Michael Jung wins Rolex Kentucky Three-Day (and a new watch)

By Tack Room Mouse on |



Michael Jung of Germany and Fischerrocana FST have won the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover. Jung is returning to Germany today sporting a new Rolex watch.

Their (dressage!) score of 39.3 trumped Tim Price of New Zealand on Wesko (40.3) and Jung on his second mount, La Biosthetique Sam FBW (44.7).

Fischerrocana, 10, was first of the three top-placed horses to enter the show jumping arena and completed an absolutely faultless round. When Jung returned 14 horses later on Sam, 15, he brought down two poles. Still, Tim Price needed to be foot-perfect to win the $100,000 winner’s prize.

Price also lowered fence 10 thus settling for second place of $44,000. Jung also earned $36,000 for third place.

Jung blames himself for being too relaxed on Sam. He says that the he felt more pressure from himself than from the atmosphere.

Price, 36, says he tried not to think about what was on the line as he cantered toward the start of the course designed by Richard Jeffery.

“You just kind of put that to one side and think of what you want to concentrate on in the ring. My horse is really good in the ring, and I think the crowd really did help me,” he says. “I came down after the triple bar [fence 9] and rode a slightly bad line to fence 10, which I think was about the same as Michael did.”

Jung blames himself for being too relaxed on Sam. He says that the he felt more pressure from himself than from the atmosphere.

“I think you always have pressure on yourself whenever you compete. This is why you train at home and why you’re always thinking about how you can do better,” he explains. “After my first round I was maybe a little bit more relaxed, but then I was a little bit too fast to the triple combination.

“Fischerrocana needs more gallop and more speed to the fences, and I didn’t concentrate enough on how to ride Sam, because he wasn’t the only horse I was riding here.”

Britain’s Zara Philips was forced to withdraw from the horse trials just before her dressage test on Friday after her horse, High Kingdom, kicked out in his stable and split the skin on his off hind on the outside of the pastern.

Jung, 32, had only ridden at the Kentucky Horse Park once before, when he won the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games on Sam. He then won the Olympics on Sam two years later, but Sam suffered a slight injury prior to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in France, so he rode Fischerrocana to the individual silver medal and the team gold medal there.

But he says that Fischerrocana hasn’t replaced Sam as his No. 1 horse.

“Sam is a good friend. I think no horse is better than him. Sam is my favourite. He’s a very special horse.”

The combined team of Germany, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland won the Dubarry Nations Team Challenge, scoring 145.6 penalties. The USA was second (250.2), with Great Britain third (1,103.7) and Canada fourth (2,131.9).



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