Tag Archives: Michael Jung

Germany Wins in Boekelo, Sweden Takes Series Title, and Swiss Book Ticket to Tokyo

Michael Jung leads German victory lap. (FEI/Libby Law)

In the thrilling finale to the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ 2019 series at Boekelo, The Netherlands, Team Germany posted their fourth win of the season while league leaders Sweden held on to take the series title. However, some of the biggest smiles were on Swiss faces when they pulled Olympic qualification out of the bag.

There were three teams in contention for the single ticket to Tokyo 2020, and Dutch hopes were dashed when they found themselves lying eleventh of the 12 competing nations after Saturday’s cross-country phase. But Switzerland and Belgium slugged it out to the very end, with the final series rankings swinging the pendulum in favour of the Swiss.

The new Olympic format led to plenty of head-scratching during the four-day fixture at which the German team took command at the outset and never flinched. Without a drop score, the multi-medalled Sandra Auffarth (Let’s Dance 73), Michael Jung (fischerRocana FST), and Ingrid Klimke (SAP Asha P) put just 78.10 penalty points on the board after Dressage, with Auffarth also leading the individual rankings on her mark of 24.90. And with a hat-trick of Cross-Country zeros, this phenomenal threesome looked all but unassailable going into the final Jumping phase.

There was plenty of movement below them as the cross-country course designed by Adrian Ditcham played its part. Australia climbed from sixth to second thanks to brilliant clear runs inside the time by Chris Burton (Clever Louis) and Kevin McNab (Fernhill Tabasco), and the Belgians rocketed up from seventh to third, thanks in no small part to a great performance from Lara de Liedekerke-Meier (Alpaga d’Arville) and just 3.6 time penalties for Constantin van Rijckevorsel (Beat It). With a two-phase tally of 117.50, they were lying just over three points behind Australia and just ahead of the Japanese who were in fourth going into the final day, while the Swiss also made serious headway when soaring up from 12th to fifth, their running total of 125.90 leaving them just eight points adrift of their Belgian rivals as the action resumed.

And it was a real roller-coaster in the battle for the team placings, with the 84-seconds time-allowed proving difficult for many to get.

The team partnerships were last to go, and the Belgians dropped down the leaderboard when adding 30.80 to their tally. However, despite the addition of just 0.40 for pathfinder Caroline Gerber (Tresor de Chignan CH) for going over the time, the Swiss also lost their grip when putting 30.00 more on the board. Robin Godel (Grandeur de Lully CH) collected 13.20 on his tour of the 12-fence track while Tiziana Realini (Toubleu de Rueire), who had produced one of those precious cross-country clears, posted 16.4 to bring their team total of 155.9, leaving the Swiss just behind their Belgian rivals in seventh place at the end of the day.

The Olympic spot would be earned by the country lying highest of the unqualified nations in the final FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ 2019 standings. The Swiss lay third coming into this seventh and last leg, and their final total of 370 points left them well clear of the Belgians who completed with 355. Meanwhile, with their closest opposition from Italy not lining out this time around, the leading Swedes, carrying 435 points, had a clear run to the 2019 title despite finishing tenth at this last leg.

At the sharp end, Germany held on for a convincing win on a final scoreline of 94.10, while a clear from Burton, 5.20 for McNab, and just four faults for Samantha Birch (Finduss PFB) secured runner-up spot for Australia on a final tally of 123.50. Japan finished an impressive third, Kazuma Tomoto (Bernadette Utopia) and Atsushi Negishi (Ventura de la Chaule JRA) going clear in both of the final two phases while Yoshiaki Oiwa (Bart L JRA), who had been lying individually second after dressage but who was penalised for a cross-country refusal, had a pole down at the penultimate triple combination. The Japanese finished less than a single penalty point behind the Australians, and it is quite clear they will be a force to be reckoned with on home ground in Tokyo next summer. Fourth went to New Zealand (130.00) and fifth to Great Britain (143.00).

