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Sport Dressage, Reining
NOC Netherlands   
Born02 Jan 1968 in Erp, NED
Height1.72 m
Human Interest
Last Update
  30 Jan 2020
Further Personal Information
Residence Erp, NED
Occupation Athlete, Business Owner, Coach, Horse Trainer
Languages Dutch, German, English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She began riding at age six.
Why this sport? Her father loved horses and she naturally followed him into the sport.
Club / Team Anky Van Grunsven Dressage Horses: Erp, NED
General Interest
Hero / Idol Bonfire, her first Olympic champion horse. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2012)
Injuries In June 2020 she sustained a broken clavicle. (, 02 Jun 2020)

In July 2018 she bruised her left big toe when a horse stepped on her foot. (Instagram profile, 29 Jul 2018)

She sustained a back injury in late 2008 and had to rest for a short period. (, 14 Dec 2008)

She broke her shoulder in 1997 and fractured her leg in 2003. It took almost five months following the leg break before she was able to ride again and 10 months to fully recover. She had iron rods placed in her leg but needed a second operation before the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens due to complications. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2012;, 05 May 2004;, 02 Apr 2003)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs She puts her left boot on first and wears a special belt, bracelet and watch. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Carpe diem." (Athlete, 12 Jul 2012)
Awards and honours She was one of five Dutch nationals asked to perform special ceremonial duties at the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander in April 2013. (, 17 Apr 2013)

She received the Fanny Blankers-Koen Award [lifetime achievement award] at the 2012 Dutch Sports Awards. (, 18 Dec 2012)

She has been named Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau and Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. (, 23 Oct 2010)

She was named the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation [KNHS] Rider of the Century in 2001 and has won the KNHS Rider of the Year Award eight times. (, 21 Jan 2015;, 2014)

She was flag bearer for the Netherlands at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. (, 02 Apr 2003)

In 1994 she was named Dutch Sportswoman of the Year in the Netherlands. (, 10 Dec 2009)
Other sports She has represented the Netherlands in reining and won a bronze medal in the team event at the 2015 European Championships in Aachen, Germany. (, 15 Aug 2015;, 14 Aug 2015)
Milestones In 2008 she became the first rider to win individual gold at the Olympic Games three times in a row with two different horses. She won in 2000 with Bonfire and with Salinero in 2004 and 2008. She was pregnant when she claimed gold at the 2004 Games in Athens. (, 21 Jan 2015;, 26 Jul 2011)
Famous relatives Her husband Sjef Janssen was appointed coach of the Belgian dressage team in 2013. He had previously served as national coach of Netherlands. Her daughter Ava Eden has competed in pony jumping at national level in the Netherlands. (, 24 Mar 2019;, 26 Feb 2015)
Other information STABLES
She set up the Anky Education Center in 2009, which is her training facility in Erp, Netherlands. She also coaches dressage riders there. (, 01 Jul 2020;, 14 Mar 2014)

In 2016 she began serving as chairwoman of the Indoor Brabant concours in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. In 2019 she became an ambassador for the Royal Dutch Equestrian Sports Federation's Talent Plan, a talent recognition and development programme for Olympic disciplines. (, 24 Mar 2020;, 17 Jan 2019;, 09 Mar 2018, 12 Mar 2016)

She has competed in reining at international level, and first thought about trying the sport after winning a gold medal in the individual event at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. "When I won the Olympics in 2008, I thought, 'Okay, I think I'm good at dressage, now I need something that I'm not good at.' I got a really nice Western saddle and then my friends and family said, 'You got the saddle, go and do some reining.' That's how it started. Reining is a completely different sport. In dressage, it's all controlled, and looks really pretty as well. Dressage is more classical in a way. In reining, I feel like 'Go, girl!' I love the clothes, the glitter, and the speed I also like a lot." (FEI YouTube channel, 10 Jun 2020)

Major Results
Olympic Games
Year Venue Horse Ind. Rank Team Rank
2012 OG-D London (GBR) SALINERO 6 3
2008 OG-D Hong Kong - The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games (CHN) SALINERO 2 2
2004 OG-D Athens (GRE) Salinero 1 4
2000 OG-D Sydney NSW (AUS) Bonfire 1 2
1996 OG-D Atlanta GA (USA) Bonfire 2 2
1992 OG-D Barcelona (ESP) Olympic Bonfire 4 2
1988 OG-D Seoul (KOR) Prisco 36 5
World Equestrian Games
Year Venue Horse Ind. Rank Team Rank
2006 5th WEG FS Aachen (GER) KELTEC SALINERO 1  
2006 5th WEG Aachen (GER) SALINERO 2 2
2002 4th WEG Jerez de la Frontera (ESP) Gestion Krack C 11  
1998 3rd WEG Rome (ITA) Bonfire 2 2
1994 2nd WEG Den Haag (NED) Olympic Bonfire 1  
1990 1st WEG Stockholm (SWE) PRISCO 23 8
Continental Championships and Games
Year Venue Horse Ind. Rank Team Rank
2009 CH-EU FS Windsor (GBR) SALINERO 3  
2009 CH-EU Windsor (GBR) SALINERO 4 1
2007 CH-EU FS La Mandria, Torino (ITA) SALINERO 1  
2007 CH-EU La Mandria, Torino (ITA) SALINERO 2 1
2005 CH-EU Hagen (GER) Keltec Salinero 1 2
2001 CH-EU Verden (GER) GESTION IDOOL 17 2
1995 CH-EU Mondorf les Bains (LUX) Cameleon Bonfire 2 2
1991 CH-EU Donaueschingen (GER) Olympic Bonfire 5 3
1989 CH-EU Mondorf les Bains (LUX) PRISCO 22 5
World Cup Final
Year Venue Horse Ind. Rank Team Rank
2009 CDI-W Final Las Vegas NV (USA) PAINTED BLACK 3  
2008 CDI-W Final 's-Hertogenbosch (NED) SALINERO 1  
2006 CDI-W Final Amsterdam (NED) KELTEC SALINERO 1  
2005 CDI-W Final Las Vegas NV (USA) KELTEC SALINERO 1  
2004 CDI-W Final Düsseldorf (GER) KELTEC SALINERO 1  
2000 CDI-W Final 's-Hertogenbosch (NED) GESTION BONFIRE 1  
1997 CDI-W Final 's-Hertogenbosch (NED) GESTION BONFIRE 1  
1989 CDI-W Final Göteborg (SWE) PRISCO 7  

Current Results
There are no current results available for this athlete.
Abbreviation Meaning
DNF Did Not Finish
DNS Did Not Start
DNQ Did Not Qualify
DSQ Disqualified
FNR Finished No Rank
RET Retired
WDW Withdrawal

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