About Anky

About Anky

How it started.. 

Anky van Grunsven was born in Erp, the Netherlands, on January 2th, 1968.  When she was six years old she got her first pony, a Shetland pony named "Heleentje".  At first she would only clean and brush Heleentje. After taking the first riding lessons from her father, she joined the pony club in Erp. At an age of seven she started showjumping, something she wasn't very good at in the beginning. After graduating from high school she decided to start riding professionally. She received a cash book from her father and wished her 'good luck.''

Anky en Pieta                                  Anky en Prisco

Prisco was the first horse that was really her own. Anky rode her very first dressage test with Prisco at "L" level in 1980.  She advanced to "Z" level in 1982. There were ups and downs. However, the success came and after two European Championships for youn Riders, Anky participated in 1988 at the Olympics in Seoul. Two years later the duo became Dutch champion for the first time. 

The arrival of Bonfire...

In 1994, Anky became the World Champion Freestyle during the Wolrd Equestrian Games in The Hague. She won the World Cup Final in total nine times. The first time in Hollywood in 1995 where "Bonfire's Symphony", her freestyle music, played an important role.  She won in Gothenburg (1996), in 's-Hertogenbosch (1997), in Dortmund (1999) and again in 's-Hertogenbosch (2000).  During all these finals she rode Bonfire.  In 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008, Anky and Salinero won the World Cup Final in Düsseldorf, Las Vegas, Amsterdam and 's Hertogenbosch respectively. 

Anky met Bonfire ©Dirk Caremans / Arnd Bronkhorst 

Salinero and two times gold...

‚ÄčThe highlights of Anky's career until now are of course her three gold medals at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Athens and Hongkong. The first one on Bonfire (2000), who finished his career winning in Sydney. She won the second gold medal with Salinero in 2004, who at the time just started his sports career. Her third individual Olympic gold medal she won was with Salinero in Hongkong in 2008. In Londen she rode her third Olympics with Salinero and won the bronze teammedal with him. Individually she ended 6th.

Anky met Salinero ©Arnd Bronkhorst

Honorary titles and awards...
In 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2004 Anky was named "Rider of the Year" in the Netherlands and she was honored as "Sports Woman of the Year" in 1994. In 2001 she was named "Rider of the Century". Anky also received two royal decorations "Ridder in de Orde van Oranje Nassau" and "Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw".

Cloting and product line...

Riding and everything that comes with it have become a full-time occupation for Anky. In the afternoons, after the daily training of her horses, she will teach her students. The levels vary from the national level through Grand Prix. In addition, she frequently gives clinics in the Netherlands and abroad. Much attention also goes to her clothing line, ANKY ® Technical Casuals. She primarily gets involved with the designs and PR.


After the successful Olympic Games in Athens, Anky and her trainer and partner Sjef had a son, Yannick Janssen, who was born on November 23, 2004. Yannick Janssen always joins Anky and Sjef when they travel to major shows. Anky and Sjef were married in Las Vegas in April 2005 in the presence of Yannick Janssen. On March 6, 2007 daughter Ava Eden was born. Only a few weeks later she won the National title with Keltec Salinero and that year she won the European Championships in Turin. The Dutch team won gold. In 2008 Anky won the two most important competitions of this year: the Worldcupfinal and the Olympic Games! Anky is the first rider who wins three times in a row the individual Olympic gold medal with two different horses (Bonfire 2000 and Salinero 2004 & 2008)

Anky Education Center...

The completely renovated Anky Education Center was opened in 2010. A multifunctional center that is equipped with all conveniences and luxury for rider and horse. More and more home and foreign horsemen and riders are finding their way to Erp. In addition, corporate events take place and both horse and non-horse related workshops.