Tag Archives: Peder Fredricson

Five-Time Olympian Peder Fredricson’s Sensational Rise to World Number One

Photo: Peder Fredricson (SWE) (FEI/Christophe Taniere)

Peder Fredricson (SWE) has secured the number one spot of the Longines World Ranking for the first time in his career, taking the reins from Olympic bronze medallist, Daniel Deusser (GER), who took over the position for the third time back in June 2021 and now sits in second position.

Fredricson (49), who shot up the rankings last month from number 17 into second position, one that he has held frequently, is now at the top of this elite list on 3015 points, earning further recognition for his consistent performances this year, with one breathtaking ride after another.

”Finally! I can almost not believe it’s true. I’ve been close so many times before. Right now it feels incredibly good,” said Fredricson.

“To be number one on the world ranking is a goal I set a couple of years ago. It has at times felt like climbing the highest mountain in the world and I’ve almost reached the summit several times, but always fallen down. It feels amazing to finally reach the top and to be able to put down the flag.

“I dedicate this to my whole team. To be number one is something we’ve been working for during such a long time. It’s also very special that this success is made up of so many competitions with different horses during a whole year. To reach number one takes more than just good horses; you have to have good horse owners, good grooms, and a very dedicated and hardworking team on the ground. In that way, I rank this much higher than winning just one big class during one weekend. I’m very grateful to my team and we will celebrate this together.”

His trophy cabinet includes four Olympic medals, including team silver from the 2004 Athens Olympics and individual silver from the Rio 2016 Games, where he was the only athlete who was clear in all six rounds. Along with winning the individual silver at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in August this year, his outstanding performances helped Sweden to its first Team Jumping Olympic gold medal in almost 100 years, and marked 29 years after he made his Olympic debut at the age of 20 at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Back then, he was an accomplished Eventer – and the youngest-ever Olympic equestrian athlete for Sweden.

With his loyal partner H&M All In, Fredricson was crowned the 2017 European Champion on home soil in Gothenburg (SWE), and took a silver medal with the team. He was a member of the Swedish squad that took team silver at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon 2018 (USA), and in 2019 at the FEI World Cup™ Final Gothenburg (SWE), he took bronze in front of his home crowd. More recently, he won the individual bronze at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championships in Riesenbeck (GER).

In 2016 and 2017, he received the Athlete of the Year award at the Swedish Sports Gala. The ‘Jerring Prize’, which is Sweden’s most prestigious sporting prize, is awarded for a successful sports achievement. He earned this honour by a popular vote which put him above the likes of Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, golfing sensation Henrik Stenson, and rallycross champion Mattias Ekström. In February 2019, he was presented with the Medal of Honour from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf. This month, Fredricson was one of four athletes nominated for the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete Award, which will be announced in November.

Born into an equestrian family, Peder started riding at the age of 5. His father Ingvar is a veterinarian as well as the former boss at Flyinge, the largest breeding station in Sweden. His brother Jens, also part of Sweden’s equestrian elite, competed at the London 2012 Olympics, as well as two FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals and FEI European Championships in 1997 and 2013. His wife Lisen, also a Jumping athlete, rode at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and London in 2012.

The latest rankings reflect some strong performances with Martin Fuchs (SUI), Scott Brash (GBR), and Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (BRA) remaining in third, fourth, and fifth positions, respectively. A shuffle in the remainder of the top ten sees Steve Guerdat (SUI) take a leap from tenth to sixth spot on 2450 points, whilst Ben Maher (GBR) has dropped down to seventh with 2417 points. Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann has dropped by one spot to eighth place, and the USA’s Kent Farrington finds himself back in the top ten in ninth position, only 22 points behind the Swede. Belgian’s Jérôme Guery now sits at number ten this month.

The full rankings list is published here.

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Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
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A Golden Moment for Swedish Showjumping

(L to R) Henrik von Eckermann, Malin Baryard-Johnsson, and Peder Fredricson. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst)

It’s almost a century since Sweden last won Olympic Jumping Team gold, and they did it with both style and grace.

