THERE are not many words that haven’t been used to sum up Henrik von Eckermann’s incredible season to date. Fresh from winning the €1.25 million Super Grand Prix in Prague, the Swede travelled to his home nation where he won the four-star Grand Prix in front of a packed crowed at the Sweden International Horse Show.

On this occasion, Von Eckermann left his star mount King Edward at home but had an able deputy in Glamour Girl who galloped to victory ahead of his Tokyo gold medal-winning teammate Malin Baryard Johnsson to win just over €28,000.

While there were only 18 starters in the Grand Prix, it was a star-studded field with all three members of the Swedish Olympic team, as well as individual Olympic champion Ben Maher and a number of the world’s top-ranked riders.

Six combinations were clear in the first round to make it through to the jump-off, where there were only two clears.

Baryard Johnsson was first out in the jump-off. A flawless and fast ride aboard her Tokyo mount, the lovely mare H&M Indiana, made the home crowd go wild and she set the target in a time of 41.07 seconds.

As the rest tried to catch her, they all had faults. Brazil’s Marlon Zanotelli did better the time in 40.74 seconds but a fence down meant he had to settle for third place.

However, last to go, Von Eckermann looked dangerous from the get go and he crossed the line over a second faster than his teammate in 39.60 seconds to secure the win and add yet another Grand Prix win to his phenomenal 2021 campaign.

“Finally! I knew I had a chance and really wanted to make sure to take it,” Von Eckermann said after winning the Grand Prix for his home nation. “I rode really bad last time, while my horse did everything right, so today I was even more motivated to give her a real good round.”

Baryard Johnsson, who is also the Sports Director at Sweden International Horse Show, added: “The plan was to ride as fast as I could. I knew which fast crews were after me. But it is my own fault that I invited all these talented horses and riders,” she said with a laugh.