By Allie Hay for TIEC
Mill Spring, NC – July 1, 2021 – Todd Minikus (USA) piloted Amex Z to a first place finish in Thursday’s $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2*, stopping the jump-off timers at 34.283 seconds. Taking home second place with a jump-off time of 35.674 seconds was Kevin Mealiff (IRL) aboard Oakmont Stables LLC’s Tupac Van De Vrombautshoeve Z, the 2010 Zangersheide gelding (Thunder VD Zuuthoeve x Karioka Del Follee). Jacqueline Ruyle (USA) was awarded third place honors aboard her own San Chano, a 2009 Oldenburg gelding (Sandro Boy x Chacco Blue), with a time of 36.055.
Forty-one riders tackled the first round of Andy Christiansen’s (ECU) course design, 11 of which moved on to the shortened second round. Only five riders managed to ride double-clear rounds, but Todd Minikus and the 2009 Zangersheide mare (Andiamo Z x Landaris) owned by Bit by Bit Group took the win. Minikus’ plan going into the second round was “not to go too fast,” initially, but after watching a few horses go, he changed his mind. “The riders before me were faster than I thought they might be. So I thought, ‘Maybe I can do one or two less [strides] in that turn over to the black,’ and that’s probably where I nipped the competition,” he admitted.
Amex Z and Minikus have had successful rounds at TIEC throughout the Spring Series, recently placing fifth in the $137,000 Cleghorn Gun Club Grand Prix CSI 3* during Tryon Spring 6. Minikus noted his win on this mare has been one in the making, saying, “She’s been going great lately! She’s kind of more of an experienced horse now, so she’s relatively reliable at this point.”
In Wednesday’s $10,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI2*, Samuel Parot Jr. (CHI) sprinted around the course to take the win on Buga Z with a jump-off time of 23.715 seconds. Conor Swail (IRL) and Diazella, the 2008 Holsteiner mare (Diamant De Semilly x Candillo) owned by Anya Bereznicki, stopped the timers at 23.973 seconds and earned a second place ribbon. Rebecca Conway (USA) rode Con Coleur, a 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Couleur Rubin) owned by Blue Hill Farm LLC, to third place, finishing the jump-off course with a clear round and a time of 24.699 seconds.
The course, designed by Andy Christiansen (ECU) saw 30 competitors in the first round, with 16 riders completing a clear round to qualify for the jump-off. Parot Jr. and his own 2010 Zangersheide gelding (Chester Z x Quality Touch Z) bested the competition and won the jump-off by a 0.2 second margin. “My horse is naturally pretty quick,” Parot Jr. explained. “I was trying to go for it a little bit today, and it paid off!”
Parot Jr. and team will remain in Tryon for the next few weeks, competing and enjoying the venue. “We come to Tryon a couple times a year to show here, so we feel at home and are happy to be here,” he revealed. Parot Jr. will return to the Tryon Stadium with Buga Z for the Grand Prix on Saturday and hopes to have similar success. “So far, [we’ve had] a good start!”