The very last rider into the ring, Germany’s Auffarth, had individual glory in her grasp until hitting the last element of the triple combination, which dropped her to fourth and opened the door for Great Britain’s Laura Collett (London 52) to take the individual honours.

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

German Legend Jung Sets Up Germany to Go for Gold Again

Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FST (FEI/Oliver Hardt for Getty Images)

The German team is on course for another rich medal haul on home turf at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship at Luhmühlen (GER).

Brilliant Cross Country performances by Michael Jung (GER) on new ride fischerChipmunk FST and defending champion Ingrid Klimke (GER) with the evergreen SAP Hale Bob OLD, who are in individual gold and silver medal positions, ensured the hosts retained their lead over defending champions Great Britain. They now have a three-rail advantage over their rivals going into the final Jumping phase.

“fischerChipmunk is a fantastic horse,” said Jung (37), who was visibly thrilled, but refusing to get ahead of himself by envisaging a record fourth individual European title. “Today was a great feeling. We went a bit fast at the beginning so I slowed down but he was always ahead of the time.

“It was a great feeling around the course everywhere. It was so nice to see so many people here supporting our sport.”

Klimke, 51, described her round as “pure fun – I felt like a passenger.” She commented: “For sure there was pressure. Hans Melzer [team manager] said to me, ‘Don’t pat your horse until you get to the finish line,’ because sometimes when I am so thrilled I pat him all the time. I say, ‘Bobby you are my hero’, so I wanted to really focus. He really loves cross country. It’s his job and he loves it.”

A cluster of early riders, notably British and Irish pathfinders Pippa Funnell (Majas Hope, 21st) and Ciaran Glynn (November Night, 23rd), made Mike Etherington-Smith’s beautifully presented, flowing course look easy, but there was plenty of drama. There were 44 clear rounds, 22 horses came home inside the optimum time of 10 minutes 10 seconds, and a total of 20 of the 71 Cross Country starters remain on their Dressage score – but all nations had their difficult moments and this made for a thrilling day’s sport.

Kai Ruder, second out for Germany, stayed admirably calm when Colani Sunrise inexplicably refused to go into the start box, which cost the pair 16 time penalties, and Britain’s third starter, Kristina Cook, had an expensive run-out with Billy The Red at the skinny brush fence exiting the second water (12c).

“I was having a super ride,” said Cook sadly, “but he’s an experienced horse and I can’t make excuses. At the moment I am just very disappointed, for me and for the whole team.”

Ireland’s Sam Watson will also be kicking himself after crossing his tracks at the bird fence in the final water (20b) with Tullaberg Flamenco. Italy’s anchorwoman Vittoria Panizzon (Super Cilious) incurred 11 penalties for hitting the frangible gate at 10a and Belgian pathfinder Laura Loge on Absolut Allegro fell at the Rathaus fence (17) in the main arena.

Laura Collett (GBR), third after Dressage, was “gutted” to part company with London 52 after a mis-stride before the influential carved bird at the final water. Four others fell here and Dutch pathfinder Merel Bloom (Chiccolino) retired.

Jung, who has never been out of the individual medals in five European Championships, does not have a fence in hand over his compatriot Klimke. In turn, she has no margin for error over Luhmühlen first-timer Lt Col Thibaut Vallette (FRA), who rode superbly on the 15-year-old Qing de Briot – coincidentally this is the same final rider line-up as at Blair Castle (GBR) in 2015.

The cost of one Jumping rail covers the next seven: Tim Lips (NED), currently fourth on Bayro, Oliver Townend, who restored Britain’s fortunes with a perfectly judged round on Cooley Masterclass SRS, in fifth, Ireland’s Cathal Daniels, sixth on his super mare Rioghan Rua, French individual Christopher Six (Totem de Brecy, seventh), Italian team member Pietro Roman (Barraduff, eighth), British team member Piggy French (Quarrycrest Echo, ninth), and British individual Kitty King, 10th on Vendredi Biats.

The team medals are equally close: Britain has nothing in hand over the French team, which only has a one-fence advantage over Italy. The Italians, currently in bronze medal position, have no margin over Sweden – both nations are seeking Olympic qualification – and Ireland is a mere 2.2 penalties behind the Swedes in sixth place.

