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Peder Fredricson on the gold: "H&M All In really deserved the medal!"

Sunday, 27 August 2017
European Championships 2017

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson. Little super star H&M All In. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

It was a happy, but tired bunch that met the press on Sunday evening after the 2017 Longines FEI European Championships had concluded in a fairy-tale way with a home gold for Peder Fredricson and H&M All In. 

Gold medallist Peder Fredricson has had a long week, and could finally let his shoulders down: “I knew there would be pressure when I came here, and riding a championship in Sweden with this crowd has been amazing,” he said. “But, it has been a long week. I knew what I had to do today: I had to go in and try to jump clear and stay inside the time allowed. With a horse like H&M All In, I am happy I managed to do that – he really deserved the medal!” Peder praised his little horse. “I think it is the same for any athlete; you are not really enjoying the pressure, but you have to be comfortable with it and do everything right and deliver on the day. The last six months this has been my main goal. To be honest, when I got the silver in Rio I was annoyed by the fact that I was so slow in the jump-off. So, it has been my goal to become a quicker rider and it helped me to get the gold here – that I was the quickest on the first day,” he concluded.

Course designer Louis Konickx could not have been happier, and with good reason after some fantastic tracks this week: “It was a perfect competition, and we had perfect winners in the end – what should I say!” he smiled. “The way the sport developed this afternoon was something very, very special. I would like to remind everyone, that there is a team here working with me and believe me, without them I would not be sitting here! I am grateful to work with them,” he emphasized.

Silver medallist Harrie Smolders knew all along that the first day would be the hardest for his horse: ”After the first day I thought that we were nearly in an impossible place for a medal, but I knew my horse gets better when the fences get bigger. I knew he could do it and now he showed everyone that my feeling was right,” Harrie said about Don VHP Z. “He has blood, but he is a little slow, he is really, really scopey and has been very consistent the last two years. I am happy his owners gave me this chance to ride him,” Smolders continued. “I wanted to put my stamp on this championship. I have to give my credit to Peder as a horseman for winning here with a horse like All In – they are hard to beat.”

Bronze medallist Cian O’Connor praised the course designer: “The margins have been very small, it has been very tight the whole week. My mistake was costly in the second round, but I am very happy. The courses have been perfect this week and having these three horses ending on the podium means perfect course building, well done Louis,” he continued. When asked if the individual medal feels better than the gold with the team, Cian commented: “I love jumping on the team. It is special to win any class individually, but the team medal is really special and I thought going in here today that anything would be a bonus – so I am happy with the bonus,” he smiled. 

Tomas Torgersen, the Event Director in Gothenburg, was really happy with the perfect ending to the championships: “Even the sun came out when Peder went in to the ring,” he said. “I am very happy, and Louis has played a big part in this success – the courses have been perfect.”  

John Roche, from the FEI Jumping Committee, praised the organizers of the event. “We have had fantastic sport all week, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our top partner and official title sponsor Longines and the city of Gothenburg, and the event director Tomas Torgersen and his team for putting together this amazing championship at this amazing facility. Last but not least there has been over 1400 volunteers – thank you all very much.” 

And sometimes it is fine that things don’t go quite according to plan… While Smolders was sitting at the press conference, his flight took off: “We knew about the schedule, but we booked the flights anyway – it is ok to miss them this way!” he laughed.


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