Michael Jung was once again in a league all of his own, winning Rolex Kentucky in dominant style.
The German rider scored back-to-back victories with FischerRocana FST, an 11-year-old dark bay mare.
Michael has an unbeaten record at the USA’s four-star event, winning all three times he has competed there. At this year’s event he led from the start, jumping clear across country and finishing the showjumping phase an amazing 13.3pen ahead.
“I like this place a lot,” he said. “The people are very friendly and my horse, ‘Roxie’, likes it as well. She is getting better and better. I’m learning all the time from her.”
In Saturday’s cross-country, Michael displayed his typically brave, economic and accurate riding, in what was very difficult weather conditions.
He finished only two seconds over the optimum time, which was the quickest round of the day.
After the cross-country phase he had a lead of three showjumps over his nearest rival – but when only one rider from the top 14 could produce a clearround in the final phase, Michael ended up having four jumps in hand.
In the end he only used up one of his lifelines, when his mare clipped the second part of the double.
The USA’s Lauren Kieffer finished second on her mare, Veronica, who were the only combination to produce a clear round, albeit with one time penalty.
Having won Burghley Horse Trials last September, Michael Jung is now the current live contender to win the Rolex Grand Slam – a $350,000 bonus for any rider who can win the world’s three premier four-star events in succession.
He is taking the hugely successful La Biosthetique Sam to Badminton, an event Michael has only competed at once before – in 2013, when the pair finished second.
Jung is the first rider in history to hold Olympic, World and European titles simultaneously and the first to win five championship titles consecutively, culminating in the European title at Blair Castle last year on FischerTakinou.
With La Biosthetique Sam, Jung has won the world individual gold in Kentucky in 2010, double European gold in Luhmühlen in 2011 and double Olympic gold at London 2012. They also won the first leg of the Rolex Grand Slam at Burghley.
1 Michael Jung/FischerRocana FST (GER) 34.4 + 0.8 + 4 = 39.2
2 Lauren Kieffer/Veronica (USA) 43.9 + 7.6 + 1 = 52.5
3 Maya Black/Doesn’t Play Fair (USA) 45.5 + 4.4 + 4 = 53.9
4 Phillip Dutton/Mighty Nice (USA) 45.0 + 4.8 + 8 = 57.8
5 Phillip Dutton/Fernhill Cubalawn (USA) 48.2 + 7.2 + 4 + 59.4
6 Boyd Martin/Blackfoot Mystery (USA) 52.0 + 3.6 + 4= 59.6
7 Sir Mark Todd/NZB Campino (NZL) 43.2 + 13.2 + 4 = 60.4
8 Elisa Wallace/Simply Priceless (USA) 49.8 + 6.8 + 4 = 60.6
9 Buck Davidson/Petite Flower (USA) 46.7 + 7.2 + 8 = 61.9
10 Sinead Halpin/Manoir de Carneville (USA) 47.6 + 8.8 + 8 = 64.4
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