“I think it was a really great day for the sport and for us in Luhmühlen,” said Event Director Julia Otto. “I would like to thank my whole team – they are just amazing the way they work.”

“We have seen some spectacular riding and some great decisions by people who may be riding at this level for the first time today,” Course Designer Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR) commented.

“I didn’t expect quite so many to get the time, but when you have great weather like this with excellent footing, it happens, but it could have been pouring with rain and, in my view, you have to prepare a course for all weather. It’s all about achieving a standard, so full marks to everyone. For me, it’s been a fascinating day. There’s always something new to learn, and if you think you know it all you might as well give up.”

Follow all the medal action in what’s sure to be a thrilling finale with FEI TV.

For full results and start times, click here.  

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Jung and Klimke Put Team Germany Out in Front at Luhmühlen

Michael Jung (GER) with fischerChipmunk FST. (FEI/ /Oliver Hardt for Getty images)

Michael Jung (GER), who has smashed pretty much every record in the sport, has just put himself in line for another – a fourth European title on a fourth horse – having taken the lead at the end of the Dressage phase at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship in Luhmühlen (GER).

The double Olympic champion, who never gives away a mark if he can help it, has a great reputation for getting the best out of all sorts of horses. With his Luhmühlen ride fischerChipmunk FST, he has the added benefit of the 11-year-old by Contendro having been well established at top level by his former rider, Julia Krajewski (GER).

Jung’s outstanding score of 20.9 – despite a break of pace in the free walk – could not be bettered, even by defending champion Ingrid Klimke (GER), and the German team is now 16.8 penalties ahead of the 2017 winners, Great Britain, with a mere 68.9 penalties on the scoreboard.

“Chipmunk is a fantastic horse. He’s so intelligent and extremely well trained,” said Jung, who blamed himself for the mistake. “He has a lot of power and sometimes there’s a difficult balance between that and keeping him relaxed. Maybe I risked a little bit too much in the walk so he accidentally broke into trot.

“I nearly liked everything in the test today, just not really the walk – the extended walk especially!”

Klimke produced a reliably stellar performance on her regular team partner SAP Hale Bob OLD to score 22.2. Their test reflected a beautifully trained horse and a happy partnership, and Klimke even had time to pat her 15-year-old bay gelding in reward for a smooth flying change.

British individual Laura Collett and London 52, the first-day leaders, are now third, ahead of German team member Kai Ruder (Colani Sunrise) and France’s Lt Col Thibaut Vallette (Qing de Briot).

Regular Dutch team rider Tim Lips has slotted into sixth place on Bayro on a score of 26.0 and three British riders occupy the next three places.

They are headed by team anchorman Oliver Townend, who has been grounded for some weeks after a fall. He put in a solid performance, bar a slight stumble in trot, and is in seventh place on his dual Kentucky winner Cooley Master Class (27.6). Individual runner Kitty King (Vendredi Biats) is eighth on 27.9.

The 2009 champion Kristina Cook, currently ninth on 28.3, is back on the team with a well-behaved Billy the Red. They were dropped from the team last year due to the Balou de Rouet gelding putting in some occasionally explosive Dressage performances.

The Belgian team, which is seeking one of the two precious Olympic qualification slots for Tokyo 2020, is in third place with a team total of 90.9; France, Ireland, and Italy follow, with just 3.4 penalties covering the four nations.

Attention is now focused on the Cross Country test designed by Mike Etherington-Smith, who has re-routed the track, allowing plenty of alternative routes while warning that they will cost in time penalties. “It’s beautifully designed and built,” commented Townend.

“I’m a fan of Mike Etherington Smith’s courses. There are no blind questions. If you’re on your line and you and your horse are focused on the job, it should ride well.”

“The way the fences are situated, it’s very easy to make a mistake,” added Townend’s teammate, Kristina Cook, a veteran of nine Europeans and, with pathfinder Pippa Funnell, a member of the winning British quartet 20 years ago here in Luhmühlen.

