Anne In The Limelight Of FEI Dressage

Anne Gribbons

Some of Anne's most notable accomplishments in the ring were as a member of the USET representing the United States in dressage at international competitions. The first time was in 1985, when she was part of the North American Championship Team in Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I at the finals in North Salem, NY. She was riding the gray Kristall, a horse she also rode on the team at that same level in 1986 at the World Championship in Canada, where the combination finished in a respectable 12th place.

From 1992 through 1993, Anne spent a year-and-a-half training and showing in Europe. She trained with Dr. Volker Moritz of Germany and showed at Aachen, Schoten, Beek, Dusseldorf, and Falsterbo. Both her stallion Leonardo II and Metallic placed well in the large and small tour respectively.

In 1994, Anne rode Leonardo in the World Championship Trials and placed seventh. The duo was invited to the World Cup League Finals that same year. "That was a great horse to ride. He was very expressive, elastic, but difficult in many ways. He was a breeding stallion, so he had all those features. I just adored him. I rode many breeding stallions but he was one I really bonded with. He was the 'Cowardly Lion' - he was very much a stallion but he also liked to have me around to protect him."

In 1995, Anne and Metallic were on the Silver Medal Team at the Pan Am Games. Anne schooled Metallic from breaking to Grand Prix and had her eye on the 1996 Olympic Games, but because of a health issue, she could not try out for the team. Metallic, however, made the squad with Robert Dover as his rider, and they were part of the U.S. Bronze Medal winning team in Atlanta .

Though being on a team was never her ultimate goal in riding, she admits that it was a 'carrot' and a motivation after 1986. "I loved it and was thrilled to compete for the U.S. and fulfill some of those goals, but it was not a driving force in my life. My overall goal was, and still is to make good horses and good riders. I'd rather know at the end of the road that I made a difference with horses and people, and not just that I earned a medal. I also know what you have to give up to get on a team and I have a great admiration for those who do it again and again."