Heike Holstein and Sambuca sixth in Tokyo Olympics Dressage Grand Prix

Heike Holstein on Sambuca during the Dressage Team and Individual Qualifier at the Equestrian Park in Tokyo. Credit: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile. Photo provided by Horse Sport Ireland.

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An excellent performance from Irish Dressage combination Heike Holstein and the Irish-bred mare Sambuca finish sixth in Tokyo on Sunday.

Their score of 68.432% meant they finished sixth of 10 competitors in their Grand Prix Group D test at the Olympic Games.

Their score ultimately wasn’t enough to see them qualify for Wednesday’s Individual Final however. It was another impressive display from Holstein who was competing at her fourth Olympics while 12-year-old Sambuca, whom Heike bred herself, was making her Olympic debut.

Speaking after their performance, Heike said:

“I was really happy with her [Sambuca]. She went into the ring and really concentrated. We had a few little errors that were my fault. In the first medium trot I had her back a bit too much. 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.”

The Irish dressage competitor continued:

“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. In 2019 I finally thought, this might happen!”

All Irish equestrian athletes at the Games are wearing yellow ribbons in commemoration of the loss of a highly talented young Irish athlete, Tiggy Hancock, in June.

The Irish Eventing team get their Olympic campaign underway on Friday while Ireland’s Show Jumping team will be in action at the Games on Tuesday August 3rd.

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