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From A-Z: Read yourself ready for the World Championship

Tuesday, 09 August 2022
ECCO FEI World Championships 2022


While waiting for the jumping competitions at the ECCO FEI World Championships to begin this week, WoSJ has put together a small collection of our exclusives – which provide interesting background info on some of the horses and riders that will be in action in Herning, and on some of those that were in the medals four years ago in Tryon. 



Andre Thieme – Is the reigning European Champion and heads for Herning with DSP Chakaria as one of the favourites for a medal. Read our interview with Thieme, done after he had won his gold medal in Riesenbeck last year, via this link.

Ben Maher – At the end of 2021, WoSJ met up with reigning Olympic Champion Ben Maher who reflected on his success in Tokyo, saying: “The gold medal hasn’t changed our day-to-day lives though, we still push to be better." The full interview with Maher can be read here

Cian O'Connor In May, Ireland's Cian O'Connor told WoSJ that the fire is still burning inside him for the top sport. Partnering with the 14-year-old C Vier 2, that he acquired only in April this year, O'Connor now heads to his fourth World Championship – he also jumped in Jerez in 2002, Lexington in 2010 and in Tryon in 2018. Read the interview with O'Connor here.

DSP Alice  Is the reigning World Champion, but won't be returning to defend her title with Germany's Simone Blum, as the now 15-year-old mare has been struggling with soundness issues – her last international competition was in February 2021. However, you can learn more about DSP Alice's rise to stardom in our series 'From youngster to international Grand Prix horse'.

Explosion W  Ben Maher's incredible Olympic gold medallist, who was a hot gold candidate for Herning, was last week withdrawn from the World Championship in Herning. A favourite on the international showjumping scene, Explosion will be missed by fans worldwide when the action gets underway later this week. You can learn more about the 13-year-old gelding in our series 'From youngster to international Grand Prix horse'.

Fredricson – At the Agria FEI Jumping World Championship, Sweden will have two Fredricsons on the team: Multi-medallist and former world no. one Peder, and his brother Jens – who this year finished third at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final in Leipzig. You can learn more about Peder – who has had an incredibly successful career – and his thoughts on horsemanship, in our WoSJ Exclusive from 2021

Gregory Wathelet – One of the most respected in the sport, WoSJ sat down with the Belgian rider – a European team champion, European vice champion and Olympic team bronze medallist, to speak about horsemanship. "In my opinion, a rider who knows what good horsemanship is, is a rider who takes really good care of the horses and knows exactly what the horses need. Being a good horseman or horsewoman means you need to know exactly what you do, and why you do it,” Wathelet said.

H&M All In  Yet again, H&M All In will be Peder Fredricson's partner at a championship, and expectations will be high for the 16-year-old Olympic team champion and individual vice champion from Tokyo, who recently won the CSIO5* Rolex Grand Prix of Knokke – showing great shape. You can learn more about 'Allan' in our Special Bond-series with Fredricson, and also with his former groom Malin Henlöv. While H&M All In has an incredible medal collection, this will be his first time competing at a World Championship. 

Indiana – Malin Baryard-Johnsson's feisty mare should not be overlooked when it comes to medal chances, the pair has an unbelievably strong partnership and we got to learn more about the now 14-year-old H&M Indiana in our series 'From youngster to international Grand Prix horse'. H&M Indiana was on the Swedish team that won gold in Tokyo, and silver in Tryon. In her last international appearance, she jumped double clear in the CSIO5* Nations Cup in Knokke – looking to be in fabulous form. 

Joe Stockdale  Back in 2021, WoSJ featured the young British talent in our series 'The Next Generation'. Now Joe, the son of the late Tim Stockdale, is ready for his first World Championship with Equine America Cacharel. “We have had Cacharel since she was a 3-year-old, my dad found her at a local auction. My dad always thought Cacharel was going to be a very special horse; she always had something about her – she picked up things so easily and has been a lovely horse to work with all the way through," Joe said back then. 

King Edward Henrik von Eckermann's superstar is one of the hottest candidates to become World Champion, and you can learn more about the 12-year-old gelding in our series 'From youngster to international Grand Prix horse'. The story about King Edward’s journey to the top is certainly out of the ordinary, as he before his professional career was a real family horse. “For me, he was a hobby horse, and it was not in my plans to sell him. For three years, I ignored all those questions and said he was not for sale,” his former owner and rider Ines De Vos, who eventually agreed to sell to Janika Sprunger and Henrik von Eckermann, told WoSJ last year. 

