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Jens Fredricson and Markan Cosmopolit: From 3* shows to a double clear in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup at CHIO Aachen

Tuesday, 28 September 2021
Interview

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for WoSJ. Jens Fredricson and Markan Cosmopolit flying to a double clear round in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup in Aachen. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping

 


 

To jump a double clear in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup in Aachen is a dream for many, and a big achievement in any horse or rider’s career. To deliver, it usually takes a special partnership between horse and rider – and experience is also a huge advantage. 

So, when Jens Fredricson suddenly appeared back on the Swedish team for CHIO Aachen two weeks ago that was no big surprise. Fredricson is one on Sweden’s most experienced riders and has several championships on his resume. However, it was the very first time his 10-year-old gelding Markan Cosmopolit (Cohiba 1198 x Calido I) jumped at five-star level – up until that week the biggest he had jumped was a CSI3* Grand Prix. 

“This year, we did three international CSI3* shows before going to Aachen,” Fredricson says. “We were in Uggerhalne, Denmark, in June where we won the Grand Prix, then we competed in Falsterbo in July – which is almost next door – and then we were in Zandhoven, Belgium, in August. For the rest we have only competed nationally.”

Fredricson began to ride Markan Cosmopolit when the gelding was a 5-year-old. As a 7-year-old, Cosmopolit won the Swedish Championship for young horses at Flyinge and topped a national 1.45m class. “That is when I started to feel that he had the potential,” Fredricson says. “Then as an 8-year-old he did some international shows and made his 1.50m debut. He jumped it quite easy but wasn’t clear. At that time, he started really well but at the end of the round he would run out of power and then had one or two down.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for WoSJ. Jens Fredricson. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and almost exactly one year ago I broke my neck after falling off Karmel van de Watering at a show in Italy. I was convalescence the whole autumn, so I had other people riding my horses while I was on the ground,” Fredricson tells.

To get Markan Cosmopolit ready for this year and to build him up so his power would last for a full course, Fredricson made some proper winter training. “Cosmo has been working twice a day the whole winter, with the focus on gymnastic and power training. That really helped him this year. He has done nine 1.50m Grand Prix classes, been clear in eight and won six – from national level up to CSI3*.”

Fredricson was convinced that his horses were ready to do something bigger, so already ahead of the Longines FEI Nations Cup in La Baule, he called the Swedish Chef d’Equipe Henrik Ankarcrona and asked to be sent there. “Since Henrik has had so many good horses and riders to choose from, there haven’t been any spots free for me. With several Nations Cup shows cancelled, there was no possibility for us to go anywhere,” Fredricson says. 

Fredricson didn’t give up though and kept calling Ankarcrona, and in Aachen he finally got his chance. “I really wanted to come to Aachen, I felt that we were ready. It is not that Henrik selected me; it has been me pushing him to let us go,” Fredricson laughs. “Henrik and I have had a great dialogue all along, and now with so many horses having done so much this summer, I finally got my chance.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for WoSJ. Jens Fredricson and Markan Cosmopolit being received at the in-gate in Aachen after their double clear round. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

That CHIO Aachen is a very special event, and not to compare to most other venues, is something that Fredricson is well aware off – he has been competing there on previous occasions. To go from doing mostly national shows to compete at an event of Aachen’s calibre is also nothing that Fredricson recommends for inexperienced riders. “I have been competing in Aachen before, which is of big importance. I know what it takes. I also have the big advantage that my brother Peder is competing at the highest level, and we talk riding more or less every day. So even if I don’t compete at the biggest shows, I do it mentally as I’m there with Peder. Without these two factors coming into play, it would not be possible to do what I did,” he says. 

To prepare for CHIO Aachen, Fredricson called Jana Wannius – show director of Falsterbo Horse Show – and asked him if he could jump there. “Jana was really supportive and asked me to send the course plan so he could get it built up for me. I went there on Wednesday and Thursday the week before Aachen. The first day I jumped a 1.10m course and trained a bit, and on Thursday I build a proper course with lines, combinations, open water and everything else I could think of,” Fredricson explains. 

That seemed to be the perfect preparation for Jens Fredricson and Markan Cosmopolit. “The two rounds in the Nations Cup felt fantastic! I would say those were the best rounds I have ever ridden. Cosmo had his ears pricked, was with me and jumped great all the way to the very last fence. This really shows that our winter work made a different. Now, after Aachen he will first of all get a break. This was a great ending to the outdoor season. I have another really nice horse in Karmel van de Watering, and now he can step in to be the first horse while Cosmo can take it a bit easy and jump a bit lower for a while. For next year’s outdoor season, I will be ready with two fantastic horses and hopefully we’ll have a calendar full of Nations Cups again.”

On a daily basis, Fredricson works as the stable master at the two Swedish national equestrian centers at Flyinge and Strömsholm. “Since I have a family and my job, I like to be home as much as possible. However, when I get the chance to go to a show like Aachen it is something different. It is also good advertisement for the national equestrian centers in Sweden. I’m not interested in going from show to show every week like Peder, though. My program suits me very well – and I enjoy to show up like a surprise every now and then,” Fredricson smiles.

 

 

No reproduction without written permission, copyright © World of Showjumping



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