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.
“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.
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.
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.”
Watch How They Won: Click to Watch The Video
Jumpers Begin Competition
“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
Photo of the Day
In Front of The Lens
Photos by Alden Corrigan
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