Anky & Salinero Selected with Edward & Undercover, Adelinde & Parzival for Dutch Olympic Team

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Anky van Grunsven and Salinero. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Anky van Grunsven and the 18-year-old Salinero were selected Sunday for the Netherlands Olympic team along with Edward Gal and Undercover and world’s No. 1 Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival who will compete this weekend to demonstrate their fitness to be on the team after skipping both Dutch observation events.

A decision on the fourth combinations for the squad–Holland qualified a team of three and one individual–will be made later between Imke Schellekens-Bartels and Toots and Patrik van der Meer and Uzzo.

The selection of Anky and Salinero for their third Olympics to open in London a month from now, matches her record with Bonfire whom she rode in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Games for three team silver medals and one individual gold. The first Olympics for Anky was in 1988 on Prisco so this will be her seventh straight appearance on the world’s biggest sports stage.

This will be the first Olympics for Edward Gal and also for Adelinde and Parzival.

Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival riding their victory gallop beside the World Cup that they won for the second straight year. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Edward will ride Undercover, who has competed with the name Glock’s Undercover for the owner of the gun maker but commercial names are not allowed in the Olympics. The 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Ferro x Mimosavrouwe x Donnerhall) began his international Grand Prix career with Edward only this April. The pair have placed in the top five at three CDIs, including Rotterdam CDIO last week, and were successful at the Dutch championships.

Edward trained and competed Totilas, the black super stallion, to world record scores at all three Grand Prix levels and dominated the 2010 World Equestrian Games by sweeping the team and individual gold medals. By the end of that year, however, the horse was sold to be ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath and most likely will appear under the German flag in London.

For Anky, the 44-year-old mother of two children and one of the most decorated riders in the history of dressage, the Olympics with the KWPN gelding (Salieri x Luna x Lungali) will be the third Games for the partnership. The pair won one team silver and individual gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games and individual gold in Athens in 2004. They won the World Cup Finals in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008 and gold and silver at the 2006 World Equestran Games.

Salinero was injured in 2010 taking the horse out of contention for the WEG, but Anky qualified and rode on the Dutch reining team.

Anky began competing Salinero again last summer and in a handful of competitions since then the horse has been getting fitter. At the Rotterdam CDIO Freestyle Saturday night, the pair came within a fraction of a point of victory.

In addition to competing at London, she coaches Morgan Barbançon, the 19-year-old Spanish rider, on Painted Black on whom Anky won the 2007 World Cup as well as some of the Dutch eventers in dressage.

Adelinde and Parzival skipped the Rotterdam CDIO last week as she did the national championships that were to determine selections for the team, saying that the 15-year-old KWPN gelding (Jazz x Fidoria x Ulft) was not ready. The pair won back-to-back World Cup Finals in 2011 and 2012 but have not competed in an Olympics. They have been successful at European Championships in 2009 and 2011 but suffered heartbreak in the 2010 world championships in Kentucky when Parzival bit his tongue causing blood to show on his mouth and was eliminated.

Edward Gal riding Glock's Undercover. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com