The overnight leader Michael Jung is also appreciative of the 26-fence track: “It’s a very fair course; to be in the time you have to be fast, you have to take a little bit of a risk, and as faster as you go, as easier you can have somewhere a little mistake.”

Follow the action on FEI TV and click here for full results and start times.

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Olympic Champion Jung Claims Ready Steady Tokyo Test Event Honours

Michael Jung with Fischerwild Wave. (FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi)

Germany’s Michael Jung, Olympic Eventing champion in London 2012 and again in Rio 2016, has already claimed gold in Tokyo one year out from the Olympic Games after taking the honours with Fischerwild Wave at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event which wrapped up at the Equestrian Park.

The 37-year-old, who has three Olympic gold and one silver from two Games appearances with the now retired La Biosthetique Sam FBW, had shadowed the leaders from the outset, even though he was riding the youngest horse on the start list.

Third after Dressage behind the home side’s Yoshiaki Oiwa and Bart L JRA, the German pair moved up to second after cross country, and a superb clear in the final Jumping test with the seven-year-old Fischerwild Wave then put the pressure on overnight leaders, Australia’s Andrew Hoy with Bloom Des Hauts Crets.

The mare had jumped impeccably around Derek Di Grazia’s cross country 24 hours earlier, but became increasingly headstrong over the coloured poles, and when the middle element of the triple combination hit the sand to drop Hoy down the order to fifth, victory went to the German duo.

In mixed weather conditions that veered from heavy rain to hot sunshine, nine horses were foot perfect over Santiago Varela’s 11-fence track, with Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima on Vick Du Grisors JRA and Dressage leaders Yoshiaki Oiwa and Bart L JRA among them. The home pair moved up to claim podium spots in silver and bronze, heading no less than four Japanese in the top 10.

All 16 horses that started cross country were passed fit at the horse inspection, with all of them beautifully turned out and looking exceptionally well.

The German winner was quick to praise the facilities provided at the two venues, Equestrian Park and Sea Forest. “For me it was very interesting to be here and nice to see how everything works, especially the cross country with the horses. It felt very good. It’s difficult but still possible and I think it’s really not a problem. For sure you need a very good preparation and you have to be very fit before you arrive here, the horses and the riders as well.

“I think it will be very nice next year if you see everything this year and we have one more year to prepare and to make some little details a bit better. I’m really looking forward to next season.”

Second-placed Ryuzo Kitajima, a member of Japan’s gold medal team at last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta (INA), was delighted with the performance of his horse Vick Du Grisors JRA. “It was hard work in the very hot weather, but my horse had a very good reaction in the cross country and in the practice arena he was too fresh today so I’m very happy with a double clear, it’s a fantastic result.”

The overwhelming impression from the 20 National Olympic and Paralympic Committees that were onsite was extremely positive and the general mood was summed up by Sydney 2000 Olympic champion David O’Connor, who chairs the FEI Eventing Committee.

“The facilities are very impressive and we had the chance to test everything we needed to test, which was the purpose of this week’s test event,” he said. “There are some adjustments to be made but they are minor ones, as the Organising Committee has thought through all the details and is right on track to make 2020 a really great Olympic Games for equestrian sport.”

Ready Steady Tokyo equestrian test event (final placings) – 1, Germany’s Fischerwild Wave (Michael Jung), 28.0 penalties; 2, Japan’s Vick Du Grisors JRA (Ryuzo Kitajima), 28.2; 3, Bart L JRA (Yoshiaki Oiwa), 30.1; 4, Great Britain’s Halltown Harley (Georgie Spence), 30.6; 5, Australia’s Bloom Des Hauts Crets (Andrew Hoy), 31.7; 6, Japan’s Swiper JRA (Toshiyuki Tanaka), 32.3.

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Grania Willis
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Michael Jung Wins 4* Class in Strzegom

Photo of Michael Jung & Highlighter by: Mariusz Chmieliński.

Michael Jung with the 8-year-old Highlighter were the best in the CCI4*-S, the most difficult class of Strzegom Summer Tour.

The rider took the lead during dressage and kept it throughout the whole class. He finished the cross-country without any mistakes on the fences, only ten seconds over the optimum time. He was clear in the jumping and won the class with the score of 31,9. Hanna Knüppel with Carismo took home the second place after a good cross-country and clear jumping. Sandra Auffarth with Viamant du Matz was third. All places on the podium went to riders from Germany.

Polish athletes were left out of the best ten. The best score belonged to Małgorzata Cybulska with Chenaro 2, as they finished on the 11th position.

Strzegom Summer Tour has seen more than 270 horses galloping through the hippodrome in Morawa. Riders from 18 countries were tested during 5 international and 5 national classes with various levels of difficulty.

The podium of the CCI3*-L class also belonged to Germany. Michael Jung with Creevagh Cooley won the class, Pia Münker with Commitment was second, and Dirk Schrade with Dajara 4 was third.

German rider Sandra Auffarth with Let’s Dance 73 took home the first place in the CCI3*-S class. She took the lead after dressage, went clear on the fences in the cross-country, and performed a flawless ride in the showjumping. Second place went to Felix Etzel (GER) with Stalliwa T, and third to Louise Romeike from Sweden with Waikiki 207.

Polish athlete Mariusz Kleniuk has finished the class in the 15th position with Huzar.

The best score in the CCI2*-S class belonged to Andreas Dibowski (GER) with Quizzle. Second and third place went to Merel Blom (NED) with Crossborder Radar Love and Vesuve d’Averyon, respectively. Roksana Fortuniak (POL) with Gea S was sixth.

In the CCI1*-Intro, Swedish rider Louise Romeike took home the first place.

In the national CNC2* class, the best rider proved to be Disa Ottosson (SWE) with Elliot. Ben Leuwer (GER) won the CNC1* with A Cut Above, and Nikola Ecerowa (CZE) with Arleen had the best score in the CNC L. Polish rider Justyna Kociankowska won the L-18 class riding Primavera. The easiest class, CNC LL, belonged to Lisa-Marie Fischer (GER) with Goldmarie.

Online results: http://eventing.strzegomhorsetrials.pl/results/2019/sst/

Contact:
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press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

Team Germany Wins the Nations Cup in Strzegom, Fifth Place for Poland

Michael Jung with fischerChipmunk FRH. Photo by: Leszek Wójcik.

German riders have outclassed their rivals in the third leg of the FEI Nations Cup in eventing, winning both as a team and individually. Second place went to Great Britain, and third to the Netherlands.

Team Germany has taken the lead after dressage and kept it until the very end. The best score belonged to Michael Jung, who won the class individually with fischerChipmunk FRH. Second place after dressage and a great cross-country, going slightly over the time, and then a clear round in the showjumping granted him the first place in the class. “I’m very happy about my ride. fischerChipmunk is a great horse. The weather was not the best, but he was very concentrated and super to ride as always.”

Ben Hobday (GBR) has jumped into the second position with Shadow Man after a clear showjumping test. Andreas Dibowski (GER) has finished third. The leader after dressage, Tim Lips (NED), was 6 seconds over the time in the cross-country, and one knockdown in the showjumping cost him the podium.

Polish riders, after an unfortunate dressage, have jumped up into the 5th place and kept it until the end. The best athlete of the team was Jan Kamiński riding the Polish-bred Senior. Three knockdowns in the jumping placed him at the 25th position in the class, with 55 riders overall.

Eight teams competed in the Nations Cup class. For a lot of them, the stakes were really high. A good position in the whole classification is a chance for a ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, for those who haven’t qualified yet.

Sunday’s showjumping determined the winners of the long format classes. In the CCI4*-L, the most difficult one during the show, the best was Yoshiaki Oiwa (JPN) with Bart L JRA. After a great clear cross-country, he took the lead, and he could even afford to be a bit over the time in the showjumping. “The weather is a bit hot this week, and my horse for sure is tired, but he jumped really well. We only had time penalties, but I am very very happy with him.”

