Spanish Olympic Team Horse Grandioso Undergoes Surgery, Uncertain for Rio Games

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Daniel Martin Dockx and Grandioso at the 2012 Olympics in London. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Daniel Martin Dockx and Grandioso at the 2012 Olympics in London. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Mar. 23, 2016

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Grandioso III, ridden by Jose Daniel Martin Dockx for Spain at Olympics and world and European Championships, has undergone surgery for a tendon injury and American owner Kim Boyer said Wednesday the stallion will undergo three months of rehabilitation that could keep it out of the Rio Games.

A decision on whether the 17 years old P.R.E. is fit for the Games will be made in July, a month before the Rio de Janeiro competition, after three months of rehabilitation recommended by the British surgeon, Kim told dressage-news.com.

“If I feel the horse is not in optimal condition we will retire him at that time,” said Kim, whose Hampton Green Farm in Wellington, Florida and Fruitport, Michigan is the owner though signed over to Dani Dockx for this year as required by Olympic rules.

Grandioso is the third ranked Spanish combination with Dani Dockx on the world standings with Beatriz Ferrer-Salat on Delgado and Sir Radjah filling the top two spots.

The horse displayed a swollen ankle on the left hind leg following a sudden stop in traffic while on the way to compete in Jerez de la Frontera in Spain in February.

The swelling went down but the pain returned 10 days later and the Spanish team veterinarian was flown in and found the tear in the tendon sheaf. He advised that surgery would be required to make the horse comfortable.

Bruce Bladon, one of the world’s top equine surgeons based in Newbury, Berkshire, England was contacted Monday. He flew to Spain the following day to perform what was described as “minimally invasive surgery” to repair the tear and clean up the area around the injury.

Grandioso will be rehabilitated at Sotogrande where aquatic therapy is available to help in recovery.

“Whether Grandioso will recover to full fitness in a short time, we don’t know,” Kim said. “If he is not ready to go to Rio I’m fine with that. His health is the most important thing.”

Grandioso (Adelante x Sevillano IX) was trained and competed through Small Tour and being prepared for Grand Prix by Courtney King Dye at the time of her riding accident in Florida in 2010.

The horse was moved to Spain a year later and was first competed in a CDI Grand Prix by Dani Dockx in May, 2011.

The pair competed on the Spanish team at the 2012 Olympics in London, the 2014 World Games in Normandy, France and the 2013 and 2015 European Championships. The duo was on Spain’s team at the Nations Cup in Germany for four straight years.

Grandioso was the top Iberian horse in the world for three years.

The most recent CDI competition was in Madrid last November where Kim and her family saw Grandioso win both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle.