Anky on Salinero Queen of the Freestyle Again, at Salzburg CDI4*

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Anky van Grunsven and Salinero at Salzburg. © 2011 Nini Schäbel

SALZBURG, Austria, Dec. 4–Anky van Grunsven and Salinero were back on top of the freestyle that has been the Dutch rider’s trademark performance for more than two decades with victory Sunday at the Amadeus Pappas Indoor Horse show CDI4* on a score that was their highest since winning in Wellington, Florida, two years ago.

Although now 17 years old and having shown only six times in the past two years due to an injury that was feared could be career-ending, Salinero and Anky gave a performance before a sold-out stadium that earned them 79.025 per cent, with Germany’s Anja Bauer Plönzke on Le Mont d’Or second on 76.050 per cent and Japan’s Yuko Kitai on Golden Coin third on 73.425 per cent. It was the same order of finish as the Grand Prix.

This competition was the third this year for the pair and not only produced the best result since Wellington, it probably produced enough points to elevate them to around the top 50 ranked combinations in the world from the netherreaches of the standings–379th in August this year. Her other former top horse, Painted Black, is competed by one of her students.

Salinero is a Hanoverian gelding on whom Anky has won two Olympic individual gold medals, four of her nine World Cup titles and a world championship. She is seeking a place on the Dutch team at next year’s London Olympics for her seventh Games and third on Salinero which, if successful, would equal the three Olympics in which she rode Bonfire.

Spain’s Jose Daniel Martin Dockx rode Grandioso, the 12-year-old P.R.E. stallion owned by Kimberly Boyer of Wellington, to fourth on 71.975 per cent following the Grand Prix result of 68.213 per cent, also for fourth. Aside from a CDI3* in Spain, Salzburg was the first international big tour competition for Grandioso. The horse was competed successfully at small tour by Courtney King Dye for more than two years until just before a horse accident seriously injured the U.S. Olympian.

Grandioso is now officially registered to Spain, a requirement to qualify for that nation’s team for the Olympics in London next year.

The Olympic Grand Prix Special was won by Germany’s Dieter Laugks and Meggle’s Weltall VA with a personal best of 76 667 per cent. Austria’s Renate Voglsang and Fabriano were second on 69.889 per cent and Switzerland’s Marcella Krinke-Susmelj and Smeyers Molberg were third on 69.756 per cent.

For complete Freestyle results, click: Salzburg freestyle result