Todd Minikus and Amex Z Start Saturday Night Lights Season Strong in $30,000 Cleghorn Gun Club Grand Prix

May 21, 2022 - 11:11 PM

For Immediate Release

Sarah Madden for TIEC

Corrected 5/22/22: Graf Compliment

Mill Spring, NC – May 21, 2022 – The first edition of 2022 Saturday Night Lights presented by Tryon Horse & Home at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) featured the $30,000 Cleghorn Gun Club Grand Prix, with Todd Minikus (Lake Worth, FL) and Amex Z taking top honors after their 34.747-second jump-off performance. In second, Martien van der Hoeven (Pinehurst, TX) and Morris Horta, the 2012 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Eldorado van de Zeshoek x Irenice Horta) owned by Luccirelli International, LLC, cleared the short course in 37.233 seconds, while Daniel “Dany” Michan (Mexico City, MX) rode Champion League, his own 2012 Hanoverian stallion (Cador x Carisma), to a time of 37.496 to complete the podium.

IMG-2639Todd Minikus and Amex Z
©Natalie Suto Photography for TIEC

Minikus and the 2009 Warmblood mare (Andiamo Z x Senne) owned by the Bit By Bit Group navigated the Catsy Cruz (MEX) course design with natural speed, Minikus recapped. “Amex is a veteran partner for me at this point. She hasn’t shown in almost two months, so she jumped real fresh and was just super in the jump off. She couldn’t have been better!”

IMG-2310Martien van der Hoeven and Morris Horta
©Natalie Suto Photography for TIEC

When Amex Z stepped into the ring, van der Hoeven’s leading time of 37.233 seconds had been holding fast throughout the twelve-horse jump off. “I was in the schooling area watching and I really couldn’t tell how fast [Martien went]. But Amex is maybe one of the fastest horses in the world, I think. I tried not to overdo it; she was very handy back to the combination and once she did that so well, I thought that I was ahead at that point.”

IMG-2326Daniel Michan and Champion League
©Natalie Suto Photography for TIEC

Minikus also got a chance to tour the course with a new horse, which proved to be a learning experience for the new partnership. “To tell you the truth, I made a mistake on [Graf Compliment]. I was unsure, and it’s my first week showing him, so I was bummed a little bit by the decisions that I made on that horse.”

IMG-2802From left to right: Martien van der Hoeven, Todd Minikus, and Daniel Michan in their presentation ceremony alongside Sharon Decker, Tryon Equestrian Partners President.
©Natalie Suto Photography for TIEC

An experienced pair in Tryon Stadium and throughout the country, Minikus and Amez will be back to contest future competitions under the lights, but it felt good to kick off the iconic series with a win, he shared.

IMG-2763Glenn Herman and Madison White were presented the Groom’s Award presented by Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort, for their care and dedication to Amex Z.
©Natalie Suto Photography for TIEC

“It’s fun to be back in Tryon. The crowd was great, as usual!” Minikus concluded, “I hope we win every single one of them [this season]! You know, it’ll get more competitive as the FEI classes come into town, and we’re not going to scratch; we’ll be here. And that’s the thing about this sport – it’s easy to have a jump down – this week it’s your turn, and next week it’s somebody else’s turn. It’s a humbling sport, that’s why we run the classes!”

For full results from the $30,000 Cleghorn Gun Club Grand Prix, click here. 

Saturday Night Lights presented by Tryon Horse & Home continues throughout the 2022 competition season, with more dates still to be announced. View more information at

Tryon Spring 3 competition continues Sunday, May 22, with the Tryon Spring Series hosting six weeks of Hunter, Jumper and Equitation competition and including three weeks of international Jumping competition. To learn more about what’s next at TIEC, visit Find competition information at

Photos ©Natalie Suto Photography for TIEC. These photos may only be used once, in relation to this press release. All photographers distributing or selling photos from TIEC must be credentialed. Competitors can find official show photos at With questions, contact


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