Leone Jei  Another favourite for the title in Herning is Martin Fuchs' incredible 10-year-old gelding Leone Jei, that despite his young age already has team gold and individual silver from last year's Europeans on his record, as well as five-star Grand Prix wins from Geneva and Dinard. Learn more about Leone Jei in our series 'From youngster to international Grand Prix horse'.

Monaco  Monaco is another horse that goes to Herning with high expectations. The 13-year-old gelding has over the last year recorded an impressive list of results, placing second in the Longines FEI World Cup Final in Leipzig, second in the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters, second in the LGCT Grand Prix in St. Tropez, second in the Longines FEI World Cup in London, second in the Rolex Grand Prix in Geneva, third in the LGCT Grand Prix in Rome, fourth in the LGCT Grand Prix in St. Tropez and fifth in the LGCT Grand Prix in Samorin – as well as being part of the winning Dutch team at the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona last year. You can learn more about Monaco in our series 'From youngster to international Grand Prix horse'.

Nevados S  In our series 'From youngster to international Grand Prix horse', we spoke with Belgium's Gregory Wathelet about his stunning 14-year-old stallion and caught up with his former rider Przemyslaw Konopacki to learn about Nevados’ path to stardom. Nevados helped Belgium to team bronze in Tokyo last year, and was also on the Belgian team that won the gold at the Europeans in Rotterdam in 2019.

Oaks Milky Way – Is Hilary Scott's Australian homebred partner for the World Championship, and you can learn more about the two in our interview with the 34-year-old who will jump her first international championship in Herning. “We have done everything with her from the start, it has been an incredible journey,” Hilary told about the 15-year-old mare. 

Peder Fredricson – Learn more about the horses that have shaped the former world no. one's career in our series 'That Special Bond', and gain knowledge from our series 'Lessons Learned' where we speak with the Swedish rider and his colleague Stephanie Holmén.

Quel Homme de Hus  Last year, WoSJ featured Jerome Guery's Quel Homme de Hus and discovered that behind the stallion's success is a story of close, true friendship. “Today, I can say that I would not have changed anything about the journey I have had with Quel Homme. Perhaps I could have made a lot of money a few years ago, but you can’t put a price on what you can feel in your heart. Now, I can look back at so many great moments with Jérôme – one of my best friends – and with Quel Homme – also one of my best friends. And of course, with our wives; Alice and Patricia! It’s a beautiful story," his co-owner and former rider Gaetan Decroix told WoSJ.

Romeo 88 – The 13-year-old gelding Romeo 88 has played a big part in Harry Charles' tremendous last twelve months, which have seen the British rising star rocket up the world ranking to now sit as no. 11. At the end of 2021, WoSJ spoke with Charles about his incredible season and the horses that have helped him to the top. “My goal for next year is the World Championships,” Charles said back then. 

Simone Blum – Reigning World Champion Simone Blum will not be competing in Herning. Her World Champion DSP Alice has struggled with soundness issues, and last year Blum decided to take a step back from the top sport after selling two of her other best horses – Cool Hill and Cecile. “The balancing act between competing at top level and running a profitable business is difficult," Blum told WoSJ.

Tryon – Alice, Clooney and Bianca were all on the podium in Tryon in 2018, but none of them will be returning to defend their medals in Herning. Alice has not competed since the beginning of 2021, Clooney has been retired after a shoulder injury ended his illustrious career, while Bianca sadly passed away last year. Among the team medallists, it's only Adrienne Sternlicht's Cristalline and Malin Baryard-Johnsson's H&M Indiana that return for another World Championship.

Underhill – Meet 59-year-old Beth Underhill, who this year made an impressive comeback at the highest level of the sport when taking over the ride on Eric Lamaze's Dieu Merci van T&L and Nikka vd Bisschop. "Every day with Eric is a masterclass; he has this innate understanding of horses," Underhill told WoSJ.

Von Eckermann – The newly crowned world no. one heads to Herning as a favourite to become World Champion. Last year, Henrik looked back at his incredible 2021 with WoSJ and said: “You could for sure say that 2021 was the year of King Edward, but I think he has an even better year to come." No pressure then Henrik, no pressure. 

Ward – Mclain Ward will be partnering with his wonderful Contagious in Herning, and back in the spring of 2021 – before their team silver in Tokyo – we looked back on the 13-year-old gelding's rise to stardom in our series 'From youngster to international Grand Prix horse'. “He had so much quality that I wanted his confidence to be perfectly solid before jumping bigger classes," his former owner and rider Reed Kessler told WoSJ.

X, Y, Z – Until next time...

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