The last 18 months have been nothing short of magical for Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann. He has not only competed at the highest level in the most important arenas around the world, but his partnership with King Edward has taken the 41-year-old rider to the top spot of every major podium the sport has to offer.
From Olympic Team Gold in Tokyo in 2021, to individual and team gold at the FEI Jumping World Championship 2022 in Herning (DEN), and now the ultimate indoor title with his recent win at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals a few weeks ago in Omaha (USA), von Eckermann is setting the bar very high.
These outstanding performances have been integral to not only getting to the top spot of the Longines Rankings, to claim the white armband that only the number one can wear, but also generating an impressive lead. He has held this lead since August 2022, when he dethroned Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs, and has been further enhanced with frequent top three finishes with his other horses, Iliana, Calizi, and Glamour Girl.
But the last update of the Longines Rankings (No. 268) shows just how dominant von Eckermann has been in the last 9 months. He is the number one with 3598 points, while Julien Epaillard remains in second, with 3005 points. That difference of 593 points between the top two athletes in the world is the widest gap registered in the last 14 years.
These months have been an incredible experience for von Eckermann. “When I got the bracelet [Longines no. 1 armband], my first thought was I really wanted to make sure I’m not the athlete that holds the top spot for the shortest period of time. I really wanted to stay on a little bit and not just give it away the next month. Afterwards, with the success we’ve had, I thought it would be nice to be number one for one year. So now, with this margin, that could be a goal; that could be possible. So I’m very happy about that,” explained the Swede.