Godek, Minikus And Andrade Tie For The Win in The U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance

Sep 21, 2017 - 11:48 PM

New York City—Sept. 21

The giant puissance wall at the center of the Wollman Ring in Central Park was no match for three top riders at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show tonight, as Kama Godek (De Grande), Todd Minikus (VDL Excel) and Emanuel Andrade (Clouwni) all tied for the top spot in the U.S. Open $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance after clearing a 6’9” fence.

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Winners of the $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance, Kama Godek (De Grande), Emanuel Andrade (Clowni) and Todd Minikus (VDL Excel) posed next to the giant wall alongside class sponsor Spy Coast Farm’s Lisa Lourie and Joint-CEOs and Co-Chairs of the Rolex Central Park Horse Show Katherine and Mark Bellissimo. Photo by Mollie Bailey.

All five competitors—including Paul O’Shea (Lotus) and reigning co-champion Andy Kocher (Eristob) made it through the second-to-last round of competition. Modern puissance rules demand that, for horses’ sake, competition ends after five rounds, but the three horses who did clear the Larry Bird-height fence made it look easy.

Check out more photos from today’s U.S. Open Spy Cost Farm Puissance. 

Godek, Leesburg, Va., had complete faith in her 17.3-hand mount, telling announcer John Kyle that her horse, De Grande, trotted over her four-board fence the day she brought him home. She practiced jumping a wall a bit before making the trip to the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, but most of the other riders didn’t bother.

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Kama Godek gave De Grande a hug after they cleared the 6’9″ wall. Photo by Mollie Bailey.

“A puissance class is really a power contest,” said Minikus, Loxahatchee, Fla. “Any horse who can rock back on his haunches and give a big push is a good contender, unless you’re Clouwni and Emanuel gives you wings.”

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Todd Minikus brought the 8-year-old VDL Excel to the Rolex Central Park Horse Show to give him some experience, and they left with a blue ribbon in the $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Puissance. Photo by Mollie Bailey.

Andrade, Aiken, S.C., was uber confident in his mount, who went double clear with previous rider, Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France), saying “Clouwni would clear something even higher.”

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Announcer John Kyle compared Emanuel Andrade’s style on Clouwni to that of an Irish fox hunter. Photo by Mollie Bailey.

Co-CEO and co-chair of the Rolex Central Park Horse Show Mark Bellissimo mused about changing the look of the iconic wall for next year’s edition, considering a Brooklyn Bridge theme or perhaps reviving a version of the notorious Kong Wall in Virginia. 

He also hinted that the puissance class, long a crowd favorite may come back as a demonstration competition at the upcoming 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, N.C.

For more in-depth coverage from the fourth annual 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show, check out the October 9 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine.

Want to know when each class goes and where to watch the livestream? We’ve got that information for you!

You can see full results from the Rolex Central Park Horse Show here. 

Follow along with all the action from the Rolex Central Park Horse Show with the Chronicleand make sure you’re following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at @chronofhorse.

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