There are two women in the world who can get away with the appellation “dressage queen” without it being an exaggeration. Both are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime to Hong Kong, and are likely to be one-two/gold-silver (ah, but which one on top?) at the Hong Kong Olympic Dressage competition next month.
The horses of both Germany’s Isabel Werth and the Netherlands’ Anky van Grunsven are settling into quarantine. Anky’s horses are in Handel, Holland for isolation and observation before they are flown to Hong Kong. They will be in isolation for the next eight days.
Luckily for us, Dutch television filmed the departure of Anky’s Salinero and Painted Blank, and you can see a little behind-the-scenes glimpse of the training center for Anky and Svef Jepsen, the Dutch chef d’equipe. The horse vans are amazing; the “Hunter Douglas” one really is related to those honeycomb blinds in your house. The company sponsors the #2 horse on the Dutch team, Hunter Douglas Sunrise, a beautiful mare ridden by Imke Schellekens-Bartels. That combination will surely be at or near the top in Hong Kong.
You will see the vet taking swabs from the nostrils of the horses before they are allowed to unload at the quarantine facility.
The Olympics will be here before we know it!