Sweden’s world number eight, Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) rode to stylish victory in the CSI4* Grand Prix presented by Longines and Al Shira’aa Stables at the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show CSI 4* last night, on his talented bay stallion, Chacanno.
The class, which brought the curtain down on the four-day show at the Al Forsan International Sports Resort in Abu Dhabi, consisted of two challenging rounds with the fences set at 1.60m.
There were 42 riders listed on the starting orders, but only 12 of those bested the first-round course, designed by Portugal’s renowned course builder, Bernardo Costa Cabral, to earn a place in the second round.
Philipp Weishaupt (GER) & Che Fantastica
Among them were German rider, Philipp Weishaupt (GER) and Che Fantastica, already winners earlier in the week at the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show, six-time Olympic rider and former World and European Champion and team Olympic gold medalist, Jos Lansink representing Belgium and riding Valdelamadre Clooney. Also in the group continuing in the competition were Saudi Arabia’s Olympic bronze medalist and World Equestrian Games silver medalist, Abdullah Sharbatly (KSA) and Crazy Quick -another partnership that had already won at the show.
Natale Chiaudani (ITA) & Almero
Third to go, Von Eckermann seemingly flew through the jump off course without touching a pole in 39.65 sec, more than a second faster than previous leader, Weishaupt’s 40.86 sec round. Italy’s Natale Chiaudani (ITA) was third on Almero in a time of 46.92 sec.
Von Eckermann, the European silver medalist, had watched Weishaupt’s round closely and knew he would have to take risks if he wanted to win.
“I had Philipp Weishaupt in front of me and he was already quick so that put a bit of pressure on my shoulders,” he said. “I knew I had to risk a little bit and go a little bit. Philipp started off with five strides and I wanted to do that but then I realised that was too long, so I did six. Then I knew I had to get going so I got going.
Henrick von Eckermann (SWE) and HE Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, President of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation
“The horse is amazing. He is very, very careful and then when it comes to the jump off he’s a very quick horse. So I knew I could win it I just had to do the right thing.”
Source: Press Release by Sarah Tronigen for Al Shira’aa International Horse Show
Photos: © Al Shira’aa International Horse Show / Brand Infiti Oman
Categories: CSI 4*