BEHIND THE SCENES: PEDER FREDRICSON
“I’m very happy with how my horse jumped every day; it was my third Olympic games so I was well prepared and I used all my experience to make it happen; I’m interested in mental preparation and personal development, so I worked on that and I welcomed the stress and used it as fuel."
He was probably not known to many outside the showjumping community until his astonishing appearance on the podium in Rio 2016 Olympics. Standing to the right of gold medalist Nick Skelton on top of the podium, proudly wearing his silver medal and being crowned as Rio 2016 individual silver medalist was Sweden’s Peder Fredricson. Perhaps what may have made him even more famous to followers was his “dab” on the podium while receiving his honours! He succeeded in show jumping, reaching the top of the sport, competing in Olympics, winning an individual silver medal in the Rio 2016 Olympics, so was this the result of the usual strenuous focused showjumping trajectory? Well, no.
"ALL IN was super, I have to say the jumping was effortless in one way as he is an amazing jumper, I worked a lot on his condition and he was quite fresh even after the last round."
Having been an eventer and having participated in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in eventing, he one day got a call from commercial retailers H&M offering to sponsor him in showjumping. “Well, it happened because I got a sponsorship with H&M, but they wanted a showjumper”, he explained. “They wanted another jumper and it wasn’t difficult to persuade me. It was the other way round really — I was wondering why they wanted me, why I got the call”. “My brother and my wife were doing showjumping and it was also something I thought was interesting to get into and I could travel around with them, doing the same thing.” He adapted to the new discipline easily and was talented in it. "It’s not so different really,” he shrugs. “You do showjumping in three-day eventing. It’s just that I don’t have to do dressage and I’m really happy about that. But I do miss cross-country sometimes.”
"I saw ALL IN at the world games for young horses in Zangersheide, Lanaken ridden by Nicola Philipaerts, so I tried him and after I could not stop thinking of the feeling he gave me.“
In addition to all of that, he is a professional graphic designer. When the FEI launched its competition for pictograms for its seven disciplines to celebrate the massive global growth of equestrian sport, they invited people to submit designs. Peder entered and to his surprise won the competition beating out Kevin Staut who also entered and so he designed the new pictograms for the FEI. “As a rider, I know how the pictograms should appear, the correct proportions, the connection and the movement. I’m really happy to have done this and I’m proud that my designs were chosen,” he said. “I didn’t do the Olympic rings” he adds with a laugh, “but I did do some logos for Stockholm International Horse Show. I’ve taken a break from that for the last three months though.” And we can see why! He won two gold medals as a junior at the 1989 European Championships and finished 14th in the 1992 Olympics in eventing. Since 2000, he has focused on showjumping, and in 2004 he made his Olympic début in Athens where he finished fourth in the individual competition. With all that exposure and Olympic background you would have thought that he was already a celebrity, but here he is, this year’s silver medalist. It goes to show that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve the most unexpected results!