Born in 1981, Henrik von Eckermann’s parents were farmers and he was inspired to take up showjumping after a visit to Gothenburg Horse Show in his native Sweden. He rode in the young rider European Championships on a horse he bought from Peder Fredricson, his future gold medal-winning team-mate.
Soon after joining the senior ranks, Henrik went to work at the stables of his hero Ludger Beerbaum, where he stayed for 13 years, before setting up on his own in Bonn, Germany. He now runs a yard with his fiancee Janika Sprunger in Holland and they have a young son called Noah.
Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward
Henrik’s top horse is the great chestnut gelding King Edward, whom he describes as his “horse of a lifetime” and who boasts the astounding record of having jumped through two consecutive championships without touching a pole. Henrik only took the reins after his partner Janika Sprunger became pregnant in 2020 and he and King Edward have very quickly established themselves as one of the greatest combinations in the world.
“He has the whole package, he’s so consistent,” enthuses Henrik of the gelding owned by Georg Kahny. “He can jump a big fence without any effort. No other horse I’ve ever sat on has given me that feeling.”