Hometown: Loxahatchee, Florida
Discipline: Show Jumping
Turning professional in 1980, Todd Minikus has forged an impressive career highlighted by more than 130 Grand Prix wins, eight FEI World Cup Jumping Finals, and multiple Nations Cup teams appearances. In 2007, Minikus was part of the Bronze medal-winning U.S. Team at the Pan American Games.
Minikus, who grew up near Des Moines, Iowa, now operates Todd Minikus, Ltd., in Wellington Homeland, Florida. Minikus is married to wife Amanda, who serves as farm manager; the couple has a son, Colt, and a daughter, Langley. When he’s not at the barn or on the road, he enjoys playing a round of golf and riding his motorcycle. Minikus is also known for being as good of a bull rider as he is a Grand Prix show jumper and very rarely misses attending the yearly Professional Bull Riding Championships.
2016 was filled with victories for Todd and his string of elite horses. He started the season with Quality Girl winning the first feature Saturday Night Lights $86,000 Marshall and Sterling CSI2* Grand Prix of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. He then added to that stellar start by winning WEF week two’s $130,000 Adequan Grand Prix with Babalou 41. Todd was chosen to represent Team USA at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup CSIO4* in Ocala, Florida, where he helped bring home the win. At the Kentucky Spring Classic, Todd and Quality Girl captured three champion titles in the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, the $35,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*, and the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*. While in Europe with Babalou 41, he helped Team USA place second in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* La Baule, and the pair was named to the Short List for the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympic Games. After Europe, Todd returned to the Tryon International Equestrian Center to capture the $216,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI4* with Quality Girl. They went onto HITS Saugerties to win the $75,000 Ulcergard Grand Prix.
Todd spent 2015 adding notable wins to his already impressive record. Leading rider for week one and eight of the Winter Equestrian Festival with wins in the $30,000 Grand Prix, and the $150,000 Lugano Diamonds CSIO 4* Grand Prix. He took reserve in the $85,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic during week four, and led the U.S. Team to victory for the $100,000 Nations Cup Trophy at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Todd won the $34,000 Elm Rock Prix 1.45/1.50m CSI 5* at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach, earning the Elm Rock Farm Trophy.
He took home first place with three different horses in the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky, winning the $20,000 1.45m Bluegrass Classic. He was champion of the $127,000 Hollow Creek Farms Grand Prix CSI 3*. Most recently, he placed a close second in the $210,000 CP Grand Prix during the ‘Continental’ Tournament at Spruce Meadows.
Claiming numerous victories in 2014, he ranked second for the United States Hunter Jumper Association Jumper Rider Lifetime Money Earned. He won the $100,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Classic Final, and took reserve in the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World Cup Grand Prix at the Royal Winter Horse Show. Todd took home fourth in the $200,000 American Gold Cup and first in the $75,000 I Love New York Horse Show. He also took home the $85,000 Grand Prix de Penn, the World Cup Qualifier at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.
Highlighting 2014 at the top, Todd claimed the $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties, and his trusted mount Quality Girl earned the top ranking for Horse of the year with the most cumulative points.
In 2013, Todd won the $33,000 Nutrena Holiday & Horse Opener at Florida’s Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. He won the $25,000 ESP Spring 2 Grand Prix at the Wellington Equestrian Festival and finished third in the $125,000 Trump Invitational Grand Prix presented by Rolex at Donald Trump’s Florida estate. Continuing 2013 he claimed victories in the Old Salem Farm Grand Prix presented by Suncast, and the $50,000 OSF Grand Prix. In March, he won the $50,000 CSI 2* Live Oak International Grand Prix in Ocala.
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. Minikus then contracted Legionnaires’ disease, which resulted in pneumonia. Remarkably, Minkius and Pavarotti went on to win the $75,000 Woodlea Farms Grand Prix at the I Love New York Horse Show in Lake Placid. Minikus had only been back in the saddle for two months. He also had three Grand Prix wins at HITS in Saugerties, NY.
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.
His 2008 season has several victories including three in a row over three weeks in June. He earned five wins in 2007, three in 2006, and two more in 2005. 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.
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.
Todd Minikus began showing at the grand prix level of show jumping in 1985. He achieved great success with his grey Canadian Thoroughbred, “Thrilling”. Thrilling helped Todd achieve 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.
When Todd is not riding and competing horses around the world, he enjoys playing a round of golf and riding his motorcycle. Todd is also known for being as good of a bull rider as he is a grand prix show jumper and very rarely misses the yearly Professional Bull Riding Championships.