Four-time Olympian Heike Holstein and her home-bred Sambuca turned in a solid showing in Olympic dressage today, finishing the Grand Prix Group D in Tokyo on a score of 68.432, which was not enough to advance. It was the Olympic debut for her 12-year-old mare, which she bred.
“I was really happy with her, she went into the ring and really concentrated,” said Holstein. “We had a few little errors that were my fault: in the first medium trot I had her back a bit too much, but I was really happy with the passage and the piaffe has improved a lot.
“She was really relaxed in the walk and the changes were good. I timed the warm-up just right, I practised it yesterday at the same time and I had more time today so I did less with her before I went in. She wasn’t exhausted but wasn’t too fresh. I was happy with most of it.” “I am really proud of her. When she was a little foal I never thought that we would get this far, it is a long road and lots of things can happen.”
The Irish equestrian athletes are wearing yellow ribbons at the Games in commemoration of the loss of a highly talented young Irish athlete, Tiggy Hancock, in June. Also decorating Heike’s lapel was a pin designed by Tiggy’s mother specifically for the event. When asked about the ribbon and pin, Heike proudly mentioned while pointing at them: “Tiggy is at the Olympics in Tokyo and we are very proud to wear this for her.”