Dutch triple Olympic gold medallist Anky van Grunsven has announced the shocking news that she has withdrawn herself for Dutch WEG team participationg. She will not try for the Dutch team neither with her double gold medal winning horse Salinero, nor with her second Grand Prix horse Painted Black. The most successful Grand Prix rider of the 2000s has herself ended an era. Anky's 16-year old Hanoverian gelding Salinero (by Salieri x Lungau) has been injured for two months after bruising his withers in his stall. The healing process is taking much longer than expected and will take at least one more month. This means that Anky will only be able to start training Salinero at the end of June, begin July.
"The horse will need to be fully trained again to participate in top competitions, which takes at least a whole month, after three months of total inactivity," Van Grunsven reported. "In order not the force the issue and to give Salinero full recovery time, I had to make this disappointing decision."
The 42-year old Van Grunsven also decided not to try her second mount, the KWPN stallion Painted Black (by Gribaldi x Ferro) for Dutch team selection. "Because of up-and-down performances of the stallion the last few months as well as a small injury, Anky estimates her chance to finish in the top five as very small. This is her minimum personal goal considering her successes in the past," her press officer wrote.
"It is Anky's opinion to give other combinations the opportunity to compete at the World Equestrian Games and furthermore, she doesn't think that Holland's chances for team gold are reduced by her withdrawal. Other Dutch combinations have enough potential to be high quality additions for the team performance."