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  1. #1
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    Default Badminton: Rolex Grand Slam Showdown. And Michael Jung

    I was surprised noone had started a thread yet about the head to head Rolex Grand Slam showdown heading our way this weekend from Badminton. It's not very often that we have a Grand Slam contender looking for the 3rd consecutive win, but two simultaneous contenders?!? Probably never again. And of course it's William Fox-Pitt v Andrew Nicholson, which makes it all the more interesting! Along with the first ever reigning triple individual gold medalist (WEG, Europeans, & Olympics) who also happens to be a Badminton first timer! And William Fox-Pitt will be riding with a freshly broken finger. No screenwriter could have come up with a more thrilling, improbable eventing plot line! I've never been so excited for Badminton! Even without all the extra suspense, it would have been exciting just because there was no Badminton last year!


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  2. #2
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    Can I ask what may be a dumb question? With so few 4*'s why are Rolex and Badminton back to back weekends? I mean clearly that eliminates a lot of riders with limited mounts and/or funds to be able to compete in both, right?
    Barn rat for life

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  3. #3
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    I laughed pretty hard with WFP jokingly said that Michael Jung would probably win anyway. I am very excited about Badminton, and the unique circumstances that came from the cancellation last year definitely make for an exciting finish this year! I think Andrew Nicholson has 2 rides and WFP 3? Or maybe they each have 3? And both have a recent 4* winner - Avebury for Nicholson won Burghley last year and Cool Mountain won Rolex IIRC without the entry list in front of me.
    "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wcporter View Post
    Can I ask what may be a dumb question? With so few 4*'s why are Rolex and Badminton back to back weekends? I mean clearly that eliminates a lot of riders with limited mounts and/or funds to be able to compete in both, right?
    I've wondered this too. You think they would at least space them out evenly so there would be more chances for people to enter.
    Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

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  5. #5
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    As much as I would love to see another Grand Slam winner, Michael Jung is going to be very,very hard to beat. I think he's bringing his two best horses. But this is Eventing after all, the King of heartbreak sports.


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  6. #6
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    Color me confused (not a daunting task), but I thought the wins had to be consecutive. Isn't WFP out of contention because he didn't win Rolex?
    "Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing" - Robert Benchley
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACMEeventing View Post
    Color me confused (not a daunting task), but I thought the wins had to be consecutive. Isn't WFP out of contention because he didn't win Rolex?
    WFP got a slight advantage, if you want to call it that, with the cancellation of Badminton last year. He won Burghley in 2011 and Kentucky in 2012 and was told he'd need to wait until 2013 to win the Grand Slam. But I also think he could have done it by winning Kentucky this year too, correct?

    Nicholson won Burghley last year and now Kentucky this year so his bid is more "traditional"
    "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

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  8. #8
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    Ah, thanks for the clarification mustangsal!
    "Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing" - Robert Benchley
    Cotton would fight.
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  9. #9
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    That's incorrect actually, it has to be consecutive wins of Burghley, Badminton, and Rolex. So winning Rolex wouldn't have won him the Grand Slam but would perhaps have set him up for a second Grand Slam in which Badminton would have counted twice? It does get a little confusing.



  10. #10
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    Ah ok. I was confused about the Rolex 2013 part too - but then when WFP had the stop with Chilli Morning, the announcer said something along the lines of "and William Fox-Pitt's chance is now gone." But that could have just meant his chance to win Rolex? I just thought I'd heard something about him being able to clinch by winning Rolex.
    "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

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  11. #11
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    I actually think that Badminton being cancelled last year severely hurt WFP's chances of the grand slam. I fully expected him to do it but this year will be harder because:
    1-Michael Jung had no plans to run Badminton last year.
    2-Andrew Nicholson wasn't going for a grand slam and the big cash prize last year.
    3-Last year was an Olympic year and many top horses skipped a spring four star.
    4-WFP was riding like a beast last year.


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  12. #12

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    Addressing the above: WFP will only be riding 2 horses. Badminton fills so easily and has a lengthy wait list so riders are only allowed to compete 2 horses.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebelrider View Post
    Addressing the above: WFP will only be riding 2 horses. Badminton fills so easily and has a lengthy wait list so riders are only allowed to compete 2 horses.
    I'm not so sure that Michael Jung is invincible at a 4* like Badminton. Remember the only 4* he's ever run has been at Luhmuhlen (IIRC), and Badminton is a whole order of difficulty different. AN and WFP know that track like the back of their hands. The Lexington WEG was a typical Rolex 4* track, albeit perhaps a bit easier; and we all know that Rolex riders don't tend to shine at Badminton--or haven't historically.

    What will make it hard is the quality of Jung's dressage. He could start XC with an almost insurmountable lead. He certainly is a master show-jumper.
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  14. #14

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    Thumbs up to the above post; I don't mean to be a debbie downer, but the 3 courses Jung has won on very much suit his type of horse (a big warmblood). Badders is and always has been notorious for taking no prisoners. Luhmuhlen is very twisty and is a much different track than Badminton.



  15. #15
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    I didn't even realize that Jung did not have many 4* under his belt. I always see his name and Sam on the entry list and tend to place my bets with them, figuratively speaking. It will definitely be interesting to see how he fares next weekend but even without the masses of experience that Nicholson and WFP have I think he should not be discounted given all he has proven so far! Consistency is his key and that may or may not continue at Badminton but I think he has a more than fair shot! I just wish he would make the trip over here for Rolex more often, I got to see him at WEG but that was not enough!
    "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

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  16. #16
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    Well-- the WEG and Olympics are both 4*, so Jung has done (and won) those as well.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CookiePony View Post
    Well-- the WEG and Olympics are both 4*, so Jung has done (and won) those as well.
    I always think of them as 4* too but from what I've read and been told, they usually come in more around the "3 1/2*" level as far as technicality and difficulty are concerned since not all countries are able to represent at 4* events as easily as others. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustangsal85 View Post
    I always think of them as 4* too but from what I've read and been told, they usually come in more around the "3 1/2*" level as far as technicality and difficulty are concerned since not all countries are able to represent at 4* events as easily as others. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    That could be said about the Olympics, yes... but the WEG is a serious 4*.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebelrider View Post
    Thumbs up to the above post; I don't mean to be a debbie downer, but the 3 courses Jung has won on very much suit his type of horse (a big warmblood). Badders is and always has been notorious for taking no prisoners. Luhmuhlen is very twisty and is a much different track than Badminton.
    really....Sam isn't a BIG WB. He is almost all TB.

    Also, I walked WEG 2010....that was a damn big course and as difficult as Burghley (which I walked last year). I'd say it was a legit 4*--on the direct routes which the top horses all took.... and Jung made it look like a novice pony club course....and that horse was just plain incredible.

    ETA: Here is Sam's pedigree....NOT a big WB but a high percentage TB purpose bred sport horse

    http://www.horsetelex.nl//horses/pedigree/597343
    Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Apr. 30, 2013 at 07:58 PM.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


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  20. #20
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    BFNE, do you really think that the WEG course was that much harder than the usual Rolex course?
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