United States Equestrian Team Foundation Announces Dressage Riders for 2008 Rose Parade—Olympians Sue Blinks, Debbie McDonald, Steffen Peters and Guenter Seidel
RELEASE: August 30, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation has announced that Olympians Sue Blinks, Debbie McDonald, Steffen Peters and Guenter Seidel will be the four dressage representatives riding on the 12-member squad representing the USET Foundation in the 2008 Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA. In the coming weeks, the USET Foundation will also announce the selection of four Olympians from the discipline of show jumping and four from eventing to ride in the 119th Rose Parade.
A New Year's Day tradition, the Rose Parade features the beautiful pageantry of magnificent floral floats, colorful equestrians with more than 300 horses parading, and the spirited music of marching bands. The Rose Parade will be broadcast to millions of viewers in 75 countries starting at 8 a.m. (PST) on Tuesday, January 1, 2008.
Riding experienced parade horses contributed by USET Foundation supporters, the 12 Olympians will parade in show clothes representing their disciplines—shadbellies and top hats for dressage, pink coats for show jumpers, and cross-country attire for eventers. With more than 300 horses scheduled to participate in the parade, it was the USET Foundation squad that was selected to lead the floral float entered by the Beijing Olympic Games Committee.
"We are thrilled that these Olympic dressage riders will be participating in this historic event," said USET Foundation Executive Director Bonnie Jenkins. "Each one has not only proven their competitiveness in the international arena, but has also been an impressive ambassador for our nation in countries around the world. We are proud to have them represent the USET Foundation in the Rose Parade and excited about the exposure it gives to equestrian sport as we head towards Beijing in 2008. I am looking forward to announcing our jumpers and eventers."Biographies for Olympic Dressage Riders, 2008 Rose Parade
Sue Blinks, 49, of San Diego, CA, aboard the Hanoverian gelding Flim Flam owned by Fritz Kundrun, helped the U.S. win the Team Bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Blinks and Flim Flam were also on the squad that won the Team Silver Medal at the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain. Blinks started riding Flim Flam as a three-year-old in 1990 and trained him to grand prix. The duo started their international success with a 1997 USET Training and Competition Grant, which culminated in a Team Gold medal at the 1997 CDIO at Hickstead, England. They followed that success as members of the team at the 1998 World Equestrian Games in Rome, Italy, where the U.S. placed fourth. In 1998, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) named Blinks the USOC Female Equestrian of the Year.Debbie McDonald
Debbie McDonald, 53, of Hailey, ID, launched her legendary international success in dressage with Brentina, a Hanoverian mare owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas, when she won the 1999 State Line Tack/USET Intermediaire I Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, and earned the honor of representing the U.S. at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, where she won both the Individual and Team Gold medals. Moving up to grand prix, McDonald and Brentina garnered even more international success—Team Silver at the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain; Champion at the 2003 Dressage World Cup Final in Goteborg, Sweden; Team Bronze at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece; third place at the 2005 World Cup Final in Las Vegas, NV; and Team Bronze at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. Steffen Peters
Steffen Peters, 43, of San Diego, CA, has represented the U.S. at top-level international dressage events with three different horses during the past decade. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games riding Udon, Peters helped the U.S. squad win the Team Bronze medal. At the 2002 FEI Wor