Dressage champion Anky van Grunsven has withdrawn from all classes at the Royal International Horse Show (26-30 July) due to illness. As yet it is not known exactly what is wrong, but a spokesperson for Hickstead confirmed that she might need surgery.
The Dressage Masters League Championship and CDIO 2006 runs alongside the RIHS and dual Olympic gold medallist Anky was to take centre stage, riding in several classes each day.
Hundreds of people have booked tickets to watch her ride in the Grand Prix special on Saturday and the KPMG Grand Prix Freestyle to Music on Sunday afternoon. “She was supposed to be riding every day at least two or three times,” said a spokesperson for Hickstead dressage.
Anky was on holiday when she telephoned the Hickstead dressage secretary to withdraw from the competition. “She called us on Thursday to say that she may have to go in for surgery,” said the spokesperson, “I don’t know what the surgery is for – we didn’t want to ask.”