Lexington, KY (May 20, 2016) — Todd Minikus wasted no time making the most of his quick trip back to the United States from Europe while competing to qualify for the United States Show Jumping Team. During the first day of competition at the Kentucky Spring Classic at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, Minikus won the $35,000 Welcome Speed class in the Rolex Stadium with Quality Girl. He also had top finishes with two of his other horses throughout the week. Yesterday, he and Quality Girl once again took top honors in the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*.
Minikus and Quality Girl, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare (Quidams Rubin x Dobrock) owned by the Quality Group, have a proven track record of success at the Kentucky Horse Park. Last year the pair won the $20,000 Blue Grass Classic at the show grounds, and went on to have several more impressive wins both nationally and internationally.
The $35,000 Welcome Speed course, designed by Olaf Petersen Jr., proved to be nothing the experienced pair couldn’t handle. Minikus said, “We had a fair course for a Welcome stakes, full of really fast horses, but I think where we won it was at the roll back to the vertical and the roll back to the oxer in the jump-off. Those two things made all the difference.”
In the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*, Minikus and Quality Girl blazed through the course in 38.24 seconds, pulling ahead of Aaron Vale and Quidam’s Good Luck’s time of 39 seconds. “Aaron looked quite fast as always, but Quality Girl’s an extremely fast horse,” said Minikus. “She’s been a winner her whole career and the one thing you know about her is that at any given moment she could be the winner. She generally tries hard every day. She’s a professional show horse and that’s what I love about her.
“Quality Girl really hasn’t shown since Week 11 at WEF, so she was a little fresh today but was definitely on the top of her game,” Minikus added after his victory. Quality Girl is leading Minikus’ American string of horses, while his European string of horses are traveling to Switzerland to compete in the St. Gallen CSI 5*, which Minikus will compete in as part of the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Observation Trials as soon as he returns to Europe from Kentucky.
Quality Girl wasn’t the only member of Team Minikus that was ready to win during the first week of showing in Kentucky. Spring Girl, a daughter of Minikus’ famous mount Oh Star, finished third in the YJC Six Year Old division in the Walnut Arena. The mare only recently started showing during this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival, but jumped an impressive double clear in Kentucky. “This is her first ‘away’ horse show and she handled it really well, so I am happy with her progress,” said Minikus.
Minikus also piloted William Upton’s WEC L’AMI NOIR to an impressive double clear and sixth place finish out of 100 other horses in the 1.35m class.
Despite logging long hours in an airplane and traveling from cold and rainy conditions in France to cold and rainy conditions in Kentucky, Minikus is looking forward to hopping back on a plane and preparing for the competitions ahead. After the second week of the Kentucky Spring Classic concludes, Minikus will jet off to Europe for the final leg of Olympic observation trials. The Pan American athlete will then meet up with Quality Girl and the rest of his American string at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina.
When not competing nationally and internationally, Todd Minikus offers sales and training services just minutes from Wellington, Florida’s Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) show grounds. You can follow all the action from Team Minikus on Facebook and Instagram, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
Photo: Todd Minikus and Quality Girl win two $35,000 classes during the first week of the Kentucky Spring Classic in Lexington, Kentucky (Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography, www.shawnmcmillen.com)