Something in the Wellington air seems to agree heartily with Todd Minikus and his string, as the Nations Cup veteran has been dominating the Winter Equestrian Festival circuit since opening week. Todd has garnered wins in the Grand Prix classes, the Hunters, and the Challenge Cups aboard numerous spectacular horses, and he shows no sign of slowing down.
New Rides Offer Easy Simpatico
Both Zephyr and Valinski S are owned by Wyndmont Farms, who recently approached Todd about taking the ride on the two talented jumpers.
“[Valinski S] has always been a very good horse,” Todd said after their win in Week 1. “When Wyndmont first got him years ago, Michael Dorman rode him, and I always really liked him. I even asked about him a couple years ago and then it’s funny how things come around. They called a couple weeks ago and asked if I would ride him. Obviously he jumped great for Matt at the Olympics, so it’s not a fluke. He is a top horse.”
Zephyr, too, has proven to be an excellent match for Todd, despite the fact that the Landor S x Calvados cross is only a catch ride for Todd at the shows, and otherwise lives and works out of Wyndmont’s facility. Regardless of the less frequent overlap, a partnership has developed and Todd can’t help but gush about Zephyr’s talent and temperament.
Zephyr wins 2nd 1.45 class of WEF week 3Zephyr and Todd Minikus strike again in the $35,000 FEI 1.45m class today at WEF – Winter Equestrian Festival !!! This team is on fire this week! #kingsof145 #ridetowyn #wef #jumper #chestnutpower
Posted by Wyndmont Inc. on Friday, January 27, 2017
“He seems like he is getting more confident in my style of riding. He feels a little more flexible through his body, and he has had a great week,” Minikus stated after their second win during WEF 3. “A horse you push is always faster than a horse you pull, and you definitely push him along. I like that style of riding. I have only ridden him for a few weeks now, so I think he is starting to understand my style, or maybe I am starting to understand his style. Either way, it is going well.”
From Young Horses to Adult Ammies, Teaching is Life
In addition to the rides for Wyndmont, Todd is also showing a few younger horses the ways of Wellington with positive results. This past week Todd claimed a win aboard Lord Calador (owned by Melissa Bilodeau) in the seven-year-old developing jumper class, and the week before Todd added another seven-year-old victory on his own Spring Girl, a homebred mare out of his former beloved partner, Oh Star.
Todd, his wife Amanda, and the entire Minikus show jumping crew plan to stay at WEF for its duration. In addition to covering all their bases in the show ring, Todd will also be sharing his wealth of knowledge with students and spectators regularly. On Tuesday February 14, Wellington riders and spectators will be treated to a mini-clinic with Todd as part of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Ride & Learn Series (event details available here).
Wellington has always been good to Todd and his team, with many wins here over the years, and the atmosphere seems to bring out the best in him. “If you are able to win a class here in Wellington it is always a good win because there are so many competitive horses and riders,” said Todd, and it seems that first and foremost, another rider’s toughest competition is likely to be Todd himself.
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