Dutch dressage star Anky van Grunsven reported today, Oct. 28, that her Olympic gold medal-winning partner Bonfire died due to complications from Cushing’s disease and laminitis. He was 30.
“My heart is broken,” wrote van Grunsven on twitter. Her partner, Sjef Janssen, provided a statement to Hoefslag.
“He was always a tremendous fighter for us,” Janssen told Hoefslag. “[At the 1999 European Championships] it was hot, and Bonfire seemed overcome by the sun. However, when he came in the ring, he turned the knob, and he fought for Anky. It’s been good. We will never forget him.”
Van Grunsven and Bonfire, an Oldenburg (Welt As—Warine, Praefectus xx) gelding, won team silver with the Netherlands and individual gold at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, team and individual silver at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, team silver at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, individual gold and team silver at the 1994 World Equestrian Games (the Netherlands) and team and individual silver at the 1998 World Equestrian Games in Rome.