A magnificent performance all week from Henrik von Eckermann with King Edward, Malin Baryard-Johnsson with Indiana, and Peder Fredricson with All In led to high expectations that this could be the night they would bring the ultimate honour back to their country for the first time in 97 years. But it wouldn’t be easy.

As the final competition played itself out it came down to a head-to-head with the feisty American threesome of Laura Kraut with Baloutinue, Jessica Springsteen with Don Juan van de Donhoeve, and McLain Ward with Contagious, and they wouldn’t be handing anything over without a fight. The two sides completed the first round with eight faults apiece, and the battle lines were drawn.

Belgium was already assured of bronze when collecting 12 faults in the opening round. Team France looked set to be the biggest threat to all others when single time faults from both Simon Delestre and Berlux Z and Mathieu Billot with Quel Filou in the opening round left them sitting pretty before Penelope Leprevost set off. But elimination at the third fence for Vancouver de Lanlore shattered the French dream of repeating the glory they enjoyed five years ago in Rio de Janeiro.

So Pieter Devos (Claire Z), Jerome Guery (Quel Homme de Hus), and Gregory Wathelet (Nevados S) could sit back in the knowledge that the third step of the podium would belong to Belgium, and the stage was set for one last roll of the dice for the Americans and Swedes.

Final showdown

With all three team members returning to the ring for the final showdown, it was Kraut who led the way for the USA with her 11-year-old gelding, scorching through the finish in 41.33 seconds to set the pace. And although Sweden’s von Eckermann took a new route, he was a little slower when breaking the beam in 42.00 seconds with King Edward who, sensationally, never lowered a single pole in five rounds of tough jumping this week.

Springsteen returned clear for USA in 42.95 seconds, so when Baryard-Johnsson was quicker, crossing the line in 41.89, the Swedes already had a small advantage. But Ward was next to go, and shaving seconds off all those ahead of him, he raced through the finish in 39.92 to really put it up to Swedish anchorman Fredricson.

But how cool is the man who took his second successive Individual silver medal, and with the same horse, just three days ago?

As he set off you could read the complete determination on Fredricson’s face. Did he feel the tension as he galloped down to the last fence, knowing what was hanging in the balance?

“Oh, the pressure was on!” he admitted. “My god, in these situations when you have two teams like this you really want to win. McLain was fast; I saw his round and I knew what I had to do, and today the poles stayed up and the time was on my side!

“I had the speed and I gave him (All In) a lot of room. He’s in super shape, but I was really worried he would take the front pole with his hindlegs, but he came up!” he said after breaking the beam in an amazing 39.01 seconds to seal the victory.

In the end, just 1.3 penalty points separated the two sides, but the joy in the aftermath for both teams was palpable. They’d been in a fair fight and the best side had won. No hard feelings, just delight in great sport played out between great opponents.

Enjoyed

Ward enjoyed every moment of it. “It was great to be in the battle!” he said with a big smile. “Sweden’s win wasn’t unexpected here, but they took it to another level; we would have had to have an incredible day to beat them. I think we pushed them right to the limit, and in competition when you push them to that limit and they still win you’ve got to be proud of the fight!”

“We just didn’t give up!” agreed his team-mate Kraut. “It was hard-fought and Sweden were incredible all week, so if you’re going to lose you’re going to lose to them, and we can live with that!”

Springsteen said, “It was wild, watching the last couple go, wondering if we would have to jump-off or not; you really got the jitters, but it was very exciting!”

But it was even more exciting for the new Olympic champions. There was no-one begrudging their success. They won fair and square and they were immensely proud of their achievement.

“Yes, it’s a dream come true – to win an Olympic gold medal. I think that’s every athlete’s dream for sure!” said Baryard-Johnsson. “We’ve been so well prepared for everything at this championship; we’ve not missed out on anything; we have a team behind us that’s incredible. All of us, the way we’ve ridden shows how confident we’ve been and how they’ve all made it possible for us to totally focus on what to do in there. We knew it was very possible for a jump-off because it was only one round, and we knew we didn’t want the silver medal this time!” said the rider who was a member of the Swedish side that took Olympic team silver in Athens (GRE) 17 years ago.

