Tag Archives: Henrik von Eckermann

Henrik von Eckermann Clinched the Turkish Airlines-Preis von Europa Title at CHIO Aachen

Henrik von Eckermann riding Castello (Photo: Rolex/Kit Houhgton)

After a highly competitive jump-off, Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann clinched the Turkish Airlines-Preis von Europa title with his grey gelding, Castello 194. He spoke after his victory:

How did the course feel today?

The course was very long; it had three combinations, one triple, one double, and of course the double plank which caused a few problems. The time was hard to keep inside of and with it being such a long course the horses were tiring at the end. I was happy with my horse’s performance and was excited to reach the jump-off.

What were your tactics going into the jump-off?

My tactics were to watch McLain’s round and work out where I could shave time off, as he is normally the one to beat in a jump-off like this. I saw a little hole where I could take him: it was the second last; he was little bit out to the oxer and I have a very scopey horse, so I thought if I stayed a little tighter to the jump, I could catch him, which we did.

How will you prepare for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday?

The horse will need to stay fresh and happy in the mind ahead of Sunday. It is a big wish to win the Rolex Grand Prix, but we all know how difficult the competition is. Of course, I want to chase the Rolex Grand Slam; I was second in the Geneva Grand Prix, so hopefully I can go one better this weekend.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Henrik Leads Western European Cavalry-Charge to Paris

Photo: Henrik von Eckermann. (FEI/Lotta Brundin Gyllensten)

The top riders weren’t hanging about in the aftermath of the last Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2018 Western European League qualifier in Gothenburg (SWE). By last Friday, just five days after Henrik von Eckermann galloped to victory for the second year running at his home event, all 18 qualified for next month’s Longines 2018 Final had already confirmed their intention to compete in Paris (FRA), along with extra athletes Edwina Tops-Alexander from Australia and Colombia’s Carlos Lopez.

The City of Lights is calling, and the world’s top contenders for the most coveted prize in indoor Jumping are answering with a great big “YES!”

Von Eckermann’s last-leg success saw him leap-frog world number four and long-time league leader Kevin Staut who enjoyed another fantastic season, competing at 12 of the 13 Western European qualifiers and booking his spot without question. The Frenchman will be joined at the Final in the AccorHotels Arena from 11 to 15 April by compatriots Simon Delestre and Roger-Yves Bost.

Only one French rider has ever held the coveted FEI World Cup™ trophy in his hands: Bruno Brouqsault sprang a big surprise when winning through in Milan (ITA) in 2004, so there is a major incentive for the host-nation representatives to bring it home once again in this 40th season.

Britain’s Michael Whitaker said in Gothenburg, “It’s about time I won it!” and he’s right about that, having come so very close on many occasions. He’s hoping to make it happen at his 23rd attempt, but Germany’s Marcus Ehning will be bidding to become the first-ever four-time champion. The wizard of warp-speed very nearly leaped to the top of the league leaderboard with by far the fastest jump-off round at the Swedish fixture, only to be denied by a late-falling pole, and is likely to put all the pressure on the rest when the Final gets underway in five weeks’ time.

Ehning’s German counterpart and the 2011 champion, Christian Ahlmann, has also easily made the cut, and a total of 10 Western European nations will be represented at this year’s Final.

America’s McLain Ward is defending champion, and there’s still a way to go before the full line-up for Paris is announced, but it’s shaping up for a mighty battle.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Von Eckermann Sets Swedish Hearts Racing, Whitaker Qualifies for Another Final in Gothenburg

Photo: Michael Whitaker with JB’s Hot Stuff. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst)

It was freezing cold outside but the temperature in the Scandinavium Arena was near boiling point when, for the second year in a row, Swedish superstar Henrik von Eckermann (36) and his brilliant mare, Mary Lou, galloped to victory in front of their home crowd at the last leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2017 Western European League in Gothenburg (SWE). Runner-up was Olivier Phillipaerts (24), the young Belgian whose previous visit to this Swedish city didn’t end so happily, while British veteran Michael Whitaker (57) finished third.

“When I saw the jump-off course I knew it would suit Mary Lou. You can totally trust her; you don’t need to take a pull anywhere, just let her run and use her pace and her long stride, and she was fantastic again today!” — Henrik von Eckermann SWE (1st)

From 36 starters, 11 found the key to Peter Lundstrom’s enormous first-round track, and it was the time of 41.59 seconds set by Frenchman Aldrick Cheronnet (Tanael des Bonnes) that von Eckermann was chasing when fourth to go against the clock. He blew that target right out of the water when scorching through the timers in 36.89 seconds, piling the pressure on the rest of the field. Whitaker and JB’s Hot Stuff came close when breaking the beam in 37.52 – “I thought I’d done it. She’s not big but she has a big heart and she’s fast – today she wasn’t fast enough but she always tries her best,” he said of his exciting new ride. However, the last man in would push him down to third.

Olivier Philippaerts made an early departure from last summer’s Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg when badly dislocating his shoulder in a fall from H&M Legend of Love during training. “My horses had three months off and this was probably good for my mare, but it takes time to get fit again and I was late starting in the World Cup series, so this is great!” he said when realising that this result means he is qualified for the 39th annual Final which will take place from 11 to 15 April.

