Heike first sat on a pony at the age of two. She won her first Irish title aged 18 (1990) and has since won it 12 times. She trained with seven-time Olympic medallist Dr Reiner Klimke in Germany for many years and this will be her fourth Olympics. She was 26th in Atlanta (1996), 42nd in Sydney (2000) and 50th in Athens (2004). She bred Sambuca herself and brought her to Grand Prix level and competed on her at the 2019 European Championships. She took 13 years out of international competition to have her family (sons Jake and Archie) so the 2019 Nations Cup in Aachen was her first appearance for Ireland in 14 years. Despite limited competitions in 2020-21 the pairing had seven top 10 placings, including the five-star Grand Prix in Rotterdam in July 2021. Her mother Gisela Holstein is an international dressage judge and her brother Erik, a show jumper, was 10th individually at the 1998 World Equestrian Games.