With only one week of the Winter Equestrian Festival behind him, acclaimed show jumper Todd Minikus has already had his share of victories this season – including no less than six wins on five different horses. Most notably during week one of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Minikus captured the first place title in the $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup, sponsored by Ruby et Viollette. The Winter Equestrian Festival takes place at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, from January 11 through April 2 of this year.
On day two of this year’s winter competition season, Minikus piloted Valinski S, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, to first place in the $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup. Of the 52 entries in round one of the WEF Challenge Cup, only 10 advanced to the jump-off. Minikus and Valinski S completed the course in 37.99 seconds for the win. Valinski S competed this past summer in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, and is owned by Ronnie Beard and Wyndmont, Inc.
In reaction to his WEF Challenge Cup win, Minikus stated, “Valinski also won the Grand Prix last week, so that’s two classes in a row for him, which is outstanding. Wyndmont has a great team getting those horses ready for me. I just ride them here in the ring. They are doing a good job and making it easy for me, so I can’t take all the credit. I think he is going to certainly be very competitive this winter. He wants to be a true winner and he has all of the necessary things – scope, carefulness, quickness – and I think we are going to have a lot of fun.”
In addition to the Challenge Cup victory, Minikus also skillfully navigated Wyndmont’s up and coming prospect Cas, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood, to win the $6,000 1.40m class at the Winter Equestrian Festival on January 12.
As if that weren’t enough success for one week, Minikus went on to capture several more first place titles in the first week of WEF, including the $200 Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper class with Amai Du Bourgeonet (owned by Wyndmont Inc.), the $2,500 1.35m class with Maharaja del Juncal (owned by Two Swans Farm), as well as the $200 Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper 1.30m class and $350 Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper class riding Spring Girl (owned by Todd Minikus).
The Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is the largest and longest-running hunter/jumper show circuit in the world. With so many blue ribbons already under his belt so early in the competition season, Minikus and his team of elite horses are sure to leave a lasting impression.