Anky van Grunsven
|Competitor for the Netherlands|
|Gold||2000 Sydney||Individual dressage|
|Gold||2004 Athens||Individual dressage|
|Gold||2008 Beijing||Individual dressage|
|Silver||1992 Barcelona||Team dressage|
|Silver||1996 Atlanta||Individual dressage|
|Silver||1996 Atlanta||Team dressage|
|Silver||2000 Sydney||Team dressage|
|Silver||2008 Beijing||Team dressage|
|Bronze||2012 London||Team dressage|
|Gold||1994 The Hague||Freestyle dressage|
|Gold||2006 Aachen||Freestyle dressage|
|Silver||1994 The Hague||Team Dressage|
|Silver||1998 Rome||Individual Dressage|
|Silver||1998 Rome||Team Dressage|
|Silver||2006 Aachen||Special dressage|
|Silver||2006 Aachen||Team Dressage|
|Gold||1999 Arnhem||Individual Dressage|
|Gold||2005 Hagen||Individual Dressage|
|Gold||2007 La Mandria||Special Dressage|
|Gold||2009 Windsor||Team Dressage|
|Silver||1995 Mondorf||Individual Dressage|
|Silver||1995 Mondorf||Team Dressage|
|Silver||1997 Verden||Individual Dressage|
|Silver||1997 Verden||Team Dressage|
|Silver||1999 Arnhem||Team Dressage|
|Silver||2001 Verden||Team Dressage|
|Silver||2005 Hagen||Team Dressage|
|Silver||2007 La Mandria||Freestyle Dressage|
|Silver||2007 La Mandria||Team Dressage|
|Bronze||1991 Donaueschingen||Team Dressage|
|Bronze||2009 Windsor||Freestyle Dressage|
Theodora Elisabeth Gerarda ("Anky") van Grunsven (born 2 January 1968) is a Dutch dressage champion who holds the record for the highest number of Olympic medals won by any equestrian athlete and the record for the most successive wins in any Olympic equestrian event. Along with her Olympic successes, she has won numerous medals at the World Equestrian Games, and is the only rider to have competed at every WEG since they began in 1990. Between 1990 and 2006, she competed at the Games in dressage, but in 2010 she was named as part of the Dutch reining team, marking a major change in discipline.
She was born in in Erp, North Brabant. Van Grunsven began training in dressage at the age of 12, after her horse Prisco (who would later take her to the Olympics and World Equestrian Games) did poorly in the sport of show jumping.
Van Grunsven is married to Dutch national equestrian coach Sjef Janssen, with whom she has two children. She was pregnant with her first child, Yannick, when she competed at the 2004 Olympic Games, and gave birth in November of that year. Van Grunsven and Janssen married in Las Vegas in late 2005, and in March 2007 had her second child, Ava Eden.
In 1999, van Grunsven, "frustrated by the lack of fashion in the equestrian world", developed a line of equestrian clothing, now sold internationally.
Olympics and World Equestrian Games
Van Grunsven holds the record for winning the highest number of Olympic medals by an equestrian, with nine medals, and is the only person to have won any equestrian event in three successive Olympics. She is also the only person to compete at seven successive Olympics in the sport of dressage. She has competed in every Olympic Games between 1988 and 2012, winning a total of three gold medals, five silvers and one bronze. At the 1988 Summer Olympics, riding Prisco, she was eliminated in the qualifying rounds of the individual dressage, and was the lowest-scoring member of the 5th-place Dutch team, meaning her score was not used to determine the team's standing. At the 1992 Summer Olympics, her performance improved, and riding Bonfire she took fourth individually and won her first silver medal in the team competition. At the 1996 Games, again riding Bonfire, she won double silver in the individual and team dressage competitions.
With her last Olympic ride on Bonfire, at the 2000 Summer Olympics, she won her first gold in the individual competition, while helping the Dutch team to their third consecutive silver. In 2004 in Athens, on her new mount, Salinero, she won her second gold in individual competition, while the Dutch team came in fourth. The 2008 Olympic Games, again riding Salinero, brought her her third consecutive individual gold, while the Dutch team returned to the medal podium with a silver. Riding Salinero at the most recent Games, in 2012 in London, van Grunsven slipped to sixth place individually, but helped the Dutch team to her first bronze medal. Van Grunsven was originally not expected to compete in the 2012 Olympics, as the horse she was riding at the beginning of 2012, IPS Upido, was injured. However, in April, she announced that she planned to compete for a spot on the Dutch Olympic team with the then-18-year-old Salinero, who had staged what the media called a "comeback" after previous injuries.
Along with her Olympic successes, van Grunsven has also won numerous medals at the World Equestrian Games. After competing in the 2010 World Equestrian Games, she became the only equestrian to have competed in every World Equestrian Games, which have been held every four years since 1990, and which include three sections of dressage competition, two individual and one team. At the 1990 World Equestrian Games, riding Prisco, she finished 23rd individually. Van Grunsven rode Bonfire at the 1994 and 1998 World Equestrian Games, winning individual gold and team silver at the first and double silver (one individual and one team) at the second. She was unhappy with the judging at the 1998 Games, held in Rome, and said that she "thought [she] would quit dressage", despite her high finish placement.
