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Wellington's Todd Minikus & Alaska Win $75,000 ESP CSI 2* Grand Prix at Home

WELLINGTON, Fla., Feb. 21--Wellington's Todd Minikus on Alaska beat out Yann Candele of Canada on Pitareusa in a two-horse jumpoff in the $75,000 Equestrian Sport Productions' CSI 2* Grand Prix at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Saturday night.

Minikus and Alaska, owned by Callie Seaman, claimed the victory with the only double clear in a class that had 55 starters under the lights at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Candele and Pitareusa, owned by Ariel and Susan Grange, had the time in the jumpoff but toppled a rail to land them in second place.

Riders from 11 nations tried to conquer the course designed by Christa Heibach of Aachen, Germany, but it proved too much of a challenge.

Of his winning jump off round Minikus said, "In my old age I am starting to slow down. Jimmy Williams once said to me a long time ago, 'you go too fast; double clears will make you famous.' Tonight it worked."

Although Alaska has placed in 1.50-meter and WEF Challenge Cup series classes, this was the first time in a major grand prix for the horse that Minikus described as "awesome."

Candele said that based on the design of the course he expected more clear rounds, but the time allowed changed that perspective.

Following the clear jumpoff by Minikus, Candele went for it but said he "took too much of an angle on the orange Hermes vertical and had it down." His time was 38.37 secs., well ahead of Minikus on 41.58 secs., but the rail down decided the outcome.

"The horses have been jumping well as a whole," Minikus said. "The course designer's hands were tied a little with the dimensions because of it being a two star. She did have some riding questions in there and there was a definite scope test with the triple combination and with the time you really needed to make it up in the open distances."

Results:

Pl Horse Rider Nat 1st Rd Faults Time 2nd Rd Faults Time

1. ALASKA TODD MINIKUS USA 74.74 41.58

2. PITAREUSA YANN CANDELE CAN 72.15 4 38.37

3. COULETTO K. JAMES KATHERINE MIRACLE USA 1 75.34

4. LET'S FLY RODRIGO PESSOA BRA 1 75.85

5. LAGRAN PABLO BARRIOS VEN 1 76.82

6. ATHOS 163 MARLEY GOODMAN USA 1 77.55

7. JEANS GLOVE VARNEL LESLIE HOWARD USA 4 70.36

8. ROBIN HOOD W BEN MAHER GBR 4 72.13

9. DANNY BOY BEEZIE MADDEN USA 4 73.07

10. UBLESCO CARA RAETHER USA 4 73.82



Photo: Todd Minikus and Alaska clearing the final jump to win the $75,000 ESP CSI 2* Grand Prix at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Saturday night. Photo: 2009 Ken Braddick

 

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