Annica VAN GRUNSVEN

Netherlands NED

  • Olympic Medals
    3 G
    5 S
    1 B
  • Games participations
    7
  • First Olympic Games
    Seoul 1988
  • Year of Birth
    1968
Olympic Results

Biography

Annica VAN GRUNSVEN

In five editions of the Games, Anky van Grunsven has won nine individual Olympic equestrian medals, more than anyone else in history. She is also the only rider to have won an individual Olympic gold at three Games in a row.

The great Bonfire

Anky van Grunsven began riding ponies when she was six, before trying her hand at showjumping, and going on to win her first dressage title at the age of 12. In the mid-1980s she bought a bay gelding called Bonfire, and together they would win the World Cup, World Equestrian Games and European Championships several times over. They also competed together at three Olympic Games. Bonfire now spends his days in peaceful retirement at the stables that van Grunsven owns with her husband - dressage coach Sjef Janssen - in Erp, Holland, where there is also a bronze statue of the horse. To this day, he remains the rider’s favourite mount. Indeed, when he was retired in 2000, van Grunsven admitted she had never dreamed that she would ever ride such a fine horse.

A special rivalry

In the 1990s and 2000s van Grunsven enjoyed a gripping rivalry with Germany’s Isabel Werth and her mount Gigolo; and they always saved their most intense duels for the Games. At Barcelona 1992 the Dutch rider finished one place behind her German rival in fourth, and four years later in Atlanta, Werth beat van Grunsven again, this time to take gold. At Sydney 2000, it was a case of third time lucky for the Dutchwoman, as she and Bonfire got the better of Werth and Gigolo to take the Olympic dressage title. In the meantime, however, the German helped her country to three consecutive team dressage titles, with van Grunsven and her compatriots taking silver on each occasion.

A new partner

After putting Bonfire into retirement following their Olympic title, van Grunsven teamed up with another champion horse, a beautiful black gelding by the name of Salinero, a hard worker with no little talent. She went on to reach new heights on her new mount, setting a new Grand Prix points record of 87,925 in 2007. Numerous victories followed at national, European and world level, and the pair also won two Olympic golds together. The first came at the Markopoulo Equestrian Centre at Athens 2004, and then at the Hong Kong Sports Institute, venue for the equestrian events at Beijing 2008, van Grunsven beat her old rival Werth into second.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

London 2012

#6
Dressage, Individual
Dressage, Individual Equestrianism
B
Dressage, Team
Dressage, Team Equestrianism
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Beijing 2008

G
Dressage, Individual
Dressage, Individual Equestrianism
S
Dressage, Team
Dressage, Team Equestrianism
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Athens 2004

G
Dressage, Individual
Dressage, Individual Equestrianism
#4
Dressage, Team
Dressage, Team Equestrianism
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Sydney 2000

G
Dressage, Individual
Dressage, Individual Equestrianism
S
Dressage, Team
Dressage, Team Equestrianism
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Atlanta 1996

S
Dressage, Individual
Dressage, Individual Equestrianism
S
Dressage, Team
Dressage, Team Equestrianism
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Barcelona 1992

#4
Dressage, Individual
Dressage, Individual Equestrianism
S
Dressage, Team
Dressage, Team Equestrianism
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Seoul 1988

#36
Dressage, Individual
Dressage, Individual Equestrianism
#5
Dressage, Team
Dressage, Team Equestrianism