King Edward to Peak at Gothenburg?

On Sunday, we will watch the greatest horse in the modern era of the sport trying to set an even higher bar in front of his home fans

By Sam Watson / @equiratings

February 24, 2024

King Edward
King Edward continues to push new performance heights

We need little convincing that the best horse in the sport of show jumping is Henrik Von Eckermann’s King Edward. The World Champion, the World Cup Champion, and a horse that will bring a new level of noise when he enters the Scandinavium arena on Sunday.

Last year, it didn’t go to plan – two rails down. Given the success around the world before and since, it feels natural he will want to deliver for the home fans. It will be our last chance to see him at  Scandinavium before that Olympic showdown in Paris this summer.

We obsess over performance, and ratings, and at EquiRatings, we are preparing for a different story. On Sunday, we will all have an opportunity to see a new high bar set in performance in the modern sport. It is a chance for the greatest horse to hit a new peak, in front of one of the most passionate home crowds in the sport.


To truly understand and appreciate performance, it must be measurable. Every four years there is a World Champion, but who is the greatest of these? And what about the Olympic champions? Or World Cup Final winners? Performance is something we measure every week, every round. The measurement we have developed came from chess, the Elo system. It is a points-based system which
focuses on quality of opponents beaten and consistency of performance.

With many different tours in the sport of show jumping, from World Cups and Nations Cups to Rolex Grand Slams and the Longines Global Champions Tour, it can be hard to follow the progress of a horse, evaluate the quality of a performance, and provide an intelligent and quantifiable answer to the question of ‘who is the best’? We call our solution to this question the EquiRatings Elo, and King Edward, with a rating of 809, has achieved the highest ever value on this scale.

Top 10 Horses by All Time Elo

His closest rival, Explosion W, who is the reigning Olympic champion for Great Britain’s Ben Maher, achieved a career-best rating of 804. He hit this level twice, once in 2019 after a five-star Grand Prix win in New York, and again in 2021 after winning the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The rating moves in both directions – as a rating should. It is one thing to deliver a huge day, it is quite another to sustain it week to week and year to year.  

New Heights

King Edward recorded his record-setting 809 figure when finishing second in Geneva. The normal ups and downs of performance since then saw a slip to 806, but another runner-up position at top level in Abu Dhabi earlier this month saw him jump two points back to 808. Gains are very tough and very small when you are this high on the Elo scale. So, in order to see another two-point rise in his rating, we will likely need at least a podium finish in this leg of the World Cup in Gothenburg.

Top active horses in the World by Elo

The nature of Henrik on home soil means that we are unlikely to see another 2nd or even 3rd place finish. If he performs, he will likely be uncatchable. And if he is uncatchable, he will hit an Elo rating that not only cements his dominance in the modern sport, but it will also push him towards insurmountable territory for future generations. We may look back on Gothenburg 2024 as the moment when the all-time great reached his performance pinnacle.    

About EquiRatings:

EquiRatings is a sports data and analytics company specializing in the equestrian sector. They provide performance metrics, ratings, and content tailored for equestrian events, catering to the needs of teams, events, federations, and brands involved in horse sports. The company is known for using data to enhance storytelling for equestrian brands, improving engagement with fans through award-winning fantasy apps, and aiding in the management of risk and performance improvement.

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Email: Shannon Gibbons | Strategy & Communications  |

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