Minikus and Zephyr Take Second Win of Week Three at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival

Jef Lauwers Is Champion in Adult Amateur Hunters 18-35 Section A
Wellington, FL – January 27, 2017 – Todd Minikus (USA) and Wyndmont’s Zephyr jumped to their second win during week three of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Friday, topping the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m speed class at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
WEF three, sponsored by Adequan®, features CSI 3* competition through Sunday, January 29. Highlights include Saturday’s $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*, and Sunday’s 35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Both classes can be seen on the live stream HERE. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 2, 2017, awarding over $9 million in prize money.
Belgium’s Luc Musette set the track for 53 entries in Friday’s 1.45m with 12 clear rounds. Carrying on their momentum from a win in Wednesday’s $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m, Minikus and Zephyr clocked the fastest time of 64.36 seconds.
Todd Minikus and Zephyr
Todd Minikus and Zephyr
Emily Moffitt (GBR) and Poden Farms’ Zagahorn finished second in 66.47 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) aboard her own and McLain Ward’s Quointreau un Prince placed third in 68.33 seconds, and Richie Moloney (IRL) riding Ypaja Yando ended fourth in 68.45 seconds.
Zephyr, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Landor S x Calvados), is a catch-ride for Minikus and a new mount this winter. Though the team at Wyndmont takes care of preparations and Minikus only rides the horse at the show, he feels that their partnership is developing well.
“He seems like he is getting more confident in my style of riding. He feels a little more flexible through his body, and he has had a great week,” Minikus stated. “A horse you push is always faster than a horse you pull, and you definitely push him along. I like that style of riding. I have only ridden him for a few weeks now, so I think he is starting to understand my style, or maybe I am starting to understand his style. Either way, it is going well.”
Minikus changed plans a bit while on course, but made his horse’s large stride worked to his advantage in the speed track.
“It looked like there were several options when I walked it, but then as I was going, they did not show themselves as well as I was hoping,” Minikus explained. “Zephyr did a very nice job of turning back on the last combination. He is a little funny turning to the left, but for whatever reason today, he did it quite well. I think that is really where it worked out for me.”
In addition to top prizes, Illustrated Properties presented special leading rider awards to Minikus as the highest-placed professional rider in the class, and Moffitt as the highest-placed non-professional rider.
Todd Minikus in his winning presentation (Quite Cassini standing in for Zephyr) with Mike Pappas, Jim Corbin, and Joy Linet of Illustrated Properties, and ringmaster Steve Rector.
Todd Minikus in his winning presentation (Quite Cassini
standing in for Zephyr) with Mike Pappas, Jim Corbin, and
Joy Linet of Illustrated Properties, and ringmaster Steve Rector.
Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, Jimmy Torano (USA) and Excellent B were victorious in the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m speed class. The $6,000 FEI 1.40m was won by Georgina Bloomberg (USA) riding Gotham Enterprizes’ Manodie II H.
Lisbeth Hazoury took top honors in the $2,500 Engel & Völkers High Amateur-Owner Jumper Power and Speed riding Grey van de Castanoschans, owned by Los Establos Sporthorses Corp. Luciana Gonzalez Guerra concluded the day with a win in the $1,500 Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper Power and Speed riding Star Light, owned by Guadalupe Gonzalez.
Jef Lauwers Champion in the Adult Amateur Hunters 18-35 Section A at WEF
Jef Lauwers of Belgium and Cupid, owned by Lindsay Holstead, captured the championship in the Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 Section A division. The pair earned two blue ribbons, fifth and sixth over fences, and fifth under saddle. Lauwers first rode in the hunters over two years ago with Peter Pletcher of Magnolia, TX. He did not compete much at that time, and has since spent the past two years working in Belgium as an engineer. He returned to the U.S. six weeks ago and has been intently focusing on riding and the hunters.
“Peter asked if I wanted to show. I told him yes, but that I didn’t have a horse,” Lauwers detailed. “Then, Lindsay said I could show her horse. We showed in Texas for two weeks and then came here. This is my first show in Wellington.”
Jef Lauwers and Cupid
Jef Lauwers and Cupid
Cupid is a 2009 Holsteiner gelding that Peter Pletcher has primarily shown in the Green Hunter and Performance Hunter divisions.
“He’s a really nice horse,” said Lauwers, “a good jumper, and a good mover. He’s very sweet, likes to show, and likes to jump. The hunters are fun because they’re another way of riding, another way of knowing the horse, and another way of teaching the horse. It was difficult for me to learn because I was not used to having loose reins. I still struggle with it sometimes, but I was lucky today. It’s fun, and Peter is a really nice guy.”
Taking reserve honors was Lili Halterman of New York, NY, aboard Cussini, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding. The pair earned a second, two thirds, and a sixth-place finish over fences, and second under saddle to secure the reserve title.
The third week of WEF continues on Saturday with the third “Saturday Night Lights” event of the season, the FEI $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*. The Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division will award championship honors for week three in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. For full results, please visit
Final Results: $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m
1. ZEPHYR: 2004 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Landor S x Calvados
TODD MINIKUS (USA), Wyndmont: 0/64.36
2. ZAGAHORN: 2004 KWPN gelding by Matterhorn x Wolfgang
EMILY MOFFITT (GBR), Poden Farms: 0/66.47
3. QUOINTREAU UN PRINCE: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rosire
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura Chapot & McLain Ward: 0/68.33
4. YPAJA YANDO: 2007 Finnish Warmblood stallion by Quinar x Lasino
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 0/68.45
5. CAVAROLA: 2007 KWPN mare by Corland x Wellington
CHRIS SURBEY (CAN), Spruce Meadows: 0/68.48
6. CHARMED 2: 2008 Hanoverian mare by Chacco-Blue x Plural
MARKUS BEERBAUM (GER), Michaels & Beerbaum GmbH: 0/69.09
7. SHAKIRA Z: 2007 Zangersheide mare by Sandro Boy x Cruyff
PETER WYLDE (USA), Beechwood Stables LLC: 0/69.30
8. COSMOPOLITAN 30: 2006 Holsteiner gelding by Calido I x Ricardo
HEATHER CARISTO-WILLIAMS (USA), M/M Ralph Caristo: 0/70.48
9. BIJOU DE BALOU: 2006 Rheinlander mare by Balou du Rouet x Graf Grannus
KATIE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/70.86
10. CONSTABLE II: 2007 KWPN gelding by Harley VDL x Lupicor
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Cherry Knoll Farm: 0/70.90
11. CEASAR: 2007 KWPN gelding by Lucky Boy x Cantos
TINA YATES (USA), Ace Equestrian: 0/72.49
12. CELLAGON CORRAY: 2007 Holsteiner gelding by Caretino x Corrado I
PEDRO MUYLAERT (BRA), Stenio da Silva: 0/75.42
Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot,