Wellington, FL – December 14, 2016 – Todd Minikus of Lake Worth, FL, piloted I Am Nala to a top finish in the $25,000 #1 Education Place Grand Prix at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) during the ESP Year End Awards Show after completing the jump-off track in 39.846 seconds. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson of Wellington, FL, and Akuna Mattata finished in second place with a jump-off time of 40.102 seconds, while Deane Rogan of Ireland and Itile Horta rounded out the top three, finishing just behind Shahinian-Simpson and earning a time of 40.485 seconds.
Minikus and I Am Nala, owned by Two Swans Farm, bested the class 30 entries to take the victory, and outpaced a jump-off class of nine combinations. Minikus also guided Zephyr and Vita 24 to contest the short course and finished in fifth and sixth respectively. Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY, was responsible for the course design in the International Ring throughout the week.
I Am Nala is a sure-footed talent in Minikus’ string and has proven herself throughout the 2016 competition year. While Quality Girl and Babalou 41 still hold the top honors in the barn, I Am Nala is quietly moving up the ranks in anticipation of a strong winter circuit at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
|Todd Minikus and ring master Steve Rector in the presentation ceremony for the $25,000 #1 Education Place Grand Prix.|
The $2,500 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Owner Classic was championed by Alonso Valdez Prado and his own Crocky Van Overis, as the pair dashed through the short course track to finish with a time of 38.347 seconds. Ashley Fleishhacker of Wellington, FL, and Jac’Potes, owned by Ashland Show Stables LLC, took second place with an efficient time of 38.924 seconds. Rogelio Pellerano of Wellington, FL, and his own Solero MS collected third place in the class with a time of 40.181 seconds.
Asta Torokvei of Toronto, ON, and her own Camara rode to victory in the $2,500 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic after finishing the short course nearly three seconds faster than Catalina Peralta of Geneva, FL, and Conti, owned by Wendy Peralta, who earned second place. Torokvei finished the track in 39.119 seconds, while Peralta secured a time of 42.709 seconds and dropped a rail for four faults. Annie Phillips of New Canaan, CT, and her own Pele collected third place adding eight faults to their time of 40.949 seconds.
The $1,500 Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic presented by Equine Couture & TuffRider saw John Angus of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, ride to victory aboard Vertigo, owned by Gordon Munro with a speedy jump-off time of 27.265 seconds. Angus also followed up his win with a second place finish aboard Cantus D, owned by Sarah Warden with a time of 31.36 seconds. Jaiden Mackel of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and his own Nada Capulet added four faults to their time of 31.185 seconds for third pace honors.
Margaret Oberkircher of Collegeville, PA, and Clever Conversation, owned by Southfields Farm, LLC, captured the champion title in the Amateur Owner hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Division ahead of Brittany Hildebrand of Houston, TX, and Sagaro, owned by Mindy H. Hildebrand.
The Children’s Hunter Division presented by UHealth saw Isabella Sica of Ridgefield, CT, and her own Choco Mousse take top honors for their performances throughout the weekend, while Esther Cusnir of Davie, FL, and her own Code Black finished in reserve.
The Low Adult Hunter Division was championed by Sarah Kruel of Wellington, FL, and her own Opulent, while Julia Holzberger of Fairfield, OH, and her own Pure Bliss collected reserve.
The USHJA 2’6″ Hunter Division saw Kelly Mullen of Franklin, TN, and Happy, owned by Warioto Farms, Inc., ride to the top of the division, while Mark Dean of Brookville, NS, and Karley, owned by Fair Play Farm, took reserve champion honors.
Raleigh Hiler of Sudbury, MA, and her own Chapman ET, were victorious in the Junior Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Division presented by #1 Education Place after receiving top honors throughout the weekend. Giavanna Rinaldi of Wayne, IL, and Pappy Van Winkle, owned by Double H Farm captured reserve champion honors.
For more information on PBIEC and to see a full list of results please visit www.pbiec.com.
Photo Credit ©ManciniPhotos. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release.