‘I don’t think anyone is surprised, but we have a good feeling’: meet the overnight leaders of the European Showjumping Championships

  • A brilliant and quick clear on the opening day of the European Showjumping Championships at the San Siro racecourse in Milan, Italy (30 August-3 September) has propelled Jens Fredricson and Markan Cosmopolit into the gold medal position in both the team and individual rankings.

    The Swedish rider and this brilliant 12-year-old gelding were part of the gold medal-winning squad at last year’s World Championships, alongside Jens’ brother Peder Fredricson.

    They started their European campaign with an eye-catching clear in 71.98sec, half a second faster than his nearest rival, Martin Fuchs on Leone Jei for Switzerland, who were silver medallists at the 2021 European Showjumping Championships, while Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt and Zineday finished in the bronze medal position on day one in Milan.

    “I had a good plan.” explained Jens. “I could feel I could get a good rhythm the whole way round and he was really motivated and relaxed.”

    The Swedish squad are the reigning Olympic champions as well as the world champions, but have yet to win the European title. Remarkably, all four team riders finished in the top 12 from a start list of 85 in the first qualifying competition for team and individual athletes.

    European Showjumping Championships: super Swedes dominate

    Henrik von Eckermann, saving the brilliant King Edward for next year’s Olympic Games, posted the second-fastest round of the day but with four seconds to add, on the exciting mare Iliana, to finish the day in sixth position. They were one place above the oldest rider at these championships, 61-year-old veteran and former European champion Rolf-Goran Bengtsson on Zuccero.

    Such was the squad’s brilliance, Wilma Hellstrom’s outstanding clear with the one-eyed Cicci BJN ended up being the drop score.

    “We have a good amount of experience now in championships and being up there,” said Jens, 55. “We have learned a lot in the last year. So I don’t think anyone is surprised in the team being in the lead, actually. We have a good feeling – but we know it’s just the start. It’s like when you go in a slalom, there are bends on the way down.”

    Sweden lead Switzerland and Germany in the team rankings, with Ireland in fourth and Great Britain placed 10th going into Thursday’s team jumping competition.

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