Michael Jung Claims Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event with 1st and 3rd Place

Michael Jung and Fischerrocanna FST.

Lexington, USA, 26 April 2015 – Michael Jung (GER) reigned supreme at the Kentucky Horse Park in front of a packed crowd to take both first and third place in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event on his two horses Fischerrocana FST and La Biosthetique – SAM FBW. The overnight leader going into the final day’s show jumping, New Zealand’s Tim Price, took second place with Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt finishing in fourth and USA’s Phillip Dutton in fifth.

Jung had the advantage of going into the stadium early with 13 to go on Fischerrocana FST instead of third as he was lying in both second and third place overnight going into the final day. Excitement was in the air for the 23,500-plus spectators that filled the Rolex Stadium under the brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies.

Price was last into the arena and the whole stadium fell completely silent. If Price was to claim his first Rolex Kentucky Three-Day victory he would have to go clear and also within the time. Despite skillfully guiding his horse Wesko around the first nine fences, and with just four obstacles to go, he just brushed a pole on fence 10 and that handed the title to Jung.

Speaking of his victory, Michael Jung said, “You always have pressure on yourself going into the competition. You always do the best dressage you can, a clear round in the cross-country and show jumping. This is what we train for at home and prepare everything – but you are always thinking what you can do better so that is always the reason why you have pressure on yourself. Of course after my clear round on Fischerrocana FST I was a little bit more relaxed, but also I stayed focused and was concentrating on my second horse. But then I was a little bit too fast into the combination and this was the reason because of my first horse who she needs more gallop and a little bit more speed – I then did a little bit the same with Sam and this was my mistake.”

Tim Price and Wesko
Tim Price and Wesko

Course designer Richard Jeffery from the UK set a formidable course over 13 fences with a total time allowed of 91 seconds, meaning riders had to maintain a healthy speed of 375 metres per minute. All the jumps were previously used at the 2010 Kentucky World Equestrian Games and were staged to thrill the crowd and global TV audiences. The final day of the competition saw 41 starters with riders representing six nations, with just eight double clears and also featured five riders riding two horses in the final show jumping phase.

Jung could have also won on his other horse, La Biosthetique – Sam FBW, the horse who he also guided to become world champion in the same venue back in 2010. Uncharacteristically, ‘Sam’ had two poles down and this moved him down from second to third position. Last year’s Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event winner, William Fox-Pitt, a true veteran of the sport, knew he could not catch Jung, but that did not affect his ride. To the thrill of the crowd who were willing him over each fence, Fox-Pitt delivered another impeccable clear round with an almost standing ovation from the delighted fans.

The win for Jung was his first Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event title and it now puts him on course for the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize with one step towards claiming the new Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing Trophy, which was officially unveiled earlier in the week by Rolex Testimonee Zara Phillips.

Staged over four days with riders representing nine nations, the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day event was another huge success with the Kentucky Horse Park thrilling over 75,000 spectators. This was the 35th consecutive year that Rolex Watch USA has sponsored the Kentucky Three-Day Event.

TOP 5 PLACINGS AFTER THE FINAL DAY, SHOW JUMPING

1st   Michael Jung (GER), Fischerrocanna FST, 39.3
2nd   Tim Price (NZL), Wesko, 40.3
3rd   Michael Jung (GER), La Biosthetique – SAM FBW, 44.7
4th   William Fox-Pitt (GBR), Bay My Hero, 46.9
5th   Phillip Dutton, (USA), Fernhill Cubalawn, 54.1

For full results, please visit: www.rk3de.org/results.

Michael Jung and La Biosthetique - SAM FBW
Michael Jung and La Biosthetique – SAM FBW

THE ROLEX GRAND SLAM OF EVENTING

When Rolex was inspired to link the three foremost eventing competitions in the world into a Grand Slam in 2001, it was immediately apparent that it would require a series of outstanding performances from a remarkable athlete to complete the challenge.

Kentucky and Badminton – the British horse trials on which the modern sport of eventing was founded – run two weeks apart in the spring, and Burghley, in the east of England, is the autumn highlight of the global sport. All three have stunning settings and attract vast crowds over the four days of competition.

To date, only one rider – Rolex Eventing Testimonee Pippa Funnell – has won this most prestigious series. In 2003 the much-medalled mainstay of British teams for many years took the Rolex Kentucky crown on Primmore’s Pride. She progressed to Badminton a week later and won there on Supreme Rock, her double European Champion, and added the Burghley title that autumn on Primmore’s Pride – beating Zara Phillips into second place on her four-star debut at the same time. Pippa Funnell immediately joined the ranks of sporting greats, respected by her peers and the media alike as an exceptional athlete.

Since then, two of the three legs of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing have been won by four riders: the Australian Andrew Hoy, Britain’s William Fox-Pitt and Oliver Townend, and the New Zealand hero of six Olympic Games and current live Rolex Grand Slam contender, Andrew Nicholson. None of these top-class riders have yet succeeded in triumphing over the series and winning the final element of the Rolex Grand Slam.

ABOUT ROLEX

Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex also actively supports the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities, as well as philanthropic programmes.

Website:
www.rolex.com

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Merrick Haydon
merrick@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 77481 868 33

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