More special

Von Eckermann just missed out in the Individual Final on Wednesday night when finishing fourth, “so that’s why it’s even more special tonight!” he said. “It was a frustrating fourth place but I’m so happy that I pulled myself together and told myself to leave what I can’t change behind me and focus on this. No one can say we didn’t deserve it!”

He added that there should be medals awarded to the horses as well as the riders. King Edward certainly deserved a medal having jumped through the entire week without ever dropping a pole.

Fredricson’s last round was the stuff of champions, and Ward, who has won plenty of accolades himself, acknowledged that. “He’s one of the best, and his record with that horse is spectacular. What horsemanship and what planning, and all the people around him. But he’s also been at the top of the sport with other mounts too which is testament to his riding; it’s not just one horse,” he said.

Typically modest, Fredricson was thoughtful when asked what this glorious victory meant to him.

“It’s unbelievably satisfying to get this gold. And my horse deserves it also for the way he jumped. I’m so happy for him and his owner and groom and the whole team and my team-mates. This is a great feeling!” he said.

Facts and Figures:

Sweden last won Team gold at the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924 when the three-rider side consisted of Ake Thelning (Loke), Axel Stahle (Cecil), and Age Lundstrom (Anvers).

Sweden also won Olympic Team gold on home ground in Stockholm in 1912 and in Antwerp in 1920.

For the Final competition, two changes were made to the teams that competed in Friday’s Jumping Team Qualifier – Willem Greve and Zypria S stepped out of the Dutch team and Harrie Smolders stepped in with Bingo de Parc, while Rodrigo Pessoa and Carlito’s Way stepped out of the Brazilian team so Yuri Mansur and Alfons stepped in.

Final medal standings in Jumping:

  • Jumping Team: Gold – Sweden; Silver – USA; Bronze – Belgium.
  • Jumping Individual: Gold – Ben Maher (GBR), Explosion W; Silver – Peder Fredricson (SWE), All In; Bronze – Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), Beauville Z.

Quotes:

Ben Maher, Individual gold medallist, talking about Great Britain’s decision to withdraw after Holly Smith and Harry Charles collected 24 faults between them: “Holly and Harry are young riders; they’ve ridden incredibly tonight but unfortunately it hasn’t gone our way as a team. And Explosion’s welfare is paramount for me. I’m not a quitter on the team. I always push to the end but we’re an extremely long way off any medal contention, and he’s done everything for Team GB and me as a rider this week and his welfare is a priority.”

Malin Baryard-Johnsson SWE, talking about her mare Indiana: “When she goes in a second time, she’s always jumping better so I totally trust her; she made a tiny mistake in the first round and I was quite sure she wasn’t going to make another one the way she was jumping and the way she’s trying. She’s just incredible. It was up to me to make sure she was fast enough.”

Henrik von Eckermann SWE: “Somehow once we went to the jump-off, we felt so prepared. We’d gone through every detail before, and when Peder had the last fence down, we said OK, we have to see what happens then and everyone was very clear about what to do. Get on with it and don’t be second, whatever happens!”

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

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Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
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Spain’s Alvarez Aznar Jumps into Lead, but Sweden’s Fredricson Steals the Show

Peder Fredricson and Catch Me Not. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

When the first-round winner, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, said the second competition at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2019 in Gothenburg (SWE) would shake up the leaderboard, he wasn’t wrong. A single mistake tonight sees him go into Sunday’s two-round title-decider lying third on the leaderboard, but only two points behind Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar at the head of affairs and a single point behind Peder Fredricson who set the Swedish crowd alight with a sensational home victory this evening.

Defending champions, America’s Beezie Madden and Breitling, posted by far the quickest time in the eight-horse jump-off but, like many others, fell victim to the turn the very last. She has moved right into contention, however, up from tenth to equal-fourth place in the overall rankings alongside Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels and Olivier Philippaerts and Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs. And there’s only a single fence between Poland’s Jaroslaw Skrzyczynski and the top of the leaderboard. It’s really tight and all to play for going into the finale which is guaranteed to be a thriller.

