ANKY RETURNS WITH HER OLYMPIC PARTNER SALINERO
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
FALSTERBO, Sweden, July 7–Anky Van Grunsven will compete Salinero, at the CDI5* at the Falsterbo Horse Show on Friday, their first international competition since an injury the Dutch superstar thought might be the end of the show ring partnership with her Olympic gold medal mount.
Anky, the mother of two children who are with her this weekend along with her husband, Sjef Janssen, coach of the Dutch team, last competed with the Hanoverian gelding 15 months ago after a career that included a quadruple slam–Olympic, World Equestrian Games, World Cup and European Championship gold medals.
“After the injury to his withers,” she told dressage-news.com, “we put him out in a field and thought that he would enjoy his life in retirement.
“But I started riding him again and he felt so good and so full of life that I thought, ‘It’s too bad we may not show again.’
“But we have competed in some national shows and he feels great. Now we are here.
“It is not about winning. It is about riding. I love to ride. If I thought it depended on winning medals, I would have stopped a long time ago.”
She competed her second Grand Prix horse, IPS Painted Black, late last year after focusing on reining in which she competed as a member of the Dutch team at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year. Anky and Painted Black won this same event a year ago.
Reining, she said, is a hobby but dressage remains her prime interest.
Now, at the age of 17 years, Salinero will compete in the World Dressage Masters with Sweden’s Patrik Kittel on his 2008 Olympic horse which is posting great results this year. Patrik is coached by Anky’s husband.
Sixteen combinations will start in the CDI5*, including Patrik, fellow Swede Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén, Germany’s Anja Plönzke and riders from Norway, Denmark, Austria, USA and Poland.