Lexington, Kentucky, USA – May 9, 2018 – The first day of competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show kicked off in exciting fashion at the Kentucky Horse Park where the Rolex Stadium highlighted the $35,000 Welcome Speed 1.45m CSI 3* with 27 entries contesting Alan Wade’s (IRL) 15-effort track resulting in 11 clear rounds. Racing to an impressive and unbeatable clear round, Todd Minikus (USA) and the Quality Group’s Quality Girl claimed the lead by over three seconds with a time of 65.24 seconds to earn the victory.
With an extensive list of accolades to her name including the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties in 2014, the Elm Rock Farm Trophy at the inaugural Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach in 2015 and a clean sweep with three FEI victories at the Kentucky Spring Classic in 2016, Quality Girl is a proven winner. After nearly a year off, Minikus took his time bringing the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare back to the show ring and it paid off.
Samuel Parot (CHI) & Couscous van Orti
Second place was awarded to and his own 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Couscous Van Orti, with a clear round and a time of 68.85 seconds.
Kevin Babington (IRL) & Mark Q
Hot on Parot’s heels in 69.22 seconds was Kevin Babington (IRL) and his own Mark Q, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding.
Jumper competition will continue in the Rolex Stadium on Thursday with the Open Jumper 1.35m at 8 a.m. and the day will highlight the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Todd Minikus (USA) & Quality Girl during the awards ceremony
Todd Minikus – $35,000 Welcome Speed 1.45m CSI 3* winner
On Quality Girl:
“Quality Girl has been off for quite a while and she’s just come back and since she’s come back off close to a year layoff she’s been just awesome. Today was the kind of course where I could just let her gallop and if she’s on her game there’s probably not too many horses that are going to catch her. She’s won so much in her career, she’s just a good horse.”
On his round:
“I was pretty confident once I got on the pace just allowing her to stay on it and everything just came up nice off of that one rhythm. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.”
On the Kentucky Spring Horse Show:
“This is the horse capital of the world and I’ve been horse crazy since I’ve been a little kid, so just driving around here – life couldn’t be better.”
$35,000 Welcome Speed 1.45m CSI 3*
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Faults | Time
1. Todd Minikus (USA) & Quality Girl – 0 | 65.24
2. Samuel Parot (CHI) & Couscous Van Orti – 0 | 68.85
3. Kevin Babington (IRL) & Mark Q – 0 | 69.22
4. Eric Navet (FRA) & Basimodo & 0 | 70.30
5. Jessica Springsteen (USA) & Volage Du Val Henry – 0 | 71.36
6. Aaron Vale (USA) & Finou 4 – 0 | 71.92
7. Aaron Vale (USA) & Major / – 0 | 72.77
8. Luis Biraben (ARG) & Caillou – 0 | 72.87
9. Kevin Babington (IRL) & Super Chilled / – 0 | 73.52
10. Samuel Parot (CHI) & Thriller P – 0 | 73.90
11. Jack Hardin Towell (USA) & Concept – 0 | 78.92
12. Richie Moloney & (IRL) Button Sitte – 2 | 88.03
Source: Press Release by Rebecca Walton for Phelps Sports
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Barre Dukes
Categories: CSI 3*