian Warmblood mare of unknown breeding, with a short-course time of 35.513 seconds. Miriam McClure Adam (New Hope, PA) secured third aboard GQ, his own 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contago x Cinderella), after speeding through the second round in 36.285 seconds.

John Angus and W. Tonix Hero ©Sportfot

Angus has been partnered with W. Tonix Hero, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ogano Sitte x Major De La Cour) owned by Stephanie E. Angus, for over two years, and described the Nick Granat (Wellington, FL) course design as “very nice. I think for the money, everyone that was in it, and the standards, it was very nice.” One of 25 to challenge the first round, and against nine combinations in the jump-off, Angus explained that he adjusted his plan for the short course after watching Ramiro Quintana: “I was planning to do eight strides, but when I saw him do seven, I thought I could do that. Tonix loves a nice gap, so coming around to the Horseware in-and-out, I saw a nice gap and thought, ‘Alright, let’s go!’ We were even tighter back to the plank. He loves those gaps.”

Ricardo Villa and Fancy Girl ©Sportfot

“He’s such a sweet guy,” Angus shared. “We’ve had him for maybe two and a half years now. When we got him, he was sixteen. He doesn’t look that old! Before him, I rode my mom’s horse, ‘Brad.’ We didn’t click very well, but he got me to where I needed to go. A friend of ours contacted us about riding one of her horses that she couldn’t ride. He [Tonix] was kind of a runaway and too strong for her. She told me I could try him out.”

Angus and his mom, Stephanie, are well-known at TIEC and will continue to compete at the venue through the Tryon Fall Series, he concluded. “We are staying here for the whole Fall Series. I love that they moved a lot of the Finals here. It’s great!”

Miriam McClure Adam and GQ ©Sportfot

Hunter Highlights:
The EquiSafe Global Green Hunter 3’ Division saw Charlotte Yarbrough (Raleigh, NC) top the division with her own Baltic Mackmyra, while Tommi Clark (Tryon, NC) aboard Stephen Border’s Expertise claimed reserve.

Merideth Bryans (Newborn, GA) cruised to the champion position in the Performance Hunter 3’3,/3’6/HP4’ Division with Vicki Bryan’s Jaguar, with Tommi Clark (Tryon, NC) taking home reserve with Stephen Border’s Executive Privilege.

The Children’s Pony Hunter Division was championed by Kaitlyn Berly (Mebane, NC) aboard her own Anthem, while Cody Taylor (Huntersville, NC) collected reserve with the Challenger Farm-owned Penelope Cruisin’.

Jumper Highlights:
The Ken Feagin Truck & Trailer Low Adult-Amateur 1.0m Jumper Division saw Farren Paton (Oak Ridge, NC) ride his own World Cup to champion honors, with Molly Nowicki (Inman, SC) in reserve aboard Divace owned by Lexander Farm, LLC.

In the MD BarnMaster Medium Junior/Adult-Amateur 1.30 Jumper Division, Chasen Boggio (Canton, GA) secured the champion title aboard Victoria Press’ Quesada D’Elle, as well as reserve honors with his own La Caprichosa Heroina.

Ricardo Villa (Campobello, SC) and Gigi Gorgeous for Libby Bertelson championed the Tenda 1.0m Jumper Division, with Autumn Schweiss (Ocala, FL) riding Julie Schweiss’ Global AKD Corline to reserve.

To view all division results from Tryon Fall 1, click here. 

For full results from the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake, click here. 

For full results from the $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix, click here. 

The Tryon Fall Series continues with six more weeks of Hunter/Jumper competition. Competition information can be found at All remaining competitions for 2020 will run without spectators, though highlight classes are live streamed at With questions, contact

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