No horseshoes, just mango treats
King Edward is the most valuable show jumper in the world
Henrik von Eckermann rode King Edward to Olympic and World Champion titles. The Swede took over the miracle gelding from Janika Sprunger, his Swiss wife. He is currently riding him in Basel.
Henrik von Eckermann has been riding from success to success in the saddle of King Edward for two years.
Nicole VandenbrouckIce hockey reporter
Jumping horse names can be odd (Killer Queen) or complicated (Gamin van’t Naastveldhof). However, there is one that fits perfectly: King Edward. The chestnut gelding is currently the king among show jumpers. In his saddle, Henrik von Eckermann won Olympic gold in Tokyo (2021) with Sweden’s team – and consider double gold in singles and with the team at the 2022 World Championships in Herning (Dä).
The top horse of the world number 1 is currently traded as the most valuable show jumper in the world. Its market value is estimated to be in the mid double-digit million range. Reason enough for some facts about 13-year-old King Edward, who can currently be admired at the CSI Basel.
who owns it
The Basler Dufour Stables AG is owned by Georg Kähny, who has been a sponsor of the Swiss show jumper Janika Sprunger for almost two decades. The 35-year-old competed with King Edward between April 2019 and July 2020. But in January 2020 the gelding, who had previously raced under the Swiss flag, changed nationality.
Sprunger is the wife of the Eckermanns. In the fall of that year, the couple announced that the amazon was expecting their first child. Her husband not only covered the pregnancy, but has been riding King Edward ever since. The reason for the change of nations was that von Eckermann “Eddy” was allowed to ride at the Olympics. For this, the horses must be registered to the appropriate nation.
That’s how he came to the Swiss jumper
A Belgian rider and hobby breeder bred King Edward. As a five-year-old, he ended up with a Belgian amateur rider in the stables behind her parents’ house. A tip from a dealer got me talking to Sprunger, who is known for her instinct for horses. She introduced King Edward to top-class sport and handed him over to her husband as a promising partner.
King Edward’s Peculiarities
With a height of 1.65 meters, the gelding is rather small for the tests of the world’s best, in which obstacles with a height of 1.60 meters have to be jumped over. “Despite his small size, he has this incredible strength in his hind leg, which makes it look like a bouncy ball bounces over 1.60 meters,” said von Eckermann in an interview. “He really is something special.”
It is also very special that King Edward does not wear horseshoes. Von Eckermann switched him to barefoot two years ago: with success. He felt that he felt better. Top performances are still possible. At the top of the world there are only a handful of unshod horses – for now.
King Edward’s groom reveals on the German portal St. Georg that “the gelding doesn’t like being groomed at all, then he stomps around”. But he loves treats with mango or papaya flavor.