Todd Minikus (USA) piloted Amex Z to a first place finish in Thursday’s $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2*, stopping the jump-off timers at 34.283 seconds. Taking home second place with a jump-off time of 35.674 seconds was Kevin Mealiff (IRL) aboard Oakmont Stables LLC’s Tupac Van De Vrombautshoeve Z, the 2010 Zangersheide gelding (Thunder VD Zuuthoeve x Karioka Del Follee). Jacqueline Ruyle (USA) was awarded third place honors aboard her own San Chano, a 2009 Oldenburg gelding (Sandro Boy x Chacco Blue), with a time of 36.055.
Forty-one riders tackled the first round of Andy Christiansen’s (ECU) course design, 11 of which moved on to the shortened second round. Only five riders managed to ride double-clear rounds, but Todd Minikus and the 2009 Zangersheide mare (Andiamo Z x Landaris) owned by Bit by Bit Group took the win. Minikus’ plan going into the second round was “not to go too fast,” initially, but after watching a few horses go, he changed his mind. “The riders before me were faster than I thought they might be. So I thought, ‘Maybe I can do one or two less [strides] in that turn over to the black,’ and that’s probably where I nipped the competition,” he admitted.
Amex Z and Minikus have had successful rounds at TIEC throughout the Spring Series, recently placing fifth in the $137,000 Cleghorn Gun Club Grand Prix CSI 3* during Tryon Spring 6. Minikus noted his win on this mare has been one in the making, saying, “She’s been going great lately! She’s kind of more of an experienced horse now, so she’s relatively reliable at this point.” The pair will also compete in the $73,000 Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club Grand Prix CSI 2*, where they hope to continue the momentum of this win into Saturday’s competition.
Minikus will continue to compete at TIEC for the month of July and will return for the Fall Series of competition. He looks forward to the rest of the week because ”it’s always a beautiful day in Tryon!”