Yesterday Fredricson looked forlorn as he sat at the post-competition press conference as best Swedish rider after finishing in eleventh place with H&M All in, but what a difference a day makes. Tonight’s victory with the aptly-named grey, Catch Me Not, has changed everything.

“I was so disappointed yesterday and was not expecting to win today, so I’m really happy tonight!” said Fredricson.

Austria’s Max Kuhner and Chardonnay led the way against the clock and set a sensible target when clear in 39.44 seconds. “First to go is never easy. As my horse is not really a naturally fast horse the strategy was to be fast enough and clear,” he explained. Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum and Cool Feeling hit the first fence when next to go but Frenchman Olivier Robert made it all the way to the last before faulting there.

Skrzyczynski’s 10-year-old mare, Chacclana, was foot-perfect in a time of 39.68 before Fredricson nearly lifted the roof off the Scandinavium Arena when scorching in to take the lead in 37.94 seconds. Madden was almost three seconds quicker coming to the last, only for that to fall and when Bruynseels suffered the same fate with Delux an T&L; only Alvarez Aznar was left to threaten Fredricson for the win.

“Going into the jump-off I felt it was safer to be in the top places for the final on Sunday so I didn’t risk all,” he explained afterwards, but his time of 37.97 was still plenty good enough for runner-up spot ahead of Kuhner in third and Skrzyczynski in fourth place. “I was not expecting to be leading tonight but to have a good round. My horse is not the fastest, but he is very consistent,” said the modest Spanish rider who finished sixth at last year’s Longines Final in Paris (FRA) and who now has the best of the draw for Sunday’s finale.

“I want to be on the podium of a Championship and I am now in a good position, but I have to stay focused and have a good ride on Sunday,” he added.

His compatriot, course-designer Santiago Varela, pointed out that the game is far from over yet.

“I want to say congratulations to the riders; they did a great job tonight. Today was a new day but a lot can change on Sunday because we have two more rounds. We are only half-way through this evening – there’s a lot more jumping to do,” he warned.

Result here.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Fairytale Finish as Sweden’s Fredricson Wins Jumping Title

Photo: Peder Fredricson and H&M All In. (FEI/Richard Juillart)

Dutchman Smolders rockets up to silver medal spot; Ireland’s O’Connor adds bronze to team gold

It was a dream come true for all of Sweden as Peder Fredricson (45) and H&M All In claimed individual Jumping gold in front of Her Royal Highness Queen Silvia and over 15,000 noisy fans at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg (SWE) to bring the Longines FEI European Championships 2017 to an emotional end.

Leading from the outset last Wednesday, the pressure was immense on the man who took individual silver with his brilliant gelding at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. But he held his nerve over two thrilling rounds that had spectators on the edges of their seats to finish just ahead of The Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders (37), while Ireland’s Cian O’Connor (37) claimed the bronze.

A clear first round again ensured that the host nation hero would be feeling the maximum weight of expectation as he brought this fabulous week of top sport to a close when last to go. But Fredricson could handle it.

“Like any athlete you are not enjoying the pressure but you just have to be comfortable with it and try to not let it get to you. Focus on what you should do and focus on your horse and your team, and try to make all the preparations right and deliver on the day and not start thinking about other things. I’m really happy I could give my horse this gold medal!” — Peder Fredricson SWE

Carrying just 2.25 points, O’Connor, who helped Ireland to team gold on Friday night, was his biggest threat as the last round began, while Smolders had rocketed up from ninth to lie third with 5.52 points after producing one of eight first-round clears. And over the final 10-fence course that included a massive 1.80m-wide oxer three from home, and a really testing penultimate treble, Smolders and Don VHP Z stayed clear yet again.

Second-last to go, O’Connor’s single mistake allowed the Dutchman to edge ahead of him, so Smolders was now the man that Fredricson had to beat. He had a fence in hand as he set off, but there was a gasp of horror when All In hit the middle element of the triple combination. Fredricson didn’t flinch, however, adding only one further time penalty to finish on a final tally of five, just 0.52 ahead of Smolders.

