Todd Minikus and Quality Girl Win $34,000 Welcome Stake at the 2014 Washington International Horse Show
Friday, October 24, 2014
Washington, D.C. – October 23, 2014 – The 2014 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued on Thursday with the first day of classes for the Junior Hunters and several International Jumper and Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper classes at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The show continues through Sunday, October 26, with much more exciting action throughout the weekend, including Friday night’s $25,000 Puissance, presented by The Boeing Company, and Saturday night’s $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, presented by Events DC.
The International Open Jumpers had two classes on Thursday beginning with a win for Todd Minikus (USA) and Quality Girl in the $34,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake. Top honors in the $20,000 Gambler’s Choice costume class went to Jessica Springsteen (USA) aboard Lisona. The Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers competed as well with wins for Lucas Porter and Psychee d’Amour in the Low division and Hunter Holloway and I Love Lucy in the High division.
Anthony D’Ambrosio, of Red Hook, NY, is the course designer for the jumpers at WIHS this year. In the day’s $34,000 Welcome Stake, sponsored by Louisburg Farm, D’Ambrosio saw 30 entries contest his track with 12 clear in round one and ten entries continuing on to the short course. Todd Minikus and Quality Girl completed the fastest double clear round in 32.90 seconds to earn the top prize and the Ben O’Meara Memorial Challenge Trophy.
Laura Kraut (USA) and Andretti S, owned by Stars and Stripes, finished second in 34.48 seconds. Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) and Armstrong van de Kapel placed third in 34.54 seconds, and Callan Solem (USA) and Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC’s VDL Wizard were fourth in 34.80 seconds.
Minikus and Quality Girl have shared many triumphs in the last two years and earned their biggest prize to date in September’s Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties, NY. The 11-year-old Oldenburg mare (Quidams Rubin x Dobrock) continued her top form into the indoor season, also finishing second in the $85,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix de Penn National in Harrisburg last week. Minikus currently leads the Longines FEIWorld Cup™ North American East Coast League standings and hopes to earn more valuable points toward April’s final during his trip to WIHS. Saturday’s $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, presented by Events DC, is a qualifier and will be the major goal of the week for international competitors.
“It would be nice to get some World Cup points here,” Minikus stated. “The President’s Cup is for sure one of the more prestigious grand prixs that we have in America and I have been lucky enough to win it a couple of times, so hopefully we can be competitive again this year.”
In Thursday’s jump-off, he kept the grand prix in mind as he planned to give Quality Girl a positive round to keep her confidence up as the week continues. He had a great winning round and was pleased with her performance.
“I just wanted to go nice and try not to go totally crazy and get her frantic for the rest of the week, but she was pretty tidy everywhere,” he explained. “I was third in the jump-off out of ten and there were a few familiar names coming at the end, so it was questionable whether the lead would hold up. But it seems like a couple of those super fast riders had jumps down.”
“She is really a good horse,” Minikus said. “She has an awesome record and she is now a true professional show horse, so she just takes everything in stride. She has a lot of class.”
“I really didn’t know that there would be that many clean to tell you the truth, but the horses were sure jumping well,” he said of the competition. “It was a nice class for the first jump-off class, and it probably made for a good jump-off to watch. You really have to have your game on here; it gets very competitive.”
Jessica Springsteen Scores Second Win of the Week
The $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice Costume Class, sponsored by Equestrian Sport Productions, was held on Thursday evening during the show’s always popular Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery. Local young riders and horse enthusiasts attended in groups and had the chance to enter contests, win big prizes, and enjoy a fun, horse-filled evening that included the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship races presented by Charles Owen.
Dressed as an airplane pilot, Jessica Springsteen added another international win to her tally for the week after also topping Wednesday night’s Welcome Stake. Springsteen and Stone Hill Farm’s Lisona jumped to a score of 850 points and cleared the joker for an additional 200-point bonus for the winning 1050 total. Springsteen was presented with the Crown Royal Trophy, donated by Crown Royal, as the winning rider, and Lisona won The Sue Ann Geisler Memorial Trophy, donated by the Washington International Horse Show, as the winning horse.
