The famous Dutch kur composers' duo Cees Slings and Victor Kerkhof will no longer be working exclusively for Anky van Grunsven. Slings and Kerkhof announced this news at the 2005 FEI/PSI Freestyle Forum and stated that they will expand their equestrian activities
as of February 2005. In the equestrian world, Slings and Kerhof are known as composers of Anky van Grunsven’s Olympic gold (Athens 2004 and Sydney 2000) medal winning freestyles.
Slings and Kerkhof are currently negotiating with a number of international dressage riders and intend to get more composers involved in the freestyle to music. The pair, who arranged music for many international TV-drama series, comedies, wildlife films, documentaries and commercials the past 15 years, have worked exclusively for Van Grunsven as her freestyle composers from 1996 until 2005.
Slings and Kerkhof first surprised the equestrian world with “Bonfire’s Symphony,” an orchestral piece specially made for Bonfire and Van Grunsven. In Atlanta (1996), Anky won Olympic silver medal riding to this musical piece. This was the start of an artistic collaboration between Anky and Slings/Kerkhof resulting in Olympic gold in Sydney (2000) with “Something Old, Something New” and Olympic gold in Athens (2004) with “L’Esprit Chanson”. In the latter freestyle, Van Grunsven also made her debut as a singer, voicing the music for the canter zig zag.
Anky van Grunsven will continue to work with Slings and Kerkhof as her in-house composers, but she also supports further developments that can lift the level of dressage and freestyle riding in particular.
In Athens, Slings and Kerkhof already presented a taste of their broader approach. Riding to a Slings/Kerkhof composed freestyle, American rider and six-time Olympian Robert Dover scored great marks for artistic interpretation and ended in sixth place. He scored a 9 for his music.
Slings and Kerkhof ended their exclusive contract with Anky van Grunsven with the release of an international CD/DVD “Anky’s Music,” which shows the highlights of their successful, nine year, cooperation.
Slings and Kerkhof were invited as keynote speakers at the first FEI/PSI Freestyle Forum in Ankum, Germany, where they shared the secrets to their success with the audience. special guests to attend many dressage events. For the future, they have been asked to write the music for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Aachen World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 2006.
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