Articles: Press Release
Minikus and Pavarotti Cruise to the Top of the Leaderboard of the 2008
Rolex/USEF National Championship presented by Equine Motorcoach
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
4047 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511-8483
Tel: (859) 258-2472
Fax (859) 231-6662
Web site: www.usef.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2008
By Joanie Morris
Wellington, FL - The 2008 Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship
presented by Equine Motor Coach kicked off the Florida season in grand
style at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington,
FL on December 5. Under the lights in the International Ring, 43 horse
and rider combinations including 2007 National Champions Kent Farrington
and Up Chiqui went to task for the $40,000 Holiday & Horses Opener which
served as the first of two legs of the National Championship.
Todd Minikus and Pavarotti won the class and were the best of the 29
American combinations in the running for the national title. With a
lightning fast performance in a speed class where faults are converted
into time they jumped clear and finished on a time of 69.11 as the third
pair in the ring.
"I was disappointed that I had to go early especially with Marengo and
Hillary coming right behind me and with 40 some entries - going third
usually doesn't hold up. Kent and Up Chiqui and probably a dozen horses
in the class that could have been the winner. Sometimes it works and
sometimes it doesn't."
The 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (owned by Todd Minikus Ltd.)
stands less than 16 hands but found serious airtime as he flew around
the course. The Loxahatchee, FL rider liked the fact that he could
utilize Pavarotti's versatility over Anthony D'Ambrosio's course.
"Anthony did a nice job of giving you inside or around options but if
you did the inside option for the most part you had to do the add option
in the lines," said Minikus of the course. "Pavarotti has the ability,
although he is very short, he has the ability of a very long stride. As
far as a championship course it was good, it maybe could have been 1.50
m not 1.45m."
Minikus was relieved he went fast enough for the win, because he knows
there are places on the course where he could have gone even quicker.
"I made very tight turns. They weren't forward riding tight turns but
they were tidy," she said.
Minikus and Pavarotti were .71 seconds fast than the pair that followed
them as Hillary Dobbs and Marengo also blazed around the course. Owned
by the Dobbs Group, the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding jumped a brave
round under the lights.
"I was really lucky," said Dobbs. "It is always hard going early. The
first two horses were big horses with big strides and mine is quicker.
Todd did all the inside turns, I was debating which ones to do, so I
made myself do them all for practice. My horse was amazing. I did some
dicey angles... He's always a brave horse and he was backed off just
enough so he was super careful."
Dobbs also felt she could have gone faster but that she added strides in
a couple of places where Minikus left them out.
"From the triple to the triple bar, I had such a sharp angle I had to do
six after the triple bar and Todd did five." said Dobbs. "There were two
or three places where I could or should have left out but didn't."
Dobbs, a 20-year-old student at Harvard University, enjoys a distraction
from school by coming to Florida even at the end of a long season.
"I don't get sick of it," said Dobbs who hasn't had much of a break all
year. "I just want to be at the horse shows and get better. It is also a
nice break from school, especially during midterms."
A Herculean effort has gone in to preparing the venue at the Palm Beach
International Equestrian Center for the Final USEF Championship of 2008
and the 2009 show season. Organizer Mark Bellisimo and hundreds of staff
worked around the clock to ensure that the stage was ready when the
curtain was drawn.
The second and final leg of the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping
Championship gets underway Sunday afternoon when the riders take to the
ring for the $60,000 Holiday and Horses World Cup Qualifier at 2 p.m.
For more information, please contact Joanie Morris at email@example.com.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation(r) is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes.