Home: Loxahatchee, FL
Born: June 11, 1962
Todd Minikus positioned himself among the world’s elite riders with standout performances in 2000 and 2001. He rode “Oh Star” to a fourth place finish in the $250,000 American Grand Prix Association Championship and tied for sixth at the FEI World Cup Final in 2000. His fifth place finish at the U.S. Olympic Selection Trials earned him the spot as the Alternate for the 2000 Olympic squad in Sydney, Australia.
His 2001 wins included the $50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper II, the $100,000 Cosequin Grand Prix at HITS Catskills IV, the $100,000 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions at the US Equestrian Team Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ, and the $175,000 Cargill Grand Prix of the United States at the CSI-A Oaks Blenheim, San Juan Capistrano, CA. In 2001, Minikus was also named USA Equestrian Horseman of the Year and was awarded the William C. Steinkraus Equestrian of Honor Trophy.
Minikus was a recipient of a U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) grant to represent the U.S. on a 1997 European tour. Minikus and “Ravel” won the $100,000 Budweiser American Invitational in Tampa, Florida in April, 1997.
Minikus began showing at the grand prix level in 1985. He achieved great success with his grey Canadian Thoroughbred, “Thrilling”. Minikus rode “Thrilling” to four grand prix wins in 1989 and then took the show jumping world by storm in 1990 with an unprecedented sweep of all open jumper classes at the Washington International Horse Show, including the President’s Cup. His record-setting performance earned him Washington’s Ennis Jenkins Award as Leading Rider (he was both Leading Gentleman and Leading National Rider) to go with that year’s Midwest Grand Prix Rider of the Year award. “Thrilling” also earned the honors of the Midwest Horse of the Year.
Minikus picked up six Grand Prix wins in 2004, including a win in the $50,000 Hérmes I Love New York Grand Prix on “Gardenio.” He added two more wins in 2005 and three in 2006.
In 2007, Minikus rode to five Grand Prix victories, including his win on “Pavarotti” in the $75,000 Budweiser Grandprix of Lake Placid. Minikus and “Pavarotti” competed at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro where they won a team Bronze Medal.
Minikus continued his winning ways in 2008. He competed in the 2008 Olympic Selection Trials and was named to the substitute list for the second leg of the Trials in Europe. He also claimed several Grand Prix wins including winning on three consecutive Sundays in June and then claiming back-to-back wins in the $50,000 North Coast Grand Prix and the $80,000 New Albany Classic Invitational in Ohio.
Minikus’s 2009 season included a second-place finish in the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational on “Pavarotti” as well as riding to the Grand Prix winner’s circle on “Presidente” and “Alaska”. Minikus went on to win at the Fidelity Investments Classic, the WEF 7 Grand Prix, the Grand Prix of Rotterdam, and the President’s Cup. His outstanding performances in the USEF Selections Trials for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games earned him a place on the long list of candidates for the final selection trials in Europe.
In 2011, Minikus and “Pavarotti” won the $31,000 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Challenge Cup Round 10 in Wellington, FL. The win came just six weeks after Minikus's surgery for a broken collarbone. He also rode “Pavarotti” to win in Devon, PA, in the Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake. Minikus and “Pavarotti” went on to win both the Open Jumper Classic and the Woodlea Farms Grand Prix in Lake Placid. He also had three Grand Prix wins at HITS in Saugerties, NY.
In 2012, Minikus won the ESP III Fall Grand Prix in Wellington. He began 2013 with multiple top placings in Wellington including the $50,000 CSI 2* Grand Prix, the $125,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix CSI 3*, and the Horseware Ireland CSI 3* Grand Prix. In May, 2013, he won the $50,000 Grand Prix at Old Salem.
In 2013, Minikus won 10 Grand Prix including 8 on and “Quality Girl.” Together they won the $50,000 CSI 2* Live Oak International Grand Prix in Ocala and the $25,000 ESP Spring 2 Grand Prix at the WEF. Riding “Uraguay”, Minikus won the $50,000 Old Salem Grand Prix. It was fireworks for Minikus and “Quality Girl” after they won the $30,000 Open Jumper Classic at the I Love New York Horse Show on the 4th of July. The duo also won three $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties.
In 2014 Minikus had multiple placings at WEF, and won a CSI3* class on “Quality Girl”, and a CSI5* class with “Babalou 41”. Minikus and “Quality Girl” won the $50,000 Idle Dice Stake at the Devon Horse Show. He then took the top two spots in the $75,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix at HITS Summer with “Arino Du Rouet” and “Aries For Noel Love Gross” respectively. He and “Arino Du Rouet” also claimed victory in the $50,000 Horze Equestrian Grand Prix.
Minikus and “Macoemba” took third place in the $75,000 Devoucoux Grand Prix at the Lake Placid Horse Show, followed by wins with “Quality Girl” in the $30,000 CMJ Sporthorse Jumper Classic and with “Babalou 41” in the $75,000 I Love New York Grand Prix.
At HITS Saugerties, Minikus won the $1 Million Grand Prix aboard “Quality Girl”. The duo went on to take second place in the $85,000 Grand Prix de Penn, the World Cup qualifier at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, followed by a win at the Washington International Horse Show in the $34,000 Welcome Stake.
Minikus started the 2015 season by helping the U.S. claim victory in the Nations Cup in Wellington and then winning the $150,000 Lugano Diamonds CSIO4* Grand Prix. Riding “Quality Girl”, Minikus clinched the Elm Rock Trophy on Miami Beach at the Miami CSI5*, part of the Global Champions Tour. He made his eighth trip to the FEI World Cup™ Final with “Babalou 41” with whom he took wins at Spruce Meadows in Canada. He was also the Traveling Reserve for the U.S. Team at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Minikus and “Babalou 41” also helped the U.S win the bronze medal in the FEI Nations Cup at Hickstead in England.
Minikus and “Babalou 41” proved extremely competitive at the Hampton Classic, taking second place in the $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix and 15th in the $50,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier. He also placed second on “Paratrooper” in the $20,000 Royalton Farms Jumper Challenge.
Minikus had a great 2016, winning the $86,000 CSI2* Grand Prix on “Quality Girl” and the $130,000 CSI3* Grand Prix with “Babalou 41” at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Minikus and “Babalou 41” were short-listed for the U.S. Team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the pair competed at the La Baule CSIO 5* in France where they were part of the silver-medal winning U.S. team in the FEI Nations Cup™. Just days later Minikus scored a trio of victories aboard “Quality Girl” at the Kentucky Spring Classic CSI 3*, where they won the $35,000 Welcome Speed Class, $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and $130,000 Rena Murphy Grand Prix.
Minikus started the 2017 with his usual gusto, claiming six wins on five different horses during week one of WEF, most notably, the victory in the premier WEF Challenge Cup of the season with “Valinski S.” He and “Babalou 41” then beat a top field of riders to claim victory in the $216,000 Ariat CSI 4* Grand Prix. At the Live Oak International, Minikus and “Babalou’s” spectacular double-clear performance clinched them the $100,000 LONGINES FEI World Cup™ Qualifier, earning them a spot at the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Omaha.
Minikus had continued success and top placings throughout 2017 at shows including the Tryon International Equestrian Center, and Lamplight Equestrian Center, where he and “Juju VDM” won the $50,000 Grand Prix. At the Central Park Horse Show in New York City, Minikus was a top contender in the featured the U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance, and split the victory with Emanuel Andrade of Venezuela and countryman Kama Godek after each of their mounts cleared the traditional brick wall at a height of 6'9" inches.
Minikus brought it home for the holidays, wrapping up the Equestrian Sport Productions Holiday II series by besting a class of 44 entries to win the $25,000 ProElite Grand Prix on “Carlo.”
At the 2018 WEF, Minikus took center stage in the winner’s circle at the ESP Spring Shows in Wellington, winning four Grand Prix competitions during the series.
At the Kentucky Spring Shows, Minikus and “Quality Girl” won the $35,000 Welcome Speed 1.45m CSI3*, followed by second place in the $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3* just days later. Minikus just missed a spot on the podium at the Devon Horse Show, taking fourth place against a field of top international competitors in the $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4* aboard “Chaventyno,” the horse he rode to a ninth place finish in the $382,800 Longines Grand Prix of New York at the inaugural Longines Masters of New York.