Imke and Sunrise in the team event earlier this week; the test was very light and graceful.
Amsterdam must be on edge tonight. Dressage rider Imke Schellekens-Bartels announced today that her spectacular horse Hunter Douglas Sunrise (sponsored by the window shade firm) developed an injury after the team dressage competition. She has withdrawn from today’s individual grand prix special.
Schellekens-Bartels and the 14-year-old Sunrise were in fifth place after the team competition and had been second in the World Cup last year. They were highly regarded as contenders for a medal in the individuals.
Details on the injury are still sketchy at this point. The Xinhua News Agency in China quotes the rider as saying, “I can’t believe it. The injury must have developed during the competition on Thursday. Before, she was 100 percent in order. But afterwards we noticed a small problem that could well develop into something bigger and could harm the horse. This is the last thing I would want.”
The withdrawal is a further shock for Holland following speculation that dressage star Anky Van Grunsven may retire from competition after the Games. Anky finished second to Germany’s Isabel Werth in today’s grand prix special event. The third Dutch rider, Hans Peter Minderhoud, finished seventh.