Verona, Italy – November 05, 2021 – Sweden’s Peder Fredricson (SWE) showed exactly why he is the number one rider in the world right now when galloping to victory in the Regione Siciliana feature class as the first day of Jumping Verona 2021 came to a dramatic close this evening. Partnering the 14-year-old gelding H&M Christian K he was last to go in the 16-horse jump-off and won through with a blistering round that stopped the clock on 34.68 seconds.
Third into the jump-off, Colombia’s Carlos Lopez (COL) was first to break the 35-second barrier with a great round from the 16-year-old Admara in 34.98 but, sixth into the ring for the second time, The Netherlands’ Willem Greve (NED) produced a spectacular run from the nine-year-old Highway M TN to reset the target at 34.74 seconds.
Many more of the world’s best horse-and-rider partnerships tackled Uliano Vezzani’s track without threatening for the lead until British veteran, 66-year-old John Whitaker (GBR), set off with just three left to go. And with the Italian crowd urging him on to the very end he galloped down to the last fence up on time with Unick de Francport, but a pole off that final oxer saw him having to settle for ninth place despite having the quickest time of 34.65 seconds.
Now only Austria’s Max Kuhner (AUT) and Sweden’s Fredricson (SWE) stood between Greve and victory, and when Kuhner’s EIC Carolis des Isles crossed the line with two fences down then it was up to Fredricson to decide it.
And what a way to do it, the man who has taken the sport by storm over the last year with multiple epic performances including clinching team gold for his country at the Tokyo Olympic Games where he also collected individual silver, simply slicing through the track to break the beam in 34.68 seconds for the win.
“I’m very happy!”, he said afterwards. “It was a big jump-off with many riders and it was very fast, but I was last to go which was an advantage because you know what you have to do and today was my day! Christian K is a really cool horse, the jump-off suited him because there were a lot of turns. If I ride straight on he gets very strong, but with these turns it keeps him a little bit in balance”, he explained.
Now he’s looking forward to Sunday’s Italian leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League and as he said this evening H&M Christian K is one of several great Grand Prix horses he has to choose from.
“I’m planning to ride him on Sunday, I’m not sure if this was the best warm-up for the World Cup but he feels in good form so we will do our very best!”, he said.
Final Results – €51,100 Regione Siciliana presents CSI 5*-W
1) Peder Fredricson (SWE) & H&M Christian K – 0 / 0 – 34.68
2) Willem Greve (NED) & Highway M TN – 0 / 0 – 34.74
3) Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo (COL) & Admara – 0 / 0 – 34.98
Source: Press Release from Fieracavalli
Photos: © Jumping Verona / M. Proli