Hickstead, Great Britain— Two Swan Farm’s Babalou 41 has sailed over fences with Todd Minikus to prestigious victories in Wellington, Florida; at Spruce Meadows in Alberta, Canada; then on to serve as the Traveling Reserve for the U.S. Pan American Games Jumping Team in Toronto, Canada— all within the past several months. This week, the duo crossed the Atlantic to prove their show jumping talent in Europe. Minikus and Babalou 41 provided the United States jumping team with it’s only consistently clear performance to earn Team Bronze today in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ at the Longines Royal International Horse Show in Hickstead, Great Britain.
After cheering the United States on from the sidelines at the 2015 Pan American Games, Minikus and the 10-year-old Oldenburg mare Babalou 41(Balou du Rouet x Silvio I) were eager to jump into competition themselves at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ of Great Britain. Joining the pair to represent the U.S. were Beezie Madden on Cortes ‘C’, Laura Kraut on Nouvelle, and Charlie Jayne on Chill R Z.
Minikus and Madden were the only two U.S. riders to clear the course in round one, putting their team in third place behind Belgium and Switzerland, who tied for first. Of the eight competing teams, three— the United States, Belgium, and Switzerland— finished both rounds with a total of four faults and nominated one rider for the jump-off. Pieter Devos on Dylano helped Belgium to the Gold, while Paul Estermann on Castlefield Eclipse assisted Switzerland to Silver. The United States took Bronze, with Madden selected to ride in the jump-off. Minikus was the only U.S. rider to complete the competition fault-free.
The Wellington, Florida based jumper was proud of his European victory with Babalou 41, who he has competed for the past four years. The pair’s flawless rides came as no surprise— earlier this year, the duo helped the United States to Team Gold in the FEI Nations Cup presented by Kingsland Equestrian at the Winter Equestrian Festival’s CSIO4* in Wellington, Florida. The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ of Great Britain, presented by Longines, was the sixteenth qualifier of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™Jumping 2015 season, and the seventh leg of the Europe Division 1 League. A total of ten countries will compete in the Europe Division I throughout the season, and seven teams will qualify for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2015 Final in Barcelona, Spain in September.
Minikus’s European tour is hardly over. He is already preparing to take on the Dublin Horse Show CSIO5*/CSIYH1* in Dublin, Ireland on August 5-9. Team Minikus— including his sponsors Vita Flex, TheraPlate Revolution, Neue Schule, Premier Equestrian, Charles Owen, Draper Therapies, Parlanti, Purina Mills, Veredus, CWD, and Animo— is poised for continued success.
To watch Minikus and his impressive equine partners as they take on the jumping world, visit www.ToddMinikus.com or follow Todd Minikus on Facebook.