12 August 2023

Peder Fredricson makes ultimate come back to help Stockholm Hearts raise the stakes at GCL London

Peder Fredricson makes ultimate come back to help Stockholm Hearts raise the stakes at GCL London

Returning from injury, Peder Fredricson secured Stockholm Hearts powered by H&M We Love Horses the win after a foot perfect double clear from teammate Olivier Philipperats. The world of equestrian sports witnessed an extraordinary triumph at the iconic Royal Hospital Chelsea in the heart of London.

The remarkable victory was sealed by none other than Peder Fredricson, whose triumphant return from injury added a fairytale dimension to the championship. Fredricson's remarkable comeback marked his second consecutive win in the GCL team series after his win on home turf in Stockholm earlier this year just before his accident. Highlighting the team's phenomenal achievement, Olivier Philippaerts also left a lasting mark to beat Madrid In Motion on time.

Perfectly summarized in a concise, and collectively resounding manner, Peder commented: “It is great to feel this adrenaline kick again, and of course the win is the perfect start.”

Surrounded by the historic charm of London, the event created an unforgettable atmosphere for both participants and spectators alike. The sold-out crowd was treated to an unparalleled display of horsemanship. In a poignant fusion of tradition and honor, the distinguished resident pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea graced the awards ceremony, adding a touch of heritage to the occasion. This act symbolized the profound bond between equestrian sports and the rich legacy of the venue, evoking a moment brimming with significance and emotion.

Today’s third place was clinched by the 2023 Championship Leaders, Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland Equestrian. The duo of Christian Kukuk and Philipp Sholz-Tophoff on board Just Be Gentle and Carla NRW secured their place on the podium proving just how continent the team is.

Speaking of his ultra consistent mount Just Be Gentle, Christian Kukuk of Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland, commented on her form in 2023 so far. He said; “Again, a double clear from her, she did it already in Stockholm, and I think every time I’ve ridden her I’ve been on the podium, so I am very, very happy.”

Meanwhile, Madrid in Motion’s Maikel van der Vleuten and Mark Mcauley soared to second place onboard Beauville Z N.O.P. and GRS Lady Amaro, further amplifying the intensity of the competition.

Team tactics again came into play, with teams opting for both horse changes, rider changes, and some opting for ‘don’t change it if it’s not broken’. Second place getters Madrid in Motion opted for a strategic change heading into Round 2, with Maikel Van Der Vlueten replacing Jack Whitaker. Speaking after the team’s commendable second place, Maikel assured the success was as a result of the whole team effort. 
“Today we were all three part of our second place, Mark jumped both rounds, he rode very focused. His horse jumped very well with an unlucky rail which can happen of course. Also Jack, a super clear round the first round, was a big part of the second place today. I must say Beauville [N.O.P] felt very well and was trying very hard.”

With a challenging track set by course designer Ulliano Vezzani, horses and riders were tested on every corner, with imposing related lines and combinations set flanked by sold out grandstands and buzzing hospitality.

With this victory, Riesenbeck International extended their domination, establishing a commanding lead of 27 points over Paris Panthers, who now hold 221 points on the GCL leaderboard. The stage is now set for an exhilarating culmination to the GCL Championship, promising more suspense and spectacle as the league unfolds in the last crucial stages of the season.

RELIVE: Stockholm Hearts Winning Rounds

With five double clear rounds in Round 1, the stage was set as a lineup of the world’s best to head into battle for Round 2. 15 teams came forward for round 2 after Mexico Amigos were eliminated due to the retirement of Mike Kawai, leaving the question on everyone’s lips, who could seal the deal and secure top podium position?

There was drama as Evelina Tovek got jumped out of the saddle taking a tumble, causing the Scandinavian Vikings to be eliminated early on. Valkenswaard United duo of Edwina Tops-Alexander and legendary John Whitaker climbed the ranks in round two after just a single rail from both to pick up a top 5 finish.

Making a tactical change and bringing Ben Maher off the team for round 2 Paris Panthers line of Gregory Wathalet and Harrie Smolders had some of the best horsepower in the class. Uber consisted Monaco N.O.P produced yet another clear but two down from Ace of Hearts forced the team on the backfoot.

Using all three riders of their team across the two rounds, Madrid In Motion held their ground in the battle for top four with a second place finish today. Just an unlucky rail down for Mark Mcauley in the latter part of the course left the gate wide open for a team to still finish on a clean sheet.

With two to go, Riesenbeck International, powered by Kingsland Equestrian, entered into the arena determined and focused. Led today by Chrsitian Kukuk and young Philipp Schulze Topphoff luck wasn’t quite on their side. The technical course caught the U25 rider out as the pressure got too much and four faults were added to their scoreboard.

Last to go, the Stockholm Hearts had the crowd on the edge of their seats and guessing as to whether they could keep their heads to post the first clean sheet. Olivier Philippaerts and H&M Miro delivered a flawless round but an unlucky rail from Peder Fredricson and Catch Me Not S meant he had to put the pedal to metal to keep ahead of Madrid In Motion on time.

So, Stockholm Hearts made a late Championship comeback after leaping into top four today in London but with just three events left it will be down to the wire… The league now heads straight to Valkenswaard for the 13th stage of the season from 18 - 20 August. 

INTERVIEW: Stockholm Hearts powered by H&M We Love Horses on GCTV

My vision is clear. Only the best for the best.
Jan Tops - Founder & President