The first clear round in the Olympic showjumping individual final at the Tokyo Games has come from Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann riding King Edward but he will be joined in a jump-off by his two team-mates as both Malin Baryard-Johnsson jumped clear with Indiana and Peder Fredricson (All In) followed up.
Santiago Varela’s beefy course had proved a really stiff test that befits the Olympic showjumping final and the first eight riders from the 30 who qualified all faulted or exceeded the time allowed. However the 40-year-old Henrik battled hard and his 11-year-old gelding showed immense scope and athleticism to come home as the first clear of the evening.
“I’m only qualified for the jump off and there’s a long way to go still. But the horse feels amazing,” said Henrik. “He’s in really good shape and I tried to do my best and concentrate on my riding. I hope it’s going to be a good ending.
“The course starts nicely. And then, the section with the walls is okay, but the triple combination is of course difficult,” added Henrik, who is competing at his third Olympic Games, after appearances at London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.
“It’s a very tall vertical in the middle – you have to be very quiet, but still get out of the combination. So it’s a little bit of a mind game.”
The second clear in the Olympic showjumping individual final came from Japan’s Daisuke Fukushima on Chanyon, setting up a jump-off to decide the medals that looks set to be a thriller.
* More updates to come throughout the final on HorseandHound.co.uk
You may also be interested in…
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.