Paris last hosted the series finale back in 1987, and Michael Whitaker competed there that year. “I think I’ve done about 25 Finals so it’s about time I won it!” he said. Von Eckermann also has the most coveted trophy of indoor showjumping clearly in his sights. “I finished third in Omaha (USA) last year and I don’t want to finish lower than that this time,” he said.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Von Eckermann Victorious in Last-Chance Thriller at Gothenburg

Henrik von Eckermann and Mary Lou. (Stefan Lafrentz/FEI)

Gothenburg (SWE), 26 February 2017 – Henrik von Eckermann brought the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017 Western European League to a fairytale finish on home ground in Gothenburg (SWE) when snatching victory with a breath-taking performance from the 11-year-old mare, Mary Lou. With so many top riders chasing last-minute qualifying points for the Longines Final in Omaha, Nebraska (USA) in four weeks’ time, it was always going to be a mighty battle, and the long trip north proved worthwhile for Dutchmen Maikel van der Vleuten (28) and Leopold Van Asten (40) whose second and third-place finishes have booked their tickets.

Von Eckermann’s chances were possibly obvious, because he had already earned the Leading Rider of the Show award before competition began at the famous Scandinavium Arena.

“It’s been a crazy week; my worst placing was third and I had three second places and three wins – will I ever have a show like this again?!” said the delighted 35-year-old.

From 33 starters there were 12 into the jump-off over Peter Lundstrom’s track, and it was Frenchman, Olivier Robert, who set the standard with Quenelle du Py when clear in 38.52 seconds. Britain’s Robert Smith and Bavi came close to that when breaking the beam in 38.60 for eventual fifth place, but Van der Vleuten really raised the stakes when posting 36.83 with his veteran campaigner VDL Groep Verdi before Van Asten and VDL Groep Zidane crossed the line in 38.06 to slot in behind.

Second-last to go, von Eckermann knew he had to take all the chances, and the crowd nearly raised the roof when he took a risky gallop to the last to cross the line in 36.76 seconds and take the lead. He wasn’t quite sure he’d done enough because French speed ace, Simon Delestre, was last to go, but when the fourth fence fell it was Swedish party-time.

“This is a very emotional win!” said von Eckermann, who worked with German legend, Ludger Beerbaum, for many years before going it alone in a new yard in Bonn (GER) last September. He wasn’t certain that his mare was ready, but when he put her under pressure for the very first time she willingly gave it her all. “She’s still quite green and I can’t take risks on turns with her yet, but however impossible it seems, she always does her best to get across the fences and I’m very grateful to her owner, Karl Schneider, who has kept her for me because she’s something special!” he said.

Full result here

Quotes:

Tomas Torgersen, Show Director Gothenburg: “It has been a great week with a variety of disciplines, and I’d like to thank Henrik for reminding us why we do this every year!”

John Roche, FEI Jumping Director: “Congratulations to Henrik for his great win and to the horse’s owner Karl Schneider. Our thanks also go to the Organising Committee, to the presenting sponsors ATG and of course to Longines without whom none of this would happen.”

Henrik von Eckermann SWE (1st): “I’m new at running my own business. I have 12 horses in my yard now, and the girls at home have been working extremely hard and the great results I’ve had this week are thanks to them. I’m very happy with fourth position in the final standings; this will be good for my draw at the Final.”

Henrik von Eckermann SWE (1st), when asked about his chances of taking the Longines FEI World Cup™ title in Omaha next month: “No, I don’t think it will be this year; my horse is still very inexperienced. With this horse the first time I jumped her clear and then I rode to win and it all went wrong. So I slowed down again and took time to give her experience; for once in my life I am using my head!”

Henrik von Eckermann SWE (1st), talking about plans for his horses over the coming months: “I’m going to Doha on Wednesday, then to Herning in Denmark with other horses. Mary Lou will go to Paris and then Omaha.”

Peter Lundstrom, course designer: “At first I was worried about so many early clear rounds but I was quite satisfied at the end.”

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Rider biographies: view online and download from www.fei.org/bios.

By Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

At Gothenburg:

Mayvor Thorin
Press Officer
mayvorthorin@gotevent.se
+46 705 82 8420

At FEI:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Sweden’s Von Eckermann Is Victorious in Mechelen with Gotha

Henrik von Eckermann and Gotha FRH on their way to victory in the eighth leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League. Photo: FEI/Kit Houghton

Mechelen (BEL), 30 December 2012 – Henrik von Eckermann secured an important first win in the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series when coming out on top in the eighth leg of the 2012/2013 Western European League at Mechelen in Belgium today. And it was a particularly good day for Swedish riders as the 31-year-old’s compatriot, Jens Fredricson, finished third behind runner-up Francois Mathy Jr from Belgium.

From a starting field of 40, a total of nine made the cut into the second-round jump-off in which von Eckermann clearly demonstrated the qualities that saw German legend, Ludger Beerbaum, offer him the opportunity to join his team nine years ago.  With great skill, and astute judgement, the Swede steered Madeleine Winter-Schulze’s mare, Gotha FRH, to success over a jump-off course that tested balance, control and turning skills.  “I hope to keep the ride on her for a while now!” he said of the 11-year-old horse which has been campaigned by Beerbaum in recent years.

Continue reading Sweden’s Von Eckermann Is Victorious in Mechelen with Gotha