Todd Minikus and Babalou 41
Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 5, 2017 – To conclude week four of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), riders competed on the derby field at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Sunday afternoon in the $216,000 Ariat CSI 4* Grand Prix. Only three riders out of the field of 32 managed to keep all the jumps up over the challenging track designed by Steve Stephens. In the end it was the final rider, Todd Minikus and Two Swans Farm’s Babalou 41, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding, who emerged victorious, breaking the beam in 38.796 seconds.
“It worked out well for Babalou here,” said Todd Minikus. “It was hard for a lot of the horses to come out and be right on their game. You needed an experienced horse, and Babalou has some miles so it worked out great.”
“The size and dimensions were appropriate — there were some little tricks on the course but it was difficult enough and we had beautiful weather,” Minikus continued.
Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 Presentation
Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and his own G&C Unicstar D’Laumone took home the second place spot with a jump off time of 40.302.
“I did this grand prix about seven or eight years ago and I really liked it,” said Sergio Alvarez Moya. “She jumps very good on grass, I enjoy this ring and I thought it would be a very good place for her to show. She has never jumped open water before so I was really happy with our results.”
Sergio Alvarez Moya and G&C Unicstar D’Laumone
Jennifer Gates and Evergate Stable LLC’s Pumped Up Kicks, a 14-year-old Warmblood gelding, rounded out the top three with a time of 51.286 and two time faults. Gates also took home the Leading Lady Rider award for week four presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
“This past Thursday I was 6th in the WEF qualifier and that was our biggest accomplishment so far,” explained Jennifer Gates. “Our performance tonight and being Leading Lady Rider is something I never even thought was possible, so I am really grateful.”
Jennifer Gates and Pumped Up Kicks
Gates was the first rider to have a clear round on the course, setting the standard for the riders who followed. The pair have had a successful show season in Wellington and plan to continue on with higher level classes in the upcoming months.
The Grand Prix marked the finale of Week Four of WEF, drawing in a large crowd who enjoyed perfect weather on the derby field.
1. Todd Minikus/Babalou 41/0/38.796
2. Sergio Alvarez Moya/G&C Unicstar D’Laumone/0/40.302
3. Jennifer Gates/Pumped Up Kicks/2/51.286
4. Kent Farrington/Gazelle/4
5. Kevin Babington/Super Chilled/4
6. Lauren Hough/Waterford/4
7. Daniel Bluman/Ladriano Z/4
8. Capt. Brian Cournane/Javas Keltic Mist/4
9. Jessica Mendoza/Constance/4
10. Jonathon Millar/Calvin Klein/4
11. Richie Moloney/Freestyle de Muze/4
12. Georgina Bloomberg/Crown 5/4
Todd Minikus and Babalou 41
Kevin Babington and Shorapur
Kent Farrington and Gazelle