H&H’s horse of the day: meet awesome Alan, the barefoot double Olympic silver medallist

  • While the equine star of the show in Wednesday’s Olympic showjumping individual final at the Tokyo Games was, of course,  Explosion W, there was another horse on the medal podium for whom we will always have bucketloads of adoration – awesome Alan, AKA All In, the silver medal-winning mount of Sweden’s Peder Fredricson.

    The 15-year-old gelding by Kashmir Van Schuttershof proved once again what a superstar he is on the big occasion when winning his second Olympic silver medal after a thrilling jump-off to decide the Olympic showjumping individual medals in Tokyo.

    Back in Rio 2016, the pair had claimed the silver medal behind Nick Skelton and Big Star and followed up five years later in Tokyo with another tremendous jump-off round, only to be beaten to the gold medal by a British rider once again – this time it was the turn of Ben Maher and Explosion W to take the Olympic showjumping crown.

    Peder and “Alan”, as he is known at home, also claimed the individual gold at the 2017 European Championships, staking his claim as one of the best championship horses in the world.

    “I was trying to ride as fast as I could because I knew Henrik [von Eckermann] was behind me and Ben [Maher] and Maikel [van der Vleuten], who are some of the fastest riders in the world,” Peder explained after the final round in the Olympic showjumping individual competition. “It was a really fast jump-off.”

    But while Alan shines in the ring, looks can be deceiving, as Peder explains: “He’s an unbelievable horse, but if you saw him at a normal 1.40m show or in his stable, you wouldn’t say he was a superstar.

    “However under these circumstances, when it’s really tough, that’s when he delivers. He’s so naturally careful, he’s really scopey, he’s really brave, he can shorten and lengthen, he’s just an amazing horse.

    “He’s a bit of a funny character though – he’s lazy combined with having a really strong sense of flight and every day he’s different. He has a lot of personality,” said Peder.

    All In suffered a small injury soon after his gold medal in 2017 and ended up being out of action for 18 months.

    “He had a bit of a break – actually a long one, a one and a half year break – with no shows,” said Peder, who brought him back into work in 2018 with the Olympic showjumping at Tokyo as their target. “I had this [Games] in mind and wanted him to be in top shape for this. We were running a bit late because of Covid and then the horse virus [EHV-1] so I was running short of time to get him competition fit. But I’d say he just came to his peak when he came here.”

    What is even more remarkable is that All In, along with Swedish team-mate Henrik von Eckermann’s horse King Edward, competes barefoot – without any shoes.

    “I just have a feeling he is more comfortable [without them],” said Peder, who took off his shoes almost two years ago. “He adapted very quickly to it.”

    Alan, we salute you – what an incredible horse.

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