Jung retains Kentucky crown
by Kate Green
Germany’s Michael Jung smashed another record when winning the Kentucky Three-Day Event for the third year running on the 12-year-old FischerRocana.
“She is a really wonderful horse, a top fighting girl. She jumped wonderfully and was only a bit spooky at the white fence,” Jung said praising his mare.
Jung had a rail down, but his supremacy in dressage and cross-country meant he could afford it.
He stands second in the FEI Classics™ after three out of six legs. The leader is currently the superbly talented Frenchman Maxime Livio, who was the weekend’s runner-up on Qalao Des Mers with a clear jumping round.
When asked about the possibility of relocating to Kentucky Jung quipped, “I really like Kentucky – and not just because I win here! – but because I feel very welcome. You can train the horse for every phase and it’s why I like it and why I come back.”
With one FEI Classics™ win each, and a second place each, Livio and Jung both have their sights firmly set on the series title. However, only Jung is competing at Badminton next weekend. It is the fourth leg of the series, which could be his opportunity to step up to top the leaderboard.
Both Livio and Zara Tindall, the only British athlete in the field, finished on their dressage scores. Tindall was ecstatic with her third place after a beautiful clear round on High Kingdom.
The USA’s Matthew Brown slipped from fourth to sixth after hitting the very first rail with BCF Super Socks. It was the super-consistent Phillip Dutton, who has now completed Kentucky an amazing 40 times, who captured yet another national title as highest placed USA rider. Dutton moved up to fourth with a clear round on the 18-year-old Mr. Medicott, a horse having his last four-star run after an illustrious career. Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) was fifth on Under Suspection.
The Kentucky three-peat was Jung’s 10th four-star win. William Fox-Pitt holds the record with 14. The German Olympic champion, who is only 34, looks to be catching up.
Just hours after his victory on American soil, Jung caught a flight to England in preparation to defend his title at Badminton next weekend.