At the 2002 World Equestrian Games, riding Krack C, she finished 11th individually and rode to 5th place with the Dutch team. Her best finish was at the 2006 Games, riding Salinero, where she won an individual gold and two silvers, one individually and one team. At the 2010 Games, after her top horse Salinero was injured and second-best horse Painted Black was sold, she competed as part of the Dutch reining team, marking a major change in discipline. Riding Whizashiningwalla BB, she was eliminated in the qualifying rounds. At the Games, she also performed a reining demonstration at the presentation of the team dressage medal and and participated in an exhibition of freestyle reining. Van Grunsven began riding reining horses around 2000, but only became a serious competitor in the sport after the 2008 Olympics.
Van Grunsven has won the Dressage World Cup eight times, in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006 and 2008. The World Cup features the freestyle dressage, and her record number of wins has won van Grunsven the nickname "Queen of the Kür". She has also collected four gold medals, eight silver and two bronze at the European Dressage Championships.
In 2002, Bonfire was retired, after a 9-year international career. The pair's gold-medal-winning freestyle dressage performance at the 1994 World Equestrian Games marked the first the time event had been held at the Games, and "changed the world of dressage forever", according to fellow Olympic gold medalist Carl Hester. A statue was erected in Erp to mark Bonfire's achievements. In October 2013, he was euthanized following illness.
In January 2003, van Grunsven sustained a fracture of a bone in her upper leg in a fall from a horse in training, and required surgery. A metal plate was embedded in her leg to immobilize the bone during the healing process, and van Grunsven recovered, winning the 2003 Dutch Dressage Championships in June. In September, she underwent a second surgery to have the plate removed. In 2004 became the first Dutch rider to win the CHIO Aachen dressage competition, a top international competition.
In March 2013, Salinero was retired. Van Grunsven and Salinero have been called the "pioneers of the modern freestyle test", and were the first pair to have music written specifically for their performances. A horse known for his power and ability, he was also sensitive and, early in his career, prone to becoming tense, making him a more difficult horse to ride. Despite this, he was a star of the dressage world, winning numerous international competitions.
Van Grunsven was closely linked with the controversial training method rollkur, and advocated use of the method as recently as 2007. She has moved to distance herself with the method since the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) declared in February 2010 that this method "is seen as an aggressive way of a deep moving horse. This is forbidden as well as any head-neck position which is obtained in an aggressive way."
In a lawsuit announced on 24 August 2010, van Grunsven claimed to have been defamed by journalist Astrid Appels on the website eurodressage.com. A release posted on that website announcing the lawsuit reported that "according to Anky, images of her horses can not be connected to the controversial rollkur training method." The lawsuit was scheduled to begin 8 September 2010 in 's-Hertogenbosch but van Grunsven withdrew the case. 
- List of multiple Olympic gold medalists in one event
- List of athletes with the most appearances at Olympic Games
- "Anky van Grunsven". Sports Reference. Retrieved 2013-11-29.
- Marston, Victoria (May 20, 2010). "Anky van Grunsven reveals". Horse & Hound.
- "Isabell Werth, Anky van Grunsven & Steffen Peters to Compete at Palm Beach Exquis World Dressage Masters". Dressage News. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- "Athletes: Anky van Grunsven: Bio". NBC Sports. 2008. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- Warne, Sarah (August 28, 2012). "Van Grunsven Winding Down After the 2012 Olympic Games". Eurodressage. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- White, Charlotte (April 26, 2012). "Anky Van Grunsven and Salinero aim for London Olympics". Horse & Hound. Retrieved 2013-11-30.
- Braddick, Kenneth J. (October 1, 2010). "Anky van Grunsven is Only Rider to Compete at Every WEG". Dressage News. Retrieved 2013-11-29.
- "From Dressage to Reining". America's Horse Daily. American Quarter Horse Association. October 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-29.
- Braddick, Kenneth J. (2012). "Anky van Grunsven on the Past, the Now and the Future - Part 1 of 2". Dressage News. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- Heath, Sophia (October 29, 2013). "Olympic superstar Bonfire put to sleep". Horse & Hound. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- Bliss, Leslie (July 29, 2003). "Olympics superstar Bonfire retires". Horse & Hound. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- "Anky van Grunsven Breaks Leg". Eurodressage. January 17, 2003. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- "Anky van Grunsven Back in Hospital for Surgery". Eurodressage. September 1, 2003. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- "Anky van Grunsven Writes History by Winning Aachen Grand Prix Championship". Eurodressage. July 20, 2004. Retrieved 2013-11-29.
- "Anky van Grunsven’s dressage star Salinero bows out". Horse & Hound. March 18, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- Bryant, Jennifer O. (August 11, 2012). ""Rollkur": Dressage's Dirty Word". The Horse. Retrieved 2013-11-29.
- "The Rollkur Debate Still Hot in Great Britain". Eurodressage. March 20, 2007. Retrieved 2013-11-29.
- "Anky van Grunsven Sues Eurodressage". Eurodressage. August 24, 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
- Carruthers, Fiona (July 14, 2012). "Cruel twist to the elite sport of dressage". Australian Financial Review.
Leontien van Moorsel
|Dutch Sportswoman of the Year
|Flagbearer for Netherlands
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anky van Grunsven.|