Second and third place went to Swedish riders: Jonna Britse with Quattrino and Ebba Adnervik with Chippieh, accordingly.

Brigitte Peterhans (SUI) was the best in the CCI3*-L, and the “two star long” win went to Karin Donckers (BEL) with Ludique du Cœur des Collines.

Sunday was also the day of cross-country trials for the short format and national classes.

The winners of the international classes are as follows:

  • CCI3*-S: Michael Jung (GER) and Wild Wave
  • CCI2*-S: Dirk Schrade (GER) and Dajara 4
  • CCI1* Intro: Clemens Croy (AUT) Sarah Bernhardt K

Winners of the national classes:

  • CNC2*: Mariusz Kleniuk (POL) with Soplica
  • CNC1*: Lisa Hopster (GER) with Rousseaus Mademoiselle
  • CNC L: Weronika Król (POL) with Greenline
  • CNC LL: Milena Pelc (POL) with Enjoy

12 national and international classes were played out during the 4 days of LOTTO Strzegom Horse Trials. Riders from 22 countries competed with over 400 horses

Online results: http://results.strzegomhorsetrials.pl.

Michael Jung Wins CI-long 3* Class in Strzegom

Michael Jung and Lennox 364. Photo by: Mariusz Chmieliński.

Michael Jung (GER) with the 10-year-old Lennox 364 won the CI-long3* class, the most prestigious class during Strzegom October Festival.

It was an exhilarating showjumping trial played out between the current Olympic champion and the team gold medallist from this year’s World Equestrian Games, Gemma Tattersall (GBR). Michael Jung, competing on three horses, has taken the first three places after the dressage test. Gemma Tattersall changed the game after the cross-country trial, taking the lead with a clear round in time with the 8-year-old Chilli Knight. The British rider was unlucky in the showjumping trial, with the last fence down taking away her lead and leaving her at the third position overall. Michael Jung had two clears at the showjumping: he won the class with Lennox 364 and took second place with Corazon.

“I’m very happy about Lennox and Corazon; they are both really good horses, especially Lennox did a very nice dressage test; he’s a super mover. I had a great feeling about our ride in the cross country; he’s in a super condition; he jumped everything very easily. The showjumping is not his best specialty, but it went really well; he was really strong and gave me a great feeling. I’m very happy that he’s back after his injury,” said Michael Jung after his win.

The best Polish rider of the class turned out to be Mateusz Kiempa with the Polish-bred Grand Supreme, and the pair took 14th place overall.

Strzegom October Festival was record-breaking when it comes to the number of horses that competed during the show. 420 horses with riders from 22 countries took part in 6 international and 4 national classes at different levels of difficulty.

Andreas Dibowski (GER) won the CI-short 1* class with the 15-year-old FRH Butts Avedon. The leader after dressage and showjumping, Jule Wewer (GER), had a fall at the cross-country trial, resulting in an elimination. Jerome Robine (GER) took second place with Guccimo R, and third went to Janneke Boonzaaijer (NED) with Campbelle WS. The best Polish rider in the class, Paweł Spisak (POL) with Admirał, was fourth.

The podium of the CI-long 2* class belonged to women. Anais Neumann (GER) was the best in the class with Pumuckel E. She took the lead after dressage, had a clear round in the cross-country, and even one knockdown at the showjumping trial did not keep her from winning the class. Second place went to Kari Ingrid Gunzenhäuser (GER) with Let’s Dance 73, and third to Eliska Orctová (CZE) riding Bonus 1. The best Polish athlete in the class was Helena Zagała with Contendro Lady, finishing at the 7th position.

Germany took over the CI-short 2* class. Anna Lena Schaaf won the class with Fairytale 39, second was Calvin Böckmann with Altair de la Cense, and third place went to Antonia Baumgart with Lamango. Paweł Spisak (POL) with Paco finished the class at the 9th position.

The CI-long 1* class was played out in two sections. In section A, victory belonged to Kaya Thomsen (GER) with Horseware’s Bary, and in section B the winner was Michael Jung with Go For S.

