‘Iron Maiden or Five Finger Death Punch’: European Showjumping Championships leader reveals unusual pre-ring motivation

  • Swedish showjumper Jens Fredricson maintained his position at the top of the individual leaderboard with another brilliant clear on the second day of jumping at the European Showjumping Championships at the San Siro racecourse in Milan, Italy (30 August-3 September).

    The 55-year-old rider and the 12-year-old Markan Cosmopolit had topped the rankings with their quick clear on day one. They then repeated the performance over Uliano Vezzani’s much more technical track on day two, also providing the Swedish team with a zero score to keep them in the hunt for the team medals in second place, just behind leaders Germany.

    The team medals are decided on Friday (1 September) while the individual finalists will battle it out on Sunday (3 September) after a rest day.

    “That was good, I enjoyed myself,” said Jens. “My horse is in great form and he loves to jump on the grass.

    “I was a bit worried today about the time allowed, but like everyone else I did seven strides to the combination and by the time I got to the final line I knew I had the time, so I could relax a bit. It was a beautiful track. I love these courses. I’ll just try to take care of my horse now.”

    This formidable pair were part of the gold medal winning Swedish team at the World Championships in Herning last year.

    “He is like a cat,” said Jens. “You know he can lengthen and shorten and he’s very self-confident. He’s just a great horse.”

    European Showjumping Championsips warm-up routine: “They fill me with energy”

    Interestingly, Jens has a slightly unusual warm-up technique at these European Showjumping Championships as he listens to an eclectic soundtrack of music to motivate himself before he goes into the ring.

    “I was listening to Five Finger Death Punch yesterday, sometimes Iron Maiden. It doesn’t matter. But yes, they filled me up with energy. I didn’t have to today; yesterday I needed it but today it was there for itself – today, I had too much, I think Beethoven would have been better today!” he smiled.

    “But we have a great team and a fantastic chef d’equipe. It’s also great to have people like Henrik von Eckermann and Rolf-Goran Bengtsson with so much experience – you can ask them anything and they don’t pressure you. They just help you out and if you have any questions, whatever it is you can ask them. It helps a lot.

    “There’s a long way to go, but it’s very exciting.”

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