Since this CDI qualifier falls toward the end of the season, for many riders the scores earned at here Del Mar can determine whether or not they will attend the Grand Prix Selection Trials or the I-I Championships at the 2008 Festival of Championships in June at San Juan Capistrano. The final leg of the Grand Prix CDI Olympic Selection Trials Qualifier began at 8:30 am on Sunday morning with a brilliant performance by Sue Blinks and the Minnesota Group’s 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Robin Hood. They won the class with a score of 69 percent. Leslie Morse and Tip Top earned second with a 68.640. Steffen Peters and Willy Arts’ Prince were third with 66.960 and Jan Ebeling came a close fourth on Rafalca with a 66.320 percent.
Blinks was delighted with the Grand Prix Special ride and grateful that she had another chance to ride before East Coast judge, Gary Rockwell. “I think this is the first show in which I have ridden Robin Hood under Gary. I did not want Gary to only see the type of ride we did on Friday in the Grand Prix. The Special was so much better. I take responsibility for Friday’s ride. I had put more pressure on him. Today I was rode with more sympathy for the horse.” Although their score in Friday’s Grand Prix takes them out of the standings for the Selection Trials, Blinks was happy with Robin Hood’s ride-ability and honesty overall. “He is only 10, and this is his first year at Grand Prix. So, we know where we are at this point, and it’s time to go on with Plan B.”
The Minnesota Group Partnership, which owns Robin Hood, came as a result of Blinks once sharing a comment about “an interesting horse” she had seen in Holland with her long-time friends, Louise and Doug Leatherdale. At that time, Robin Hood, who is by Jazz, was a five-year-old and had just won the prestigious Pavo Cup. The Leatherdales and Blinks decided to “do something together.” So, they formed a partnership and bought the horse. Blinks has brought him from Third Level to Grand Prix with international goals in mind.
[#26738 override="Ravel Commands the Crowd’s Respect in the Grand Prix" title="Ravel Commands the Crowd’s Respect in the Grand Prix"]