In the national 1* class the best score belonged to Michał Knap (POL) with Postman Pat. Irene Mia Hastrup (DEN) won the CNC P class, and in CNC L, victory belonged to Jörn Warner (GER) riding Lord Fauntleroy K. Oliwia Wolak (POL) with Pirella won the CNC L18 class, and Madeleine Brugmann (NED) was victorious in CNC LL with Chica Mia.

Results on-line: http://eventing.strzegomhorsetrials.pl/pl/sof-tv-online.html.

Contact:
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Jung Back on Top after Cross-Country

Lynn Symansky and Donner. Photo by: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian.

Symansky and Donner Ride to the Lead of Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship

Lexington, Ky. – The conditions could not have been more perfect for a day of brilliant cross-country action, and the riders and horses did not disappoint. Defending champion Michael Jung of Germany and fisherRocana FST showed the depth of their partnership to take over the top spot after adding only 0.4 penalties to his dressage score to lead with 27.5.

Breathing down his neck is Australia’s Chris Burton and Nobilis 18 (27.9) and Oliver Townend of Great Britain on Cooley Master Class (28.7). Townend also tied for fourth aboard MHS King Joules (31.3) with Lynn Symansky and Donner (31.3). Less than a rail separates all of them as they head into the show jumping finale.

Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) and Donner, the 15-year-old Thoroughbred owned by The Donner Syndicate, LLC, are the highest-placed American combination and currently lead the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship. Overnight leader Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.) and RF Scandalous, Jacqueline Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders’s 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, added 8 time penalties to drop to sixth overall (32.8), and second in the national championship.

Donner is competing in his ninth CCI4* and their experience showed as he and Symansky cruised around easily. “I don’t have any complaints,” she said with a smile. “He takes a bit to get into the groove, especially with the crowd… He went around like clockwork. It’s a tribute to knowing the horse so well and having a great partnership with him. He tried his heart out, and I’m pleased with how he came home.”

Overall, 11 pairs came home double-clear around Derek di Grazia’s course. Thirty-six horses finished the course, six with jumping faults. Three were eliminated and four retired on course.

Course designer di Grazia, who will design courses for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, was pleased with how his course rode, even though more made the time than he was expecting. “I’m generally very happy about how the course rode,” he said. “I think the faults were spread out, quite a number clean without jumping faults and I think all the combinations rode well and, at the same time, [the riders] didn’t have to do them all the same way. People did things differently and it still worked out for them. And, we didn’t have any horse falls or rider injuries, and, to me, that’s all a positive.

“I think that the ground ended up being quite fast today,” di Grazia continued. “[In part because] the conditions couldn’t be better. A little rain would have been different, but you never know. We also had a very good field of riders today. It may not have been a huge field, but the ones we had were good.”

For more information about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, visit kentuckythreedayevent.com.

Edited Press Release from Classic Communications

Jung Takes Back Lead on Cross-Country Day at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

(LEXINGTON, KY, USA) – April 28, 2018 – Germany’s Michael Jung moves one step closer to re-writing history as he takes back the lead following a spectacular cross-country ride on FischerRocana FST. Australia’s Christopher Burton was one of eleven riders to finish clear under the optimum time of 11.03 mins aboard Nobilis 18, keeping his score of 27.9 and putting the pressure on Michael Jung who has just a 0.4 advantage. Great Britain’s Oliver Townend sits in third and fourth place with his eyes on a ‘Land Rover double’ to follow up his win at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials last September.

Michael Jung spoke of his cross-country round. “I had a really fantastic ride today; FischerRocana was in very good condition and really enjoyed herself. At the Land Rover Head of the Lake I wanted to do four strides, but missed this.”

