Swedish showjumper Peder Fredricson is on top of the world in more ways than one, taking over the World No.1 spot from Daniel Deusser as well as being a finalist in the prestigious FEI Awards.
Fredricson, 49, who shot up the rankings last month from No.17 into second position, is now at the top of the elite list on 3015 points, earning further recognition for his consistent performances this year, with one breathtaking ride after another.
”Finally! I can almost not believe it’s true. I’ve been close so many times before. Right now it feels incredibly good,” Fredricson said.
”I dedicate this to my whole team. To reach No.1 takes more than just good horses, you have to have good horse owners, good grooms and a very dedicated and hard-working team on the ground. In that way, I rank this much higher than winning just one big class during one weekend. I’m very grateful to my team and we will celebrate this together.”
Adding to his success, earlier this month Fredricson was one of four athletes nominated for the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete Award, which will be announced in November.
The other nominees in this category are Eventing’s first female Olympic champion Julia Krajewski who won individual gold for Germany in Tokyo, compatriot Jessica von Bredow-Werndl who took double Olympic gold in dressage, and Sir Lee Pearson, Great Britain’s ‘Godfather of Para Dressage’ and the most successful para-dressage athlete of all time with 17 Paralympic medals.
Peder Fredricson’s ride to the top
Born into an equestrian family, Fredricson started riding at the age of 5. His father Ingvar is a veterinarian as well as the former boss at Flyinge, the largest breeding station in Sweden. His brother Jens, also part of Sweden’s equestrian elite, competed at the London 2012 Olympics, as well as two FEI Jumping World Cup Finals and FEI European Championships in 1997 and 2013. His wife Lisen, also a showjumping rider, rode at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and London in 2012.
Fredricson’s trophy cabinet includes four Olympic medals, including team silver from the 2004 Athens Olympics, and individual silver from the Rio 2016 Games, where he was the only rider to be clear in all six rounds. Along with winning the individual silver at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in August this year, his performances helped Sweden to its first Team Jumping Olympic gold medal in almost 100 years. It also marked 29 years after he made his Olympic debut at the age of 20 at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Back then, he was an accomplished eventer – and the youngest-ever Olympic equestrian athlete for Sweden.
With his loyal partner H&M All In, Fredricson was crowned the 2017 European Champion on home soil in Gothenburg, and won team silver. He was a member of the Swedish squad that won silver at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon 2018 (USA), and in 2019 at the FEI World Cup Final in Gothenburg he won bronze in front of his home crowd. More recently, he won the individual bronze at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championships in Riesenbeck, Germany.
In 2016 and 2017, he received the Athlete of the Year award at the Swedish Sports Gala. The ‘Jerring Prize’, which is Sweden’s most prestigious sporting prize, is awarded for a successful sports achievement. He earned this honour by a popular vote which put him above the likes of Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, golfing sensation Henrik Stenson and rallycross champion Mattias Ekström. In February 2019, he was presented with the Medal of Honour from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf.
20 shortlisted for FEI Awards
Online public voting is open in five categories for the FEI Awards, with 20 shortlisted candidates from 12 nations include Olympic and Paralympic medallists, up-and-coming young athletes, Grooms, Organising Committees, Veterinarians, National Federations and charities.
The shortlisted nominees have been selected for their outstanding achievements on the field of play, inspirational outlook and unparalleled dedication to equestrian and para equestrian sport.
The winners will be decided by combining 50% of the public’s vote and 50% of the judges’ vote for the final result, and they will be announced at a gala dinner in Antwerp, Belgium, on November 17. This will be the first in-person celebration of the winners since the FEI Awards Gala 2019 at the Kremlin in Moscow.
Included among the nine judges is FEI President Ingmar De Vos, dressage rider Kyra Kyrklund, eventer Andrew Hoy, and International Grooms Association founder Lucy Katan.
There is a family connection in the Longines FEI Rising Star category, with Germany’s Greta Busacker among the nominees. She is the daughter of 2020 winner of the decade and eventing legend Ingrid Klimke, who was named Best Athlete in 2019 and 2020.
This year‘s nominees also include two National Federations in the FEI Against All Odds and the FEI Solidarity categories. The Japanese National Federation has been nominated for the support they provided to the Organising Committee of Tokyo 2020 to deliver safe and successful equestrian events, against all the odds created by the ongoing pandemic. The Hellenic Equestrian Federation nomination for the FEI Solidarity Award is in recognition of their efforts to evacuate 300 horses from areas in Greece rampaged by wildfires in August 2021.
» Voting for the FEI Awards closes on October 17.
The shortlisted nominees for the FEI Awards 2021 are:
Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete – paying tribute to the athlete who over the past year has demonstrated exceptional skill and taken the sport to a new level.
- Peder Fredricson (SWE), Jumping
- Julia Krajewski (GER), Eventing
- Jessica von Bredow Werndl (GER), Dressage
- Sir Lee Pearson (GBR), Para Dressage
Longines FEI Rising Star – for the youth athlete aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment.
- Sam Dos Santos (NED), 15, Vaulting
- Greta Busacker (GER), 19, Eventing
- Jimena Carrillo Watanabe (MEX), 14, Jumping
- Marten Luiten (NED), 20, Dressage
Cavalor FEI Best Groom – for the behind-the-scenes hero who ensures the horses they look after are given the best possible care.
- Stephanie Simpson (USA), groom for Eventing athlete Boyd Martin (USA)
- Jorge Luiz Gonzales (ARG), groom for Jumping athlete Matias Albarracin (ARG)
- Kathleen Van Winden (NED), groom for Para Dressage athlete Sanne Voets (NED)
- Marie Johansson (SWE), groom for Dressage athlete Patrick Kittel (SWE)
FEI Against All Odds – for an inspiring individual who has pursued their equestrian ambitions and overcome challenges and obstacles along the way.
- Beatrice de Lavalette (USA), Para Dressage
- Laura Collett (GBR), Eventing
- Japan Equestrian Federation
- Dr Ruben Fausto Arismendi Garat (URU), Endurance Veterinarian
FEI Solidarity – for an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, an individual or organisation that has used skill, dedication and energy to expand the sport.
- Hellenic Equestrian Federation (GRE)
- Sue Ockendon (CAN), founder of the Bromont Rising Program
- Compton Cowboys (USA), community programme in Compton, Los Angeles
- Equulus Charity ‘Pursuit of Dreams’ (CHN)