Sue Blinks, U.S. Dressage Team Bronze Medallist at the Sydney Olympics, and her Olympic mount Flim Flam, won the Grand Prix de Dressage USET/WEG Qualifier on February 15 at the Zada Enterprises LLC Florida Dressage Classic in Wellington, Florida. The pair earned a 71.667%, which topped a field of 12 riders. The Grand Prix Special USET/WEG Qualifier scheduled for Saturday was cancelled due to heavy rain.
This was Blinks' and Flim Flam's first show of the Florida season, and their first Grand Prix since Devon. She hopes to qualify for Gladstone in June and the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, in September -"That's what it's all about," she said. Her 15-year old partner, Flim Flam, is a Hanoverian by William Tell out of a Cavalier mare owned by Fritz Kundrun of Mt. Kisco, New York, where Blinks is based. "Flim Flam is better than ever. He gets better every year. It's exciting watching him improve." She said she continues to learn more each year about how to "build a better and stronger product." Three weeks before the competition, she attended training clinics with U.S. Dressage Team Coach Klaus Balkenhol. "It was super," she said. "It's great to have a team coach. The U.S. will really benefit from having Klaus."
Blinks said that during her winning ride in the Grand Prix she focused on where the new parts of the test were and how it was different. "I was really pleased with Flim Flam's attention. The highlight of the test was his rein back when he had to go forward and back and forward again. It's very hard technically and the judges rewarded him with a 9 and two 8s." Does she think Flim Flam has another Olympics in him? "One goal at a time," she said. "We'll go through this summer and see how he does."