““I wanted to put my stamp on this Championship. To win a medal is always hard, and I must give credit to Peder for his horsemanship and to All In who is almost unbeatable – he’s the horse of a lifetime I think!” — Harrie Smolders NED

“My horse has been placed in every Grand Prix he’s jumped this year; Harrie’s horse percentage-wise jumps more clear rounds than any horse in the world if you look at the stats, and All In is probably the best horse in the world!” said O’Connor.

When asked if last summer’s silver medal success helped him in any way, Fredricson agreed that it did. “I was a bit annoyed that I was too slow in Rio in the jump-off. It has been my main goal since Rio to be a quicker rider, and this year I’ve won more than ever before. It helped me get this gold that I was fastest on the first day and for sure I’m happier with this colour medal than silver!”

Peder Fredricson SWE (Gold), talking about riding under pressure this week: “I knew I was going to be under pressure when I came here, but riding in a Championship in Sweden in front of this crowd has been amazing! Ever since I arrived and unloaded my horse a week ago everybody I met said, ‘Best of luck; I hope you win!’ It’s been a long week and this has been my goal for the whole week but at the same time I knew I had only one thing to do – go in and jump clear inside the time!”

Talking about his horse, All In: “I bought him when he was seven years old. I saw him at the World Championship for Young Horses; he was ridden by Nicola Philippaerts, and he was already then I think one of the best horses in the world. Of course you never know with a seven-year-old how they are going to develop, but he has been a super horse and any questions I have asked him he has given me a fantastic answer!”

Harrie Smolders NED (silver): “After the first day I was in almost an impossible position for a medal but I knew from other championships that with five or six points you are often on the podium and I also knew that my horse gets only better when it’s bigger. He had a really good feeling also on the first day so I knew he could do it, and he showed it now to everybody. He has blood but he is a little slow in his movement and he’s very, very scopey and he’s very consistent the last two years. He has jumped so many clear rounds all over the world, and in different circumstances, so I had a good feeling before this championship.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
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Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
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+41 79 314 24 38

Sweden’s Fredricson Wins Thrilling Jumping Opener While Swiss Take Lead in Team Standings

Photo: Peder Fredricson and H&M All In. (FEI/Claes Jakobsson)

As if scripted to perfection, Sweden’s Rio Olympic individual silver medallists, Peder Fredricson (45) and the 11-year-old gelding H&M All In, galloped to victory on the opening day of Jumping at the FEI European Championships 2017 in Gothenburg (SWE).

However, it was the Swiss who gained the early advantage in the team event when brilliant rounds from Romain Duguet (Twentytwo des Biches) and Martin Fuchs (Clooney) were backed up by a breath-taking run from Steve Guerdat (Bianca) who slotted into fourth place individually at the of the day. Portugal’s Luciana Diniz (Fit for Fun) lies third and Germany’s Marcus Ehning (Pret a Tout) is in runner-up spot in the individual rankings. But as Fredricson said, there’s a long week of great sport ahead before the medals are decided.

“My plan was not to win today but to place in the top 10, but then I saw Marcus and I thought, ‘I want to beat him!’ Okay, I’m joking, but the main thing is that there are many days to go, and the most important thing is to have the horse jumping well for the rest of the week and not be too far back (in the standings). All In is a horse that has very big strides so it’s not difficult to take away strides with him and still have him jumping in a good way, so this course suited us very well.” — Peder Fredricson SWE

You couldn’t say that for many others, although Swiss pathfinder Nadja Peter Steiner (Saura de Fondcombe) was one of the very many to be clear all the way only to fall victim to the penultimate double, where the combination of a turn down the final line, bright red poles and strong shadows led to expensive poles on the ground. However, with the best three scores to count, her team-mates pulled it back so they hold pole position when the action resumes.

It’s incredibly close between the leading sides, the reigning Olympic team champions from France stalking the Swiss by a margin of just 1.63 after the results were calculated into penalty points, and the hosts from Sweden just 0.43 behind and shadowed by the Irish who are only 0.9 further adrift. The Spanish are a close fifth, followed by Austria, Germany, Belgium, Italy and then Portugal who lie tenth of the 17 competing nations.

By Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38