Minikus and Ward Win Opening International Jumper Classes at 2021 WIHS


Mill Spring, N.C. – October 28, 2021 – The 2021 Washington International Horse Show continued on Thursday, October 28, with the start of jumper competition along with junior hunters. Taking the wins in the opening international jumper classes were McLain Ward (USA) on Catoki in the $36,600 International Jumper Accumulator class, and Todd Minikus (USA) on Amex Z in the $72,900 Welcome Stake.

Todd Minikus, last year’s winner of the $214,000 WIHS President’s Cup Grand Prix CSI4* presented by MARS Equestrian™, returned to WIHS with a vengeance but under slightly different circumstances. This year, he entered Tryon Stadium with Amex Z for the $72,900 Welcome Stake having had nearly a month off due to an injury.

Todd Minikus and Amex Z won the $72,900 International Jumper Welcome Stake. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

“I had a horse rear and fall on me, and I haven’t ridden in almost four weeks,” shared Minikus, of Lake Worth, Florida. “The day before yesterday was the first time I’ve ridden [since the injury]. The horse came completely over on top of me and smashed my pelvis but I’m very fortunate nothing broke.

“I have to take my hat off to Brooke Rainey and Danny Balzani who take care of Amex Z and Jonathan Williams and Riley Delbecq who rode her the past month while I limped around,” he continued. “They did an awesome job of having her ready for me to ride.”

Minikus, who is known for going for broke in the jump off, did just that. In the end, Minikus and the 12-year-old Zangersheide mare by Andiamo Z owned by Bit by Bit Group bested a field of 41 horse and rider combinations. The first round produced 17 clear efforts, but with three riders electing to withdraw, 14 returned for the jump off. Minikus and Amex Z crossed the timers in lightning speed in 29.68 seconds.

Read More

Todd Minkus and Amex Z in their winning presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector, Brooke Rainey, and WIHS President Vicki Lowell. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Watch How They Won: Click To Watch


WIHS Featured Riders: Todd Minikus and Carlee McCutcheon

Watch The Video: Hear Todd Minikus talk about his WIHS history

Watch The Video: Learn more about Carlee McCutcheon


Ward and Catoki Speedy Once Again

The cooler temperatures and pouring rain didn’t stop McLain Ward (USA) and Catoki, the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Catoki owned by Ward, Bob Russell, and Marilla Van Beuren from taking home the top prize in Thursday evening’s $36,600 International Jumper Accumulator class in Tryon Stadium. The pair finished with 65 points in a blazing time of 46.82 seconds.

“I only get on Catoki a couple [of trips] out because he’s so aggressive, so in the pouring rain it’s a perk [not having to get on him any earlier],” said Ward.

McLain Ward and Catoki won the International Jumper Accumulator class. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Ward said he had been reflecting on the accumulator format earlier. “I was just commenting, particularly in indoors, we used to have a real speed division and an accumulator was a little bit of an egg and spoon class. It was smaller, typically,” he shared. “It’s interesting that [the fence height] is now 1.45m from the second jump on. It’s a different type of competition but it’s fine, that’s how the sport is evolving and it’s nice to have a good, competitive speed horse to do these classes.”

Though WIHS has not yet returned to its hometown of Washington, D.C., Ward is glad that the show has continued on. “I think the WIHS organizing committee should be commended for running the show the last two years,” he commented. “Obviously, most of the other indoor events in the COVID period has been canceled or postponed. The WIHS organizers made huge efforts to make these events happen, albeit in a little bit of a different setting. I know there is a lot of work being done trying to see where the future location of the event will be. I know they want to try to stay in the Washington area and I hope that they can find a great location because it’s a great event.”

Read More

McLain Ward and Catoki in their winning presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector, groom Virginie Casterman, and WIHS President Vicki Lowell. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Watch How They Won: Click to Watch The Video


Jumpers Begin Competition

Taylor Landstrom, 14, of Excelsior, MN, with her own Colina SN were victorious in the $2,500 WIHS Children’s Jumper Welcome.
“I’m really excited. I think today was a great set up. I know I can trust my horse tomorrow [in the Championship], so I’m looking forward to it.”
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Alyson Gurney of Washington, D.C. and her own Black Friday took the win in the $2,500 WIHS Adult Jumper Welcome.
“I’ve been riding Black Friday for about six years now. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s championship. She’s been so good and really loves her job. I’m from Washington, D.C., so coming here [for WIHS] is kind of fun to get away and do something different.”
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Britta Stoeckel of Chicago, IL, and EHS, LLC’s Jimy won the $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Time First Round class.
“The course started us off with a bang, with a couple of tough inside turns. I think it just set up the competition for the rest of the weekend. It’s a big show; I’m just happy to be here.”
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Alexander Alston dominated the $2,500 Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Time First Round class, taking first place with Alston Alliance, LLC’s Don Corleone (pictured) and second with Prestigious, also owned by Alston Alliance, LLC.
“I’m very happy with the way Don Corleone and Prestigious went today, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. The course was very nice, but it had an element that I normally mess up. I typically turn in too soon, but I managed to stay out of trouble and keep it together.”
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Vanessa Hood of Wellington, FL, and Take Two LLC’s Lou Lou VLS won the $2,500 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Time First Round class.

“Lou Lou VLS is such a winner; I can always rely on her. WIHS is such a special show. I grew up in California, and I made the trip [to WIHS] every year as a pony rider and junior, so it’s always special to win at Washington.”

Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

Juliette Propp and Naomi won the Delta Trip of the Day.


Ride With The Best Through The WIHS Silent Auction

WIHS is excited to offer a wide variety of items and unique experiences in our Silent Auction. Train with a top rider, catch a game with friends and family, enjoy a unique getaway – or all of the above! Check out our selection of equestrian items, pro sporting tickets, and so much more HERE and start bidding.

Some of the industry’s top professionals are offering lessons in the WIHS Silent Auction, including:

  • Beezie Madden
  • Todd Minikus
  • Scott Stewart
  • Archie Cox
  • Stacia Klein Madden

The auction closes Saturday, October 30, at 9:00 p.m. ET

Bid Now


Photo of the Day

Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography


In Front of The Lens

Photos by Alden Corrigan




Join The Conversation

When posting about the Washington International Horse Show on social media, be sure to use the following hashtags for a chance to be featured in the daily newsletter:

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To The WIHS Newsletter

For news, show updates, photos, videos and more!


WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition, and holds the highest rating,  CSI5*-W, awarded by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, as well as a US Equestrian 6* Jumpers and  Premier Hunters. It is recognized by the US Hunter Jumper Association, Maryland Horse Show Association, and Virginia Horse Show Association. WIHS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.