Saturday, January 16, 2010

Anky the "has-been?" I'm definitely getting old...

Despite the controversy surrounding Anky VG and her recent absence from top placings, it is hard for me to think of her as a has-been. Her West Side Story (non-Youtube version) freestyle with Bonfire is etched in my memory -- they truly danced.

Youtube version of Freestyle

This article and interview talks about Anky's "decline."

Equestrian Van Grunsven: not over the hill just yet

NRC International, by Danielle Pinedo, 29 December 2009 13:37

"Even I have to admit the new riders are refreshing," three time Olympic dressage champion Anky van Grunsven told NRC Handelsblad in an interview about her allegedly fading form.

This year Van Grunsven was mostly in the news for the titles she didn't win. She was part of the the Dutch team that won the gold at the European Championship in Winsor in August, but competing individually, she only earned bronze. In Winsor, like other tournaments, fellow Dutchmen Edward Gal and Adelinde Cornelissen defeated her.

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  1. Wow! I hadn't seen that one. Perfect timing for the music, and her horse is so fluid.

  2. Sensational new horses have entered the competition, so it's hard for anyone to stay on top. To me, this makes it all the more exciting.

    And honestly, it's about time. As Anky notes, we need fresh faces in the world of dressage.

  3. Have to add, I have always loved Anky's ability to interpret the music in the freestyle. Of course the arrangements are tailor made to her and the horse, but there is a sense of "musicality" often neglected in the kurs. Not sure I'd ever seen that particular ride on Bonfire, but I do remember the Olympic rides and I was super impressed then. He always looked so much more relaxed than Salinero.

  4. thanks for sharing - beautiful video and interesting article

  5. Now I REALLY feel old -- I can't be the only one that wore out an old VHS tape watching this freestyle. I have all the Volvo World Cup videos and can tell you about Anky's performance of this freestyle each year (tiny, tiny differences) -- all were so wonderful.

    Bob took the tapes to work to show his non-horsey co-workers.

  6. That is a beautiful video. Any sport needs fresh faces and it is very hard I would think to find such a good horse. That rider and horse are just perfect together. I really enjoyed watching that. I am not big into dressage but that is just gorgeous.

  7. I hadn't seen that one either. Absolutely stunning performance.

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  9. I love some of those bygone horses. I have an old VHS of '94 WEG--Avontuur, Suna, Gifted, Nicole U-B on Rembrandt. I love Bonfire. There was something special about those horses.

  10. It's not about the riders as much as the horses. And horses age more quickly than we do. New young horses enter the FEI levels every year, so no one horse can stay on top forever. Now if a rider gets multiple great horses staggered over their own lifetime, then they are fortunate. Not to mention there are so many people in every horse's life, just as there are horses in each person's life.

    Who knows, Anky may be back in the medals tomorrow. But I won't even touch on my amateur opinions on Anky or anyone. :)


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