Anky van Grunsven’s Sydney gold medal-winning dressage ride, the 17-year-old Gestion Bonfire, will be officially retired during a special dressage matinee at the Jumping Indoor Maastricht Show in Holland on Sunday, 26 November.
With the co-operation of top German and Dutch riders, the show organisers have built the entire performance around Bonfire’s retirement and the afternoon is already almost sold out.
The Oldenburg gelding by Welt As has had an international career spanning nine years,winning team bronze in 1991.
He followed this with team silver at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and became the inaugural world freestyle champion at The Hague.
When the championship format was changed again, he was beaten into second place each time by Gigolo, ridden by Isabell Werth, until Gigolo had to be withdrawn last year and Bonfire took the European title.
The battle for gold became a regular “Gigolo versus Bonfire” clash and Sydney was the first time he beat Gigolo at a major championship.