A jump-off with no less than 22 competitors decided the winner of the prestigious CSIO5* 1.55m Rabobank Championship of Rotterdam this afternoon at the CHIO in Kralingse Bos. Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann gave everything he had with the 9-year-old Oldenburger bred Chacanno and beat Morocco’s Abdelkebir Ouaddar and the already legendary Quickly de Kreisker. Dutch rider Leopold van Asten finished third aboard VDL Groep Beauty.
Leopold van Asten set the pace with his amazing grey mare VDL Groep Beauty (For Pleasure x Contender) – finishing in 37.85 seconds. Maikel van der Vleuten, Patrice Delaveau, McLain Ward and Willem Greve respectively all beat Leopold van Asten’s time, but knocked down the last vertical. Abdelkebir Ouaddar and the world-famous Quickly de Kreisker (Diamant de Semilly x Laudanum xx) were the first to better Van Asten’s time with a clean sheet and took over the lead in 37.34 seconds.
But they did not stay on top of the standings for long, since Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann gave it a great shot with Chacanno (Chacco Blue x Kannan), beating Abdelkebir Ouaddar’s time in 36.83 seconds. Only world number one McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z (Chellano Z x Voltaire) were faster than Henrik von Eckermann and his 9-year-old, but did not make it clear over the last fence, finishing on 4/36.75 seconds.
Henrik von Eckermann had a smile from ear to ear after his wonderful round with Chacanno. “It was a great feeling. I went very fast, so I was happy to see I was number one on the leading board after my round! My horse is a very, very careful horse and also fast. I have to say, the faster I go with him, the better he jumps.” During all the major successes Henrik von Eckermann’s has had over the last years, he has been Ludger Beerbaum’s rider. From the first of September of this year, he will start a stable on his own. “It has been a great time at Ludger Beerbaum, I have had twelve successful years. And also this success today, that I can be standing here, it is all because of Ludger! Starting my own business will be a new step for me, but also very interesting and motivating.”
Obviously, also Henrik von Eckermann has his sights on the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in August. “Everybody wants to go to the Olympics of course. In two weeks, I will ride in Falsterbo, which will be a very important show for me. And we will see after that”, Henrik von Eckermann concludes.
Text © World of Showjumping by Peter van der Waaij // Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson
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