Todd Minikus of USA riding Con Capilot. (Photo © Spruce Meadows Media Service).
Friday’s first competition in the Meadows on the Green was the $34,000 WestJet Cup 1.45m, which saw 77 entries compete, with 22 clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Eight of those entries then cleared the short course without fault. USA’s Todd Minikus took the victory in a blazing fast time of 35.48 seconds aboard Nancy Gooding’s 12-year-old Westphalian stallion, Con Capilot (Con Capitol x Pilot).
Eric Lamaze (CAN) finished second with Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Rosana du Park in 36.71 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) guided Sweet Oak Farm’s Easy Contact Humlan to third place honors in 37.38 seconds.
Con Capilot was previously ridden by California’s Mandy Porter for several years and had a lot of good results. The horse’s owner then sent him to Minikus at the end of the winter this year to be sold.
“He is a beautiful, drop dead gorgeous horse,” Minikus stated. “He has great technique over the jumps. He is quick in the air; there is no wasted energy, and that is what it takes to win.”
Minikus showed Con Capilot in Kentucky this spring and explained that he did not have great results in the first two weeks at Spruce Meadows, but continues improving.
“It seemed like it took my horses a while to get going on the grass. Or maybe it took me a while to get going on the grass, I don’t know which,” Minikus laughed. “Yesterday he was fifth in a nice competition and then obviously today he went great.”
“I watched the first couple riders go (in the jump-off) and there were some fast rounds,” Minikus detailed. “Then I was up in the warm-up ring flatting and all the likely suspects started showing up. When Eric (Lamaze) took the lead, for sure I knew it was fast, so I just tried to cheat every where I could and somehow it was good enough.”
Final Results: $34,000 WestJet Cup 1.45m
1. $8,500 CON CAPILOT Westphalian / S / 12 Con Capitol x Pilot TODD MINIKUS (USA) LOXAHATCHEE, FL Nancy Gooding: 0/0/35.48
2. $6,800 ROSANA DU PARK Schwaben / M / 10 Kannan x Ukase ERIC LAMAZE (CAN) SCHOMBERG, ON Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/0/36.71
3. $5,100 EASY CONTACT HUMLAN Swedish Warmblood / G / 12 Unknown x Unknown SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL) WELLINGTON, FL Sweet Oak Farm: 0/0/37.38
4. $3,400 PUBLIC VIEW Rheinlander / G / 9 Prado x Landadel FRANCOIS ESTEVES (BRA) BRA Francois Esteves: 0/0/37.69
5. $2,380 G&C CLOSE UP Dutch Warmblood / G / 8 Eurocommerce Wastington x Cobra LUIS LARRAZABAL (VEN) WESTON, FL Gustavo Mirabal: 0/0/37.72
6. $1,870 ECKHAM VAN HET STEENTJE Belgian Warmblood / G / 11 Berlin x Kannan MARGIE ENGLE (USA) WEST PALM BEACH FL Elm Rock LLC: 0/0/40.16
7. $1,360 LEOVILLE 2 Bavarian Warmblood / S / 15 Landor S x Wettruf MEAGAN NUSZ (USA) HOUSTON, TX Amalaya Investments: 0/0/40.47
8. $1,020 REBECA LS Studbook La Silla / M / 9 Rebozo LS La Silla x Cassini I BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA) NEW YORK, NY Remarkable Farms LP: 0/0/44.21
9. $1,020 VANILLA Danish Warmblood / M / 13 Nabab de Reve x Clinton BEEZIE MADDEN (USA) CAZENOVIA, NY Abigail Wexner: 0/4/38.10
10. $850 HH MEMPHIS Irish Sport Horse / G / 9 Armitage x Cruising QUENTIN JUDGE (USA) WELLINGTON, FL Double H Farm: 0/4/38.82
11. $850 WKD DIVA Dutch Warmblood / M / 8 Balourado x T Hors La Loi II SAMEH EL DAHAN (EGY) BALLYCLARE Joanne Sloan Allen: 0/4/38.89
12. $850 WASHINGTON SQUARE Dutch Warmblood / G / 10 Quattro x Nimmerdor GEORGINA BLOOMBERG (USA) NEW YORK, NY Gotham Enterprizes, LLC: 0/4/39.95
Source: Spruce Meadows Media Service