The eventing portion of the Olympics may have ended weeks ago, but that’s no reason for the eventers to stop winning medals. Case in point: Peder Fredricson of Sweden — who competed as an eventer in the 1992 Olympic Games — won the individual silver medal in show jumping last night.
Born in Sweden in 1972, Peder has been an avid horseman all his life. His father was a veterinarian, and his brother also grew up loving horses (and still competes alongside his brother at the international level.) Peder was passionate about eventing, and found a worthy partner in Hilly Trip, a talented mare who Peder once described in an interview as his best friend. “She was like a dog, we would let her loose in the garden. The horses communicate a lot, but you have to understand them, meet their needs and be clear. Then you have a good relationship that works.”
At the age of 20, he and Hilly Trip, who was 10 at the time, were selected for the Swedish Eventing Team for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. This made him the youngest Swedish equestrian Olympian in history.
While the team did not have a successful outing, in Peder’s international debut, he placed 14th individually. That’s two spots ahead of Andrew Nicholson at those games, who finished in 16th. It was a spectacular event for the pair, and at that point he decided to turn professional and move to England. He worked with many of the best eventers in the world, including Mark Todd.
But over the next few years, Peder’s ambitions would shift, and he opted to move into the show jumping arena and he hasn’t looked back.
He married fellow international show jumper Lisen Fredricson, and together they started a top notch operation that has developed many of the world class horses Peder competed against yesterday. His performance record has remained as world class as their young horses, and Peder is currently ranked #50 in the FEI Global Rankings. He was a member of the silver medal-winning Swedish show jumping team at the 2004 Athens Games, and finished fourth individually. He also competed at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky and Normandy.
Peder’s silver medal accolades were not, however, what had made him an overnight international sensation in the past 24 hours. It was his “dab” on the podium that has been shared thousands of times around the world.
— Ridsportförbundet (@SvenskRidsport) August 19, 2016
Whether you love him for his dab, his eventing skills, or his show jumping silver medal, he’s one worth loving. The eventing family congratulates you on your win, Peder, and you’re welcome back any time. (Though when asked if he’d ever be brave enough to try eventing again, his response was, “I guess I’m as brave now, just not as foolhardy.”)
Go Show Jumping, and Go Eventing.