Grandioso, Olympic & Championship Mount for Spain, Farewelled at Florida’s Global Dressage Festival
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 28, 2017–Grandioso bade a final farewell before an adoring crowd that gave a standing ovation as a celebration of the P.R.E. stallion that carried Jose Daniel Martin Dockx to two Olympics, a world championship and two European Championships for Spain.
Before a sellout 750 spectators in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival VIP pavilion and another 1,000 spectators Grandioso looked as fit as ever in an exhibition freestyle despite his age of 18 years.
The horse now goes to owner Kimberly van Kampen’s Hampton Green Farm about a half-mile/1km from the show grounds to spend the rest of the winter in Florida’s balmy weather before retiring to Hampton Farm’s Michigan property of rolling green hills.
The retirement in Wellington had special meaning both for Kim and a legion of American fans, that was a highlight of U.S. P.R.E. week at Global that brought in hundreds of breeders, riders and supporters of the breed from Spain and across the United States.
Grandioso had been trained by Courtney King-Dye and was competing at small tour in this Florida show horse mecca when she sustained an accident on another horse in 2010 that ended a career at the age of 33 that had taken her to the Olympics two years earlier.
A year went by before Kim gave the ride to Dani, a trainer she respects and who has won admirers in Wellington for relaxed and classical training methods.
Another year later, the pair were on Spain’s team at the Olympics in London.
The European Championships in 2013 followed, then the 2014 World Equestrian Games and the 2015 Europeans.
Despite an injury that cast a cloud over prospects for 2016, the best veterinary treatment in the world was brought in and Grandioso was fully recovered and competing at Aachen, Germany, Europe’s premier show.
Dani and Grandioso were selected for the Spanish team for Rio de Janeiro and the Olympics was the stallion’s final competition.