McLain Ward (USA) and Zander, owned by Ward and Grant Road Partners, finished second on a score of 1020 dressed in steeplechase attire. Beezie Madden (USA) rode Coral Reed Via Volo dressed as a Green Bay Packers fan to a 1010-point total to secure third place honors.
Springsteen credits her trainer, Laura Kraut, for coming up with the right course to accrue the winning total and was very happy with Lisona, her 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (OBOS Quality x Porsch), for a great night.
“Laura came up with a course that worked really well,” Springsteen acknowledged. “It is nice when the fences stay up, and you can stay to your plan. She jumped really well tonight, and I was lucky that everything went according to plan.”
“My horses have all been going amazing,” the rider added. “I jumped her this morning and she is kind of better as she goes on, and today she really felt great. Usually I don’t do her in speed classes, so she handled this really well. I was really happy with her.”
Springsteen plans on jumping Lisona in Friday night’s Puissance presented by The Boeing Company, noting, “She has so much scope, so I really do feel like she would jump anything.”
An added bonus to Springsteen’s Gambler’s Choice win was the thousands of excited young fans from Barn Night cheering riders on. “It was so much fun. I was really impressed when I came here and I saw the big crowd,” Springsteen smiled. “The pony racing is so much fun to watch and I think that is a really great thing about this horse show, that they have so many fun events. It really does attract a great crowd. It is exciting. It is a great atmosphere, and it makes it fun for the riders and the horses I think.”
Lucas Porter and Holloway Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers
The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by The Strauss Family, was held on Thursday afternoon for 21 entries and five clear rounds with a win for Lucas Porter of Bartonville, TX, riding Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Psychee d’Amour. Porter and the 11-year-old Selle Francais mare (Juvaro du Rouet SF x Papillon Rouge) were presented the Beagle Brook Farm Perpetual Trophy for their winning round in 51.84 seconds.
Sima Morgello and Double S Farm LLC’s Zopala finished second in 52.41 seconds. Lauren Fischer and Norton de la Sapaie placed third in 53.99 seconds, and Yasmin Rizvi and Peacock Ridge LLC’s Delilah ended in fourth place with a time of 54.60 seconds.
Following his win, Porter explained that his family has owned Psychee d’Amour for over three years, but the mare got injured and was out of competition for almost two years. This is her first full year back, and she quickly came back to win classes with Porter while showing abroad inMünchen-Riem and St. Tropez. “She has just been fantastic the entire year,” Porter stated. “She is super fast, super careful. She is just a little speedster.”
Porter has had huge success this year including an individual gold medal at the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships and a big win at Spruce Meadows along with a fantastic European tour. He continued the streak on Thursday by earning his first win at the Washington International Horse Show.
“It is fun to win here and credit to the show organizers,” Porter acknowledged. “This is a fantastic show. It is well run. Even though there is one ring and you have to ride at different hours, everything is super punctual and everything runs on time. The in-gate guys here get all the horses in quickly, so the classes move nicely. Everything is just run really well.”
Thanks to his parents and trainer, John Roche, along with the help of Chelsea Sundius, Porter has a great support system getting him to the ring. For Thursday’s win, he and Psychee d’Amour had the combination of talent, speed, and a good strategy to jump to victory.
“The course was just about right for the first day here for the Lows. I thought it was a well-built course, so credit to the course designer,” Porter stated. “All of the lines had some difficulty to them, the first line especially. I was quite quick over to the double (combination). I think I did one or two less strides than the second place person there. She is just a naturally quick horse everywhere. That is mainly where she wins, is just her natural pace. I kind of just stay in a half seat and let her do her thing.”
The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by Ellen and Daniel Crown, was held during the evening session with a win for Hunter Holloway of Topeka, KS, aboard Hays Investment Corp.’s I Love Lucy. The pair was awarded The “Footloose” Perpetual Trophy in remembrance of Ruth Ellen Wilmot, donated by The Curtin Family in honor of 1990 winner “Footloose.”
The class saw 23 entries with four clear rounds and the fastest time of 49.05 seconds set by Holloway and I Love Lucy. Meredith Darst and Page Tredennick’s Zenith Dance finished second in 50 seconds. Lauren Fischer and Offenbach du Granit were third in 51.57 seconds, and Victoria Colvin and Brigid Colvin’s Don Juan placed fourth in 54.38 seconds.
“It is super exciting to win here. The atmosphere is amazing,” Holloway stated after the class. “As a kid, you dream about showing at the Washington International Horse Show. It is such a big deal and to be able to come here is like a dream come true. It is one of your goals that you set throughout the year to come here and compete successfully and then to do it is just really special.”
“She is a pretty quick horse on her own and travels over the ground pretty quickly, so I just wanted a smooth, forward round and the course was set great. It was very consistent, and I liked it. My horse liked it too,” Holloway said of the nine-year-old Warmblood mare (Corrado II x Papillion).
“She is a great horse. We have had her for about a year now,” the rider detailed. “When I got her we did the 1.30m, and we have brought her up from there. We went to Europe this summer and she competed there on a CSIOY young riders team and she was awesome.”
Holloway is trained by her mother, Brandie Holloway, and also gets help from Don Stewart and Anne Kursinski. Describing I Love Lucy further, she smiled, “I love her. She is an awesome horse. She is pretty simple, kind of a point and shoot. She is a chestnut mare for sure, but she is always fighting for you, which is nice. You can’t beat that. When they are fighting for you, there is nothing better.”
The Washington International Horse Show continues on Friday with the championships for the Junior Hunter divisions as well as the hunter phase for the WIHS Equitation Finals. The Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers will have jump-off classes in the afternoon session. The evening session begins with a $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final followed by the $25,000 Puissance, sponsored by The Boeing Company.
For those who cannot make it to the show, it will be live streamed in its entirety, sponsored in part by The Nutro company, at www.wihs.org, and is also available on USEF Network at www.usefnetwork.com.
Final Results: $34,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake, Sponsored by Louisburg Farm
1 36 QUALITY GIRL TODD MINIKUS USA 0.00 62.10 0.00 32.90 QUALITY GROUP
2 95 ANDRETTI S LAURA KRAUT USA 0.00 59.51 0.00 34.48 STARS & STRIPES
3 1211ARMSTRONG VAN DE KAPEL OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS BEL 0.00 63.45 0.00 34.54 OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS
4 55 VDL WIZARD CALLAN SOLEM USA 0.00 61.43 0.00 34.80 HORSESHOE TRAIL FARM
5 84 PUMPED UP KICKS LILLIE KEENAN USA 0.00 62.33 0.00 34.97 CHANSONETTE FARM LLC
6 2 AMMERETTO DAVID BEISEL USA 0.00 65.03 0.00 38.85 EQUINE HOLDINGS LLC
7 1212 HH CARLOS Z McLAIN WARD USA 0.00 64.32 4.00 32.89 DOUBLE H FARM
8 60 BLUE ANGEL KENT FARRINGTON USA 0.00 62.34 4.00 42.44 ROBIN PARSKY
9 3 APARDI DANIEL BLUMAN COL 0.00 64.51 8.00 34.64 DANIEL BLUMAN LLC
10 50 TALOUBET PAULO SANTANA ESA 0.00 60.95 12.00 38.15 PAULO SANTANA
T11 21 VALESKA CHARLIE JAYNE USA 0.00 64.46 dns. PONY LANE FARM
T11 32 SIMON BEEZIE MADDEN USA 0.00 65.30 dns. ABIGAIL WEXNER
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