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November 11, 2010

Michael Jung’s WEG Winner Taken From His Barn

Michael Jung and La Biosthetique-Sam FBW won the eventing championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games from start to finish for Germany, but the partnership's future is now uncertain.

La Biosthetique-Sam FBW has been removed from rider Michael Jung’s barn just five weeks after winning the individual gold medal at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.), according to European equestrian website www.sms-pferdenews.de.

Jung, 28, alleges that on Nov. 8, Sam’s partial owner Sabine Kreuter came to his stable in Horb, Germany, and removed the 10-year-old Baden-Württemburg gelding without his knowledge or consent and took him to an unknown location.

“The horse is staying with me, and Michael Jung knows it,” Kreuter told Pfer de News. She stated she took the horse back to her farm in southwest Germany so that other riders could try him.

After his WEG win, Sam’s owners had reportedly been offered 1 million Euro for his sale. The Jung family owns a 40 percent share of the horse, and Kreuter holds the remaining 60 percent. The two parties have a five-year and three-month contract, which lasts until the end of 2010, after which Kreuter is allowed to sell her majority share of the horse.

After the initial 1 million Euro offer, Holger Heigel, head of the German Eventing Committee, put together a consortium that would have paid Kreuter 600,000 Euro for her 60 percent. At first, it seemed the proposal would have allowed the Jung family to keep their 40 percent stake and Michael to keep the ride on the horse. But Kreuter soon changed her mind, believing she can easily get more than 600,000 Euro—perhaps double—elsewhere.

German journalist Birgit Popp noted that Jung has also stated to other news outlets that he’s concerned about the horse’s wellbeing, since Kreuter has never been involved in his feeding, training or daily care.

“We are turning to a lawyer,” said Jung.

“It's a shame that they’ve chosen this track,” Kreuter said in response.