Henrik Von Eckermann © Soraya Exquis

The royals of equestrian sport

It is always difficult to make predictions in advance of a competition in which the ten best riders in the world take part. And yet – there is one to whom the great successes seem to fly: He is the number one in the world, World Champion and Team Olympic Champion, to name just a few of the many successes of the last 18 months. At the end, Henrik von Eckermann was jumping up and down with joy. He had finally won this Rolex IJRC Top 10 final after narrowly missing out on the title last year.

Eckermann Eckermann

There were two very tricky rounds waiting for the crème de la crème, the ten best riders in the world. The 21st Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final delivered what it promised. Four clear rides and a one penalised with one point for time in the first round. McLain Ward, Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, Simon Delestre, Henrik von Eckermann and Peder Fredricson respectively were the big favourites to win after the first round. For the latter, there was nothing else to do in the reprise but to ride a clear round with his Catch Me Not S: "Normally he is a pretty fast horse, but today he had a slow rider on his back (laughs)!". Next to try their best were McLain Ward and Contagious, who were the first of the clear riders to start, but they got stuck on the penultimate obstacle, which they tackled a little too close. Fast, but penalised with four points, meant a place next to the podium at the end.

Then the world number one went to the start on his gelding, who is considered by many to be the best horse in the world at the moment. With an additional canter jump on the last line, he was able to secure a clear ride, which was also fast enough to put the remaining three competitors under pressure. Nevertheless, the Swede was not very confident in the subsequent interview with Alban Poudret when talking about King Edward: "King Edward jumped very well, but I hope that I don't have to pay for the extra canter jump at the end. I think we could have done even better."

Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, who won the Trophée de Genève yesterday, would have liked to confirm his good form so far, but a misunderstanding between Like a Diamond van Het Schaeck and the Brazilian punished them with a pole down. This left only the Frenchman Simon Delestre to destroy Henrik von Eckermann's dreams. However, his excellent Cayman Jolly Jumper could not keep up with the "King", who perhaps benefited from two years more experience... Long live the King! Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward confirmed their current status as great favourites for all possible big titles, and enjoy another well-deserved victory.

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