Anky a reserve for WEG Dutch reining team

August 6, 2010

by Robin Marshall

Dutch reining coach Caspar de Jonge has named the country's team going to the World Equestrian Games, and the lineup includes dressage rider Anky van Grunsven as reserve.


Anky van Grunsven and her reining horse, Whizashiningwalla BB. © Erwin Bovendeur
The team consists of: Fenna Elzinga (Lelystad), Hubertus Heule (Aubrey, Texas), Jurgen Poul (Grathem) and Rieky Young (Vorstenbosch), with Erp-based van Grunsven the reserve. She will travel if one of the four other team members pulls out.

"Anky has a lot of fun and is developing well in this discipline. She learns quickly, has more competition experience and is doing well," Caspar de Jonge said.

Van Grunsven did not seek selection for the country's dressage team because of an injury to Salinero, who hurt his withers in a stable accident.

However, she has been spending more time reining, and trains with Rieky Young. At her first FEI-level event, the CRI1* Swedish National Championships in Bökeberg, van Grunsven finished reserve champion. The event was a WEG qualifier.

The Dutch reining team are all seasoned competitors but will face the stiffest competition from the US, Canada, Italy, Belgium and Germany.


Rieky Young
Rieky Young, who has been a fixture of the team for several years, will ride the 12-year-old quarter horse stallion Burnt Starlight (by Gallo del Cielo) on whom she has won many national titles.

US-based reiner Hubert Heule trains and shows horses for the Green Valley Ranch in Aubrey, Texas. He will ride his mare Crome Shiner (by Custom Crome). In 2007 Heule took part in the FEI World Reining Masters Finals, and was in the fifth-place Dutch team at the European Championship.

Fenna Elzinga is new to the team. The 26-year-old from Lelystad rides the stallion Smoking Kills (by Lil Dry Peppy). In 2009 they won the European Championship Intermediate Non Pro and were fifth in the Italian Derby Intermediate Non Pro competition. She has also won several international western riding titles.

Jurgen Poul won individual bronze at last year's European Championships, and is the reigning Dutch champion. His top Tabasco Tari (by Taris Catalyst) is back in form after a slight injury. Poul was born in Belgium but is a naturalised Dutch citizen.

"It will be a contest with a very high standard of participants. These are good combinations that are able to deliver a solid performance in Kentucky," Caspar de Jonge said.

Also travelling with the team is veterinarian Waling Haytema, of Oldeholtpade.

The reining at the World Games starts with a Nations Cup event on September 26, with the second individual qualifying round the next day. The final is on September 30.