King Edward’s Crown Missing an Element 

If you've been following the impressive performance of King Edward at the Longines League of Nations in Riyadh last month or the Rolex Grand Prix at s’Hertogenbosch recently, you might have noticed something unusual about his bridle. It's sans brow band with an extra throat latch. So, what's the tale behind this avant-garde bridle style?

King Edward's Delicate Nature

Being ranked as the World no. 1 is no coincidence but a testament to meticulous attention to detail, and King Edward is certainly no exception. According to Sweden's Henrik von Eckermann, King Edward is all about the details, with a sensitive nature that extends from bridle to boots. Even the slightest irritation like a fly landing on his face can unsettle him; hence, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the 14-year old gelding would have strong sentiments about his brow band too.

Adapting to the Horse's Changing Needs

Von Eckermann sheds light on their program and the secrets behind maintaining an 18-month world-leading streak. The focus is on giving acute attention to detail and continually evolving to meet the horse's changing needs. He revealed, "The horse has changed through the years and we always look to be better and perfect every little detail which could make the horse feel 120%". This mission for perfection and adaptability led to the innovative bridle setup that has everyone talking.

Harnessing the Power of Attention to Detail

With an illustrious career that includes victory at the Olympic, World and European level, it's clear that von Eckermann’s unusual approach is yielding returns. By focusing on the seemingly insignificant, he has capitalized on Newton's law that energy cannot be created or destroyed, applying it innovatively to King Edward's bridle. As a result, even though the bridle looks unstable topside, it maintains its stability from the underside, thanks to the double throat latch.

Lower Need for the Brow Band

In von Eckermann's opinion, the brow band serves no real purpose and King Edward doesn't particularly like when the bridle comes close to his ears. Due to his predilection for having the bridle a bit further back, the brow band ends up being too short and has to be removed. This has led to the avant-garde bridle look we now recognize as King Edward's trademark.

Success of the Avant-garde Approach

The current setup seems to be working perfectly, with King Edward and von Eckermann racking up 20 five-star victories and nearly €3.3 million in earnings together according to the Jumpr App. This begs the question, what will the Swede do next to keep them at the top of their game? Source: Marina Callahan, "The Story Behind King Edward’s Avant-Garde Bridle Style", Horse Network, March 21, 2024.