Articles: Press Release
Todd Minikus and Olinda Win $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup at First Week of Tampa Equestrian Festival
Credit: Todd Minikus and Olinda, winners of the $30,000 WEF
Cup at the first week of the Tampa Equestrian Festival. Photo (C) 2008 Jennifer Wood/PMG.
Jennifer Wood of
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
FL - March 20, 2008 - The first grand prix of the 2008 Tampa Equestrian
Festival was held today. 2007 Pan American Games bronze medalist Todd Minikus
of Loxahatchee, FL,
was the winner this week on Olinda,
owned by Houlihan Lawrence. They achieved victory in the $30,000 WEF Challenge
Cup in the Suncoast Internationale week (March 19-23) of the Tampa Equestrian
Festival, which runs through April 6.
Today's class was one of five remaining qualifying events
for the 2008 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, which is presented by
The Tampa Tribune and Sweetbay Supermarket. Minikus said that his motivation
for attending the horse show this week was to gain valuable prize money to keep
him in the top 30 riders invited to the prestigious grand prix, which will be
held on Saturday, April 5, at 7 p.m. in Raymond James Stadium.
Michel Vaillancourt set today's track in the covered ring.
It had 12 numbered obstacles, including a triple combination set against the
rail that caught some riders off guard. There were eight clear rounds, three
retirements and one fall. The fastest four-faulter was Margie Engle on Hidden
Creek's Pamina L.
The first to return for the jump-off was Leslie Howard on
Raimond W. They kept an easy pace and went for the slower, clear round, but
that plan was dashed when they had a rail at the final jump. They finished with
four faults in 45.939 seconds.
Bill Lowry and Rio Corde had a good shortened course time in
41.830 seconds, but a rail at the oxer of fence 6 left them with third place at
the end of the class. Cara Raether and Lord G were fourth in the standings
after the class. They had four faults at fence 10, a skinny, airy white
vertical. Their time was 43.306 seconds.
The lead in the class went next to Michael Morrissey on Crelido.
Morrissey pulled off a slick move from fence 1 to 2 by going to the left of the
oxer set in between the two jumps. All of the other riders went to the right
side of the oxer, which added some time. Morrissey kept a good pace and was
careful to jump 10. They finished with the fastest time so far in 41.671
seconds and more importantly, with a clear round.
Kelley Robinson and her sprightly grey, Calibur, were next
in with a slower time of 45.555 seconds and they had a rail down at fence 2.
Eduardo Salas Herrera and Rocky Mountain Warmbloods' RMW Estina were unlucky at
fence 10 for four faults. They stopped the timers in 44.650 seconds.
Next in was Minikus on Olinda,
an 11-year-old bay Warmblood mare. Minikus had a quick pace and was on his way
to lowering the leading time. After fence 6 they made the short rollback turn
to the left, but Olinda
slipped and tripped. She regained her footing and kept going, and Minikus
opened up her gallop slightly to the final two fences. He passed through the
timers to take the lead by only one-tenth of a second in 41.569 seconds.
The last to go in the jump-off was Engle on Hidden Creek's
Coroya Z. A rail at fence 4b took away victory. They finished in 44.320 seconds
for fifth place.
This was the first show back for Olinda in almost two weeks since she competed
in the final leg of the Olympic Show Jumping Trials. "I hadn't schooled her or
even been over a pole on the ground since then," Minikus said. "She seemed like
the week and a half break really freshened her up."
Minikus did not see Morrissey compete in the jump-off. "I didn't
know how fast he had gone," he remarked. "He did go inside from 1 to 2. That
was a nice move that I didn't think would be that much faster. It must have
certainly saved some time because I went quick enough around, and I just barely
The jumper action at the Tampa Equestrian Festival continues
tomorrow with Young Jumpers, 1.30m through 1.45m Jumpers, and the beginning
classes for the junior and amateur-owner jumpers.
The remaining qualifying events for the $200,000 Budweiser
American Invitational are:
March 23: $75,000 Bob Thomas Grand Prix of Florida at week
one of the Tampa Equestrian Festival
March 27: $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup at
week two of the Tampa Equestrian Festival
March 30: $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier & the Just World Grand Prix of
Tampa CSI 3* W at week two of the Tampa Equestrian Festival
April 2: $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup, CSI at week three of the Tampa Equestrian
Tickets for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational are
still available. Advance ticket prices are $25 in the white section, $35 in the
blue section, and $40 in the red section. An Advance Family 4-pack is available
for $70 in the white section and $125 in the blue section (Prices higher day of
show: $30, $40, $45, $85, $140). Group prices for 20 or more people are
available with advance purchase only. They are $17 each in the white section
and $30 each in the blue section. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster
813-287-8844, 727-898-2100 or ticketmaster.com.
For more information on the Tampa Equestrian Festival and
the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, please visit www.stadiumjumping.com.
Final Results: $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup
T/A: 76.00 T/A: 48.00
TODD MINIKUS 0/0/41.569
2. CRELIDO, MICHAEL MORRISSEY 0/0/41.671
EUGENE R. MISCHE
3. RIO CORDE, WILLIAM LOWRY
WINSOR FARM SALES
4. LORD G, CARA RAETHER 0/4/43.306
5. HIDDEN CREEK'S COROYA Z, MARGIE ENGLE 0/4/44.320
HIDDEN CREEK FARM
6. RMW ESTINA, EDUARDO SALAS HERRER 0/4/44.650
7. CALIBUR, KELLEY ROBINSON 0/4/45.555
8. RAIMOND W, LESLIE HOWARD 0/4/45.939
9. HIDDEN CREEK'S PAMINA L, MARGIE ENGLE 4/68.152
HIDDEN CREEK FARM
10. PRESIDENTE, TODD MINIKUS 4/69.300
SLEEPY P RANCH
11. ALL STAR, DEBBIE STEPHENS 4/70.242
12. MELISIMO, MICHELLE SPADONE 4/70.288
photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.
ABOUT PHELPS MEDIA GROUP
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
12230 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite #100
Wellington, FL 33414
P: (561) 753-3389 / F: (561) 753-3386