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Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward win


  • The reigning world champions Henrik von Eckermann and his large gelding King Edward proved unbeatable as soon as once more to win the twenty first operating of the IJRC High 10 Ultimate on the CHI Geneva in Switzerland on Friday night time (8 December).

    “It is a very particular win for me,” stated Henrik, who, along with his gallant accomplice, the 12-year-old King Edward, will certainly go down in showjumping historical past as one of many all-time greats and acquired a standing ovation from the appreciative sell-out Swiss crowd.

    “This class was my focus after the world championships, it’s been a goal for a few years. However this horse actually deserved to be up there with all these good horses [past winners include Explosion W, Hickstead, Hello Sanctos, Baloubet Du Rouet and Shutterfly] as a result of he’s completely one in all them. He’s an historic horse and I’m simply honoured to have the ability to experience him.”

    Ten of the world’s main riders lined up for the twenty first Rolex IJRC High 10 Ultimate on this prestigious five-star occasion and anticipation rippled by way of the group as every rider in flip was launched to the group earlier than one of many best showdowns within the sport commenced.

    Course designers Louis Konickx and Gerard Lachat constructed two testing tracks which snaked around the huge Palexpo enviornment for the ten contenders within the IJRC High 10 Ultimate. Run in reverse order of their world rankings, USA rider McLain Ward opened with a quick clear on Contagious, simply quarter of a second contained in the time. They’d made it look simple however then Frenchman Kevin Staut adopted with an eight-fault spherical on the 13-year-old Toulon mare, Visconti Du Telman.

    Twin Olympic particular person silver medallist Peder Fredricson and the lofty gray Catch Me Not S appeared to have taken the observe all of their stride, however a look on the clock revealed an important time-fault. Would that show pricey because the competitors unfolded?

    “He’s a fast horse with a gradual rider!” smiled Peder afterwards.

    We then had two clears in fast succession from Brazillian rider Marlon Zanotelli and the tail-swishing Like A Diamond Van Het Schaeck and Simon Delestre with the Hickstead-sired Cayman Jolly Jumper.

    Ben Maher: ‘A bit sudden’

    “A bit sudden” was how Nice Britain’s sole consultant Ben Maher described comparatively new experience Exit Remo’s cease on the treble mixture. Ben was final 12 months’s winner when using Explosion W, however he got here residence with a 31 fault-total with a rail added on the Rolex double, proving how rapidly the time faults rack up after a refusal these days.

    Faults adopted for Harrie Smolders (Monaco), who tapped an ethereal vertical on a good turnback, whereas there have been groans as the outstanding successful pair of Julien Epaillard and Caracole De La Roque got here residence on eight faults, earlier than residence rider Martin Fuchs (Conner Jei) additionally collected 4.

    Because the primary ranked rider, Henrik was final to go in spherical one and King Edward appeared higher than ever, clearing every fence by at the very least a foot, giving us our fourth clear in spherical one.

    Spherical two of the IJRC High 10 Ultimate accelerated into a superb finale, with stress constructing as riders jumped a barely shortened course of 9 fences in reverse order from the earlier spherical and, with reside interviews held with every rider after each spherical, the perception for spectators was very good.

    Ben Maher and Exit Remo returned to sort out the brand new obstacles with actual class and posted a spotless clear, to complete on their first spherical rating.

    “We got here by way of that [first round upset], he’s a horse for the longer term and hopefully Explosion can be again within the staff with these horses subsequent 12 months,” stated Ben.

    Julien Epaillard returned carrying his eight faults from spherical one, with the mare Caracole combating for her head spherical a halfway bend, as she so usually does, and the pair met the distinctive “cow” fence too deep and had 4 so as to add.

    Kevin Staut, a former winner and competing on this class for the tenth time, added a transparent to his eight faults from spherical one, taking all the within turns, after which Harrie Smolders replicated his fast clear to take the lead with a four-fault whole on Monaco and put the strain on his larger ranked opponents.

    Peder Fredricson: ‘You must threat all of it to win’

    Martin Fuchs dropped down the chief board with a tally of 12 faults in spherical two earlier than the placing pair of Catch Me Not S and the world quantity 11 Peder Fredricson trotted into the world, bidding for one more clear.

    “In fact I used to be a bit upset with my time-fault within the first spherical, however going into the second spherical I used to be actually nervous to get a time-fault there additionally, as a result of typically whenever you wish to go gradual you may simply add as much as three time faults with this new rule [one fault per second],” stated Peder and, having survived a fortunate rub on the penultimate vertical, he nailed one other clear, this time throughout the 60sec allowed.

    “I knew it was potential to be on the rostrum with one fault – in a contest like this everybody needs to win, you must threat all of it to win and when your threat, a pole can simply fall down.”

    The competition all got here right down to the ultimate three riders on a zero rating. McLain Ward set off with the intense chestnut Contagious at an awesome tempo however simply toppled the third fence from residence to slide behind Peder.

    “It was rider error, I ought to have simply trusted my horse,” stated the twin Olympic staff gold medallist.

    Henrik von Eckermann: ‘I believed, oh no I’m going to be second once more’

    Then got here the acquainted silhouette of the little chestnut King Edward along with his tall jockey Henrik perched ahead within the saddle as they rocketed off from the primary fence and pinged over the fences. Henrik, who completed second within the class final 12 months, set the goal of a double clear in 48.42sec , however the Swede was left pondering his run to the ultimate oxer was too gradual, leaving him susceptible to the ultimate two rivals.

    “All of it went based on plan besides the final line,” he defined. “I needed to do seven strides however I obtained a bit near the vertical on the second final and I didn’t see the ahead strides so I needed to wait for one more one and it felt like for ever.

    “I believed ‘Oh no, I’m going to be second once more.’ However luck was on my facet at this time.”

    Strain instructed as IJRC High 10 Ultimate debutant Marlon and Like A Diamond gambled every part, however they met the vertical two from residence off an acute bend on a tough stride, and the mare was in two minds whether or not to take off, then put down, crashing by way of the fence for 4 faults.

    “I attempted to be aggressive however that’s the game,” Marlon mirrored.

    All of it got here right down to Simon Delestre with the massive striding Cayman Jolly Jumper. They flew around the observe, however regardless of an absolute flyer to the final, the pair completed almost a second slower than their Swedish rivals and a effectively deserved victory went to Henrik von Eckermann along with his phenomenal accomplice King Edward.

    “The proprietor couldn’t be right here final 12 months so for him to see this at this time is incredible,” stated Henrik, who in addition to reigning because the world primary for the previous 5 months, was topped world champion and married his long-time accomplice Janika Sprunger in an unforgettable 12 months. “He’s an unbelievable horse.”

    Runner-up Simon Delestre mirrored of Cayman Jolly Jumper, with whom he has contested Nations Cup and the world championships: “That is his first 12 months at this degree, his first time in Geneva, and he simply retains on bettering.”

    Third positioned Peder Fredricson added: “It was a incredible competitors, good sport, prime horses and it was actually thrilling to the final rider.”

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