Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann and the 11-year-old Oldenburg stallion Chaccano (Chacco-Blue x Kannan) rode to stylish victory in the CSI4* Grand Prix, presented by Longines and Al Shira’aa Stables, at the Al Shira’aa International Horse Show on Saturday, January 13, 2018.
The class, which brought the curtain down on the four-day show at the Al Forsan International Sports Resort in Abu Dhabi, consisted of two challenging 1.60m rounds.
Forty-two horse and rider combinations competed in round one, with 12 returning to the shorted track designed by Portugal’s Bernardo Costa Cabral.
Third to go, von Eckermann and Chaccano seemingly flew through the jump off course without touching a pole, setting an unbeatable time of 39.65s. The duo finished a second faster than previous leader, Philipp Weishaupt of Germany and the nine-year-old Oldenburg mare Che Fantastica (Check In 2 x Pablo).
Weishaupt and Che Fantastica, who picked up wins earlier in the week, finished in 40.86s for 2nd place.
“I had Philipp [Weishaupt] in front of me and he was already quick so that put a bit of pressure on my shoulders,” von Eckermann said. “I knew I had to risk a little bit and go a little bit. Philipp started off with five strides and I wanted to do that but then I realised that was too long, so I did six. Then I knew I had to get going so I got going.”
“The horse is amazing. He is very, very careful and then when it comes to the jump off he’s a very quick horse, so I knew I could win it; I just had to do the right thing.”
Italy’s Natale Chiaudani and the 19-year-old DSP gelding Almero (Asti Spumante 7 x Gajuswas) finished 3rd in 46.92s.
The full results can be viewed here.