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Sweden sweeps to victory in Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup in Aachen

Friday, 19 July 2019
CHIO Aachen 2019

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping Angelie von Essen, Peder Fredricson, Henrik von Eckermann and Evelina Tovek won the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup in Aachen for Sweden. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



Thursday’s Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup in Aachen had the spectators at the edge of their seats to the very end, as they witnessed a close-fought battle between the hosts and the Swedes. And exactly ninety years after their last Nations Cup victory in Aachen, it would be Sweden’s turn to return to the top of the podium. 

The Germans came strong in force tonight for the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup, with Christian Ahlmann making his Nations Cup comeback aboard Clintrexo Z (Clintissimo Z x Rex Z) – joining the likes of Simone Blum and DSP Alice (Askari x Landrebell), Daniel Deusser and Calisto Blue (Chacco Blue x Con Air) as well as Marcus Ehning and Funky Fred (For Pleasure x Pilot). It was value for the ticket money for the Aachen-crowds. 

After the first round, Germany was sitting on five penalties with Netherlands, France, Sweden, Belgium and Ireland out in front on four faults each. Further behind the hosts were USA and Switzerland, both teams suffering from having only three riders going in the first round. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping Double clear for Sweden: The magnificent duo of Henrik von Eckermann and Toveks Mary Lou. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

However, neither Netherlands, France, Belgium and Ireland could keep up with the home team in round two as Germany’s three first riders – Blum, Ahlmann and Deusser – all delivered clears the second time around, pushing up on the leaderboard as they added nothing to their overall score. Marcus Ehning, the German anchor, did not even have to jump the last round with Funky Fred. 

It was looking good for Sweden as well as round two got underway. Both Henrik von Eckermann and his magnificent Toveks Mary Lou (Montendro x Portland L) as well as Angelique von Essen and Luikan Q (Luidam x Kannan) delivered clear rounds the second time out – von Eckermann setting one of five double clears of the Nations Cup. However, when Evelina Tovek and Dalila de La Pomme (Taran de La Pomme x Diamant de Semilly) – clear in the first round – had the middle element of the triple combination down some real excitement was added to the competition. 

Yet again, the man to be put under pressure was Peder Fredricson – who only four days ago sealed the deal for Sweden in the Nations Cup of Falsterbo as their anchor rider. After an uncharacteristic refusal from H&M Christian K (Namelus R x Calvados) in the first round, Fredricson might have felt his nerves tingle a little as he entered a packed Soers with no choice but to ride a clear if he wanted to secure the win for his team. A time-fault would mean a jump-off, and a rail down would leave the win with Germany. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. Hands up for the hero: Peder Fredricson secured the win as last to go with H&M Christian K. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

While the home crowds perhaps politely were hoping for a rail to fall, Fredricson wanted it differently. You could hear a pin drop as the Swedish rider set off, but the further into the round he got the more vocal the stadium became as every single spectator lived with the reigning European Champion over each jump. Clearing the final upright, Fredricson had yet again demonstrated why he is the man of choice for the anchor-position – Sweden had just won their second Nations Cup in five days. 

“Peder told me at the beginning of the season that if we had a good team and a chance to win, he would like to be on it. He rode three times on the team this year, and we won all of them so I better keep him on!” Swedish Chef d’Equipe Henrik Anckerkrona smiled at the press conference.

“I’m happy to have good team riders to compensate for a bad round,” Fredricson said. “It’s always a bit extra pressure going out last, but in the end all rounds count so it does not really make any difference – you always want to go clear and inside the time.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping Golden girls Simone Blum and DSP Alice delivered a double clear round for the host nation. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

Double clear for Sweden, Henrik von Eckermann said: “It was a tough course, although we had 13 clears over the first round. Then, Frank put it up in the second round and you could feel it. But we are in Aachen, so it should be tough. I’m really satisfied with my horse, every time she goes in the ring she is fantastic!”

After being on the winning team last year, Simone Blum and DSP Alice was back to defend the title – and once again delivered. “Alice was jumping fantastic today, she was feeling great and I am really, really proud of her. We had a great team today. Sometimes you win, sometimes you are second – it was a great day for us today,” Blum commented. 

With a double clear round, Penelope Leprevost and Vancouver de Lanlore (Toulon x Le Tot de Semilly) contributed to the French third place in Aachen today – alongside Olivier Rober, Guillaume Foutrier and Kevin Staut. “I am very happy with my horse, and to be third today,” said Leprevost.  

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