With just two months between being bedridden and winning a grand prix championship, Todd Minikus’ accomplishment is truly an incredible story.
After suffering through a broken collarbone, Legionnaires disease (an infection in the lungs), and pneumonia, Todd Minikus won the Woodlea Farms Grand Prix on July 9 at the famous I Love NY Horse Show in Lake Placid, NY.
In a Grand Prix, the highest level of show jumping, a horse and rider must navigate between 10 and 12 obstacles, which can be up to six and a half feet high or wide. While running this course, teams of horse-and-rider can incur penalties for “faults” such as hitting the rail or landing in water.
Even more remarkable than Minikus’ against-the-odds victory, was his completely “faultless” run of the Grand Prix. He and his mount Pavarotti were one of only eight teams who completed fault-free rides.
Along with winning the $75,000 Grand Prix, Minikus also earned the Richard and Diana Feldman Perpetual Challenge Trophy, annually awarded to the rider who earns the most prize money in the two Grand Prix events held in Lake Placid.
In the award’s decade-long history, this year was the first with two recipients who had earned equal amounts of prize money. Minikus shared the honor with Jonathan McCrea, who had won the Grand Prix on July 3.
These distinctions are not new to the rider – he also won a Grand Prix in Lake Placid riding Pavarotti in 2007, and has nearly 100 total Grand Prix wins under his belt.
But in 35.355 seconds, making the team the fastest faultless riders, Todd Minikus was triumphant not only over the competition, but the illness which rendered him unable to sit up just two months before his victory.
Do you find Todd Minikus’ story inspiring? Do you know any more great against-the-odds stories? Share with us!