“FischerRocana was really fighting for me and it makes me so proud she never gives up – she had an opportunity to run out but she didn’t and that’s what our partnership is all about. She jumped well and galloped fast and it was so nice to feel that she had great fun on a tough course like this.” — Michael Jung, Germany

Christopher Burton is looking forward to show jumping. “We are all used to sitting behind Michael Jung! To be honest, we are just so excited to be here; my horse went fantastically today and I am so grateful to my owners for funding this trip. We have a lot of work to do ahead of tomorrow and a long way to go yet, so for now I am just going to enjoy the run we had.”

There will be no room for error in the show jumping test as only 1.2 penalties separate the top three, making the competition fiercer than ever. With 25,000 spectators expected to attend the event, the home crowd will be eager to see Lynn Symansky (USA) claim a victory for the US for the first time in 10 years. Partnered with her thoroughbred gelding, Donner, Symansky currently lies in joint-fourth place just 3.8 penalties from the top of the leaderboard.

Marty Bauman
Chief Press Officer
Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event
508.698.6810
marty@classic-communications.com

Jung Rides to Early Lead at Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg (Photo by: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian)

Martin and Tsetserleg lead Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship after First Day of Dressage

Lexington, Ky. – Michael Jung of Germany has won the top prize at the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day-Event the last three years aboard fischerRocana FST, so it comes as no surprise that after the first day of competition he is sitting in the top spot on a score of 27.1 penalty points. Chasing him are two Americans: Boyd Martin in second riding Tsetserleg (31.2), who leads the Land Rover/USEF CCI4* Eventing National Championship as the top American combination, and Tamra Smith in third aboard Wembley (32.1).

Tsetserleg, a gleaming, black 11-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, is contesting his first four-star, but he has history in his blood as a son of the Olympic and Kentucky Three-Day competitor, Windfall. “Thomas” put in a clean test punctuated with his flashy gaits.

“I was very pleased,” said Martin (Cochranville, Pa.). “It’s his first four-star, and our first through the new (dressage) test. When you finish you always wish one part here or there was a little better, but Thomas did as well as he could do for where we are at the moment. I’m very pleased with him.”

Martin’s most famous mounts have been Thoroughbreds, so a Trakehner like Thomas is a new experience for him. “He’s the first I’ve had into the top of the sport. Ten years ago when I first came to America, I saw Windfall, and I’ll never forget watching his dressage. Who would have thought 10 years later I’d be riding a Windfall baby? Thomas’ personality is wonderful, like a big pony, very cuddly in the barn. At home he doesn’t try that much, and you wouldn’t think he could do a four-star, but then you get to a big competition and he grows into an 18-hand horse. The atmosphere perks him up.”

Tamie Smith’s (Murrieta, Calif.) horse, Wembley, is 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Kevin Baumgardner, an upper-level rider and a former president of the U.S. Eventing Association. Baumgardner purchased Wembley in England, originally as a competition mount for himself. Baumgardner trains with Smith, and last fall he handed over the reins to her.

“It’s been great,” Smith said. “I’ll never forget when we tried him – we took him cross-country schooling and he said, ‘You get on him first,’ and I said, ‘No, because if I ride him I’ll just tell you to buy him.’ They are huge supporters of me, and that’s what it’s all about, really. They’ve become family to me, so to be here is really great.”

The big, gray Dutch Warmblood is a powerful mover and a flashy presence, but Smith seemed a little surprised to find herself in the top standings. “I wasn’t really sure what to expect, because he can go in and be quite tense in the ring, but he was quite relaxed, and very workmanlike,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked him to go better. I think I did a little too much warm up, so he got a little tired, but I was thrilled. He was very good.”

All three riders expressed some trepidation about Derek di Grazia’s cross-country course.

“I think it’s really tough,” admitted Martin. “The first half is forward and gallopy and looks nice, but the second half gets much more difficult, and we know horses tire a bit in that second half. It’ll be hard to make up time on course. (di Grazia) usually gives us a nice, long gallop somewhere in the second half, but not this year. It’s as tough as I’ve ever seen.”

“It’s pretty technical,” agreed Smith. “The Head of the Lake will be quite influential, and the brush combination towards the end might catch out some tired horses.”

For more information about the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, visit kentuckythreedayevent.com.

Edited Press Release from Classic Communications