‘It worked out today’: phenomenal partnership secures historic showjumping world gold

  • Henrik von Eckermann and his exceptional campaigner King Edward added another historic gold for Sweden to their CV, topping the Agria FEI World Showjumping Championships results table with two flawless rounds on individual final day (14 August).

    This unstoppable partnership, who helped Sweden to Olympic gold in Tokyo last year, have not touched a pole all week. They started the final day as leaders, with a clear first round further solidifying their gold medal chances.

    “King Edward, we love him. Thank you, King Edward, I owe you for life,” he said. “It is quite difficult to describe [the feeling of riding in there], you are thinking you have to stay calm in your head and just do what you walked. But it doesn’t always work out, so I’m really happy it worked out today.”

    As they cantered into the ring to contest Louis Konickx’s imposing course, as the last of the final 12 combinations to jump in the second, deciding round, the title was theirs to lose. But this is the position Henrik likes to be in, and King Edward is dubbed the clear round machine for good reason.

    The 12-year-old barefoot gelding, owned by Dufour Stables, showed his exceptional athleticism to clear the influential treble at fence five. The pair took a stride out down the line between the two towering verticals at fences seven to eight, and made short work of the double of Liverpools at 10ab, which had ended many others’ hopes of world glory.

    As they landed clear over the final yellow oxer, the crowd erupted – Henrik punched the air, his world number one white armband catching in the sun, chants of “Henrik, Henrik” filling the Stutteri Ask Stadium. Ahead of these championships, Sweden had never won a world gold showjumping medal. They end the week with two.

    Three rails down for Jens Fredricson and Markan Cosmopolit, a horse who was found in a riding centre for training instructors and producers, ended hopes of a Swedish one-two in the individual World Showjumping Championships results.

    Jérôme Guery and the 16-year-old stallion Quel Homme De Hus climbed the leaderboard to secure silver for Belgium.

    “My horse deserves it, it is nice to bring a medal home. It means a lot to get an individual medal, but my team deserved to get one too,” said Jérôme, who owns the Quidam De Revel son with Alexander Oancea and Eden Farm FARL. “The Swedish are amazing, and we knew it before we came here.”

    The Netherlands’ world team silver medal-winning partnership of Maikel van der Vleuten and Beauville Z N.O.P. repeated their Tokyo Olympic individual performance in bagging individual bronze. Two clear rounds resulted in the pair climbing from eighth at the start of individual final day to stand on the podium.

    “Friday, I made a little rider mistake. My horse deserves the medal, and I had two amazing rounds [today],” said Maikel. “It puts pressure on the last riders with my two clear rounds – and the luck was on my side today.”

    Four faults at the second element of 10ab dropped Max Kühner and Elektrik Blue P, provisional fourth ahead of the final round, out of medal contention. Britain’s Ben Maher and Faltic HB were unlucky to clip one rail in the second round, putting them just out of the medals in fourth on the final leaderboard.

    King Edward may be ranked the second-best horse in the world by data analytics company EquiRatings, but in Herning, he claimed his crown.

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