Gladstone, NJ-September 7, 2001-U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) veteran Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL topped a stellar international field and won Thursday's $30,000 Cana Cup at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Canada.
Riding his What Nu, "Who shows up for work every day and rarely does not give 110 percent," Minikus topped a 15-horse tiebreaker going clean in 34.468 seconds. The runner-up was Peter Charles of Ireland with Traxdata Carnavelley, who finished in 35.878 seconds after veering sharply to the left between the first and second fences.
Other U.S. riders who placed in the class included Lauren Hough of Ocala, FL, ninth on Windy City, owned by Peppercorn Ltd., and Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, 12th on Judgement, owned by Iron Spring Farm. Hough and Madden, along with Margie Goldstein Engle of West Palm Beach, FL, who placed second on Hidden Creek Jones to World Champion Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil in the $25,000 Prudential Steel Cup, join Minikus on the USET squad competing at CSIO Spruce Meadows.
Minikus said he will save his top horse, Oh Star -- the alternate for the Sydney Olympics and winner of this summer's $100,000 Rolex USET Championship and $175,000 Cargill Grand Prix of the United States -- until Saturday's Nations' Cup. USET Chef d'Equipe George Morris drew the number one starting spot for the U.S. team, a tough position considering the caliber of the competition. Seven squads, including Olympic champion Germany, will compete on Saturday in the semi-final of the Samsung Nations Cup series. The USET already is qualified for the final in Madrid, Spain later this month by virtue of being the best overseas team in the series.
Another U.S. win was turned in by Rich Fellers of Wilsonville, OR, who won the $15,000 Akita Drilling jumper class on Irishmor, owned by Harry and Mollie Chapman.