‘It’s great to feel that adrenalin kick again’: Olympic medallist wins two months after neck injury

  • Peder Fredricson made a winning return to top competition, heading the Global Champions League leg alongside Stockholm Heart’s team mate Olivier Philippaerts in London.

    The Swedish Olympic gold medallist was sidelined for two months with a neck injury sustained in a fall at the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) in Stockholm (16-18 June), while he was warming up for a seven-year-old class on H&M Que Sera.

    He was held in hospital for three days following the accident, which damaged blood vessels in his neck.

    “It was a great feeling being back, I missed everybody and it’s great to feel that adrenalin kick again,” said Peder, who helped dominate both rounds of the 1.60m team contest.

    “I feel good but I will probably go and put something round my neck now.”

    The H&M-backed duo were one of five teams to remain clear in the first round, where Peder rode 15-year-old Hansson WL — who returned to competition himself two months ago after a lay off — and Olivier the 12-year-old Le Blue Diamond Van’t Ruyteshof.

    “I’m really happy to have him back, he’s a fantastic horse,” Peder said. “He was off for a while and came back a couple of months ago. Stockholm was his first big show and then here.”

    The pair switched horses for the third round, where all of the top three teams added four faults.

    Olivier delivered a sensible clear on H&M Miro, while Peder switched to 17-year-old Catch Me Not S, who has a strong track record in this ring, having won the grand prix in London two years ago.

    With pressure on Peder to make up the time, he took a risk with a tight turn into the double which meant the second element fell, but the gamble still paid as the Swede crossed the line more than 6sec faster than any other combination in the top three.

    “[The horse and I] try not to think too much about our age and today it went pretty good!” Peder said.

    The win elevated the Stockholm Hearts to fourth in the Global Champions League, which will qualify them for the semi-final if they can maintain their position.

    “All year round we have been struggling for enough horses and riders to compete at the max level, now Peder is ready to go and he performed,” Olivier added.

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