Michael Jung and Sam, really the best.
The top horse-rider combination is the star in the opening of eventing international season.
Olympic and European champion Michael Jung and his wonderful and timeless 16-year-old horse La Biosthetique Sam FBW led the German team to victory in the competitive opening leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing 2016 (23-25 March) at Fontainebleau (FRA).
Jung and Sam also took the individual CIC3* honours for the second year running (Jung was also second on FischerRocana FST) and Sandra Auffarth, the world champion, came third on her great chestnut gelding Opgun Louvo; she was the only rider in the field without cross country time penalties, finishing exactly on the optimum time of 6 minutes 15 seconds. Their team mates, Jorg Kurbel (Brookfield Bouncer) and Andreas Ostholt (So Is Et), were also clear on cross country, although like most of the field with time penalties in double figures. Host nation France finished second, led by former European champion Nicolas Touzaint (FRA), fourth individually on Crocket 30, and European team silver medalists Thomas Carlile and Sirocco du Gers who placed fifth individually.
Gwendolen Fer and Romantic Love, were eliminated for a horse fall at fence 14. Ireland, produced a determined performance in Fontainebleau and finished third, led by Jonty Evans, who placed 11th individually on his exciting Olympic prospect Cooley Rorkes Drift.
There were 49 clear rounds from the 71 cross country starters and 59 completions, but the optimum time proved influential around Olympic designer Pierre Michelet’s (FRA) track, which is always technically demanding thanks to its winding route around the ancient forest of Fontainebleau.
Michael Jung is one of the greatest champions of the eventing’s history. The German rider was individual World Champion in Lexington 2010 with his extraordinary horse Sam; team World Champion and individual silver medal in Caen 2014 with Fisherrocana and team and individual Olympic champion with Sam in London 2012.
Individual and team European Champion for three consecutive editions: Blair Castle in 2015 with Fishertakinou, Malmoe in the 2013 with Halunke and Luhmuehlen in the 2011 with Sam. And it doesn’t end here ... the German Michael Jung is not only an extraordinary champion in eventing but he competes also at the international level, even up to CSI3 *, also in show jumping.