Michael Jung Adds Two More Golds To His Collection At FEI European Championships

Sep 14, 2015 - 4:24 AM

Blair Atholl, Scotland—Sept. 13  

German riders were simply the best on the final day of the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships at Blair Castle (Scotland) where, in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, who presented the medals, they won team gold by more than 50 penalties and the matchless Michael Jung captured the fifth individual title of his career. 

Michael Jung collecting yet another individual gold medal. Photo by Jon Stroud/FEI

All four team members—Jung, Sandra Auffarth, who also took individual silver, Ingrid Klimke and Dirk Schrade—went clear in the show jumping phase to give Germany a fifth successive team title. Their winning run began at the 2011 FEI European Eventing Championship at Luhmühlen (Germany) and has included three European titles plus Olympic and world team golds.

Michael Jung clinched gold for both himself and the German team with a clean jumping round on fischerTakinou. Photo by Jon Stroud/FEI

Jung confirmed his place in eventing history as one of the world’s greats when he equalled Ginny Elliot’s record, set in the 1980s, of three European titles on three different horses. He has, however, now beaten her record of six consecutive individual medals—this is his seventh since his senior championship debut in 2009.

This third European title was perhaps the hardest fought, as it came on an inexperienced 8-year-old horse and after a cross-country phase run in the most testing of weather.

Michael Jung and fischerTakinou turned in a flawless cross-country round in difficult conditions. Photo by Jon Stroud/FEI

fischerTakinou is an 8-year-old Anglo-Arab chestnut gelding by Jaguar Mail out of an Anglo-Arab mare, Gita AA (by Sardana Pierre). He is owned by the Jung family and Klaus and Sabine Fischer.

“Now I can say I have a champion for the future,” said a visibly thrilled Jung, in a warning to the rest of the world that he is not planning to give anyone else a chance just yet. “fischerTakinou is a really good horse and I think he has the quality for the next championships.” 

Sandra Auffarth claimed individual silver on Opgun Louvo as well as contributing to German team gold. Photo by Jon Stroud/FEI

Great Britain, the silver medalists, have not been beaten at a home European Championship since 1959, but they faced a mountainous task when they had to add Nicola Wilson’s cross-country penalties after the retirement of William Fox-Pitt. 

“I feel rather fraudulent sitting here,” joked Fox-Pitt, who was competing at his 10th European Championship and has only once failed to bring home a medal. “But the girls did so well. They really deserved the silver.”

Pippa Funnell, who finished eighth on the 9-year-old Sandman 7, and Kitty King (Persimmon) both produced clear rounds, and team newcomer King, fourth, only missed an individual medal by 0.1 penalty. British individual Izzy Taylor, in overnight third with KBIS Briarlands Matilda, hit the planks to drop to sixth.

The French were a very happy quartet after taking the team bronze medal and securing their Olympic qualification. The icing on the cake was an individual bronze medal for team newcomer Thibaut Vallette.

The French army officer, a Lieutenant-Colonel based at the army equitation school at Saumur (France), jumped a superb clear round on Qing du Briot ENE HN, an 11-year-old Selle Francais by Eolien ll.

Thibaut Vallette on Qing du Briot ENE HN, who claimed individual bronze and helped the French team to team bronze. Photo by Jon Stroud/FEI

“I never expected this to happen,” said Vallette. “Our first job was to qualify for the Olympics so to come home with two medals is a real bonus.” 

The other Olympic qualifying spot goes to the Swedes, who finished in fifth place behind the Netherlands, who had booked their ticket to Rio last year in Normandy.

The magnitude of the German victory will have left the rest of the world wondering what they can do to beat them. “You can see by our smiles how much this means to us,” said Ingrid Klimke. “But we are very aware that we have to keep working to stay here because there are many other nations who want to be standing where we are.”

“The best team has definitely won,” concluded Event Director Alec Lochore. “The Germans did the best job of dealing with Scotch mist!”

About The European Champion

Michael Jung of Germany, 33, is the first rider in history to hold Olympic, World and European titles simultaneously and the first to win five championship titles consecutively. He first came to prominence in 2009, when he won the Luhmühlen CCI4*, the FEI World Cup™ Eventing final in Strzegom (Poland) and an individual European bronze medal in Fontainebleau (France), all on La Biosthetique Sam.

The pair went on to win the world title in Kentucky in 2010, double European gold in Luhmühlen in 2011 and double Olympic gold in London (England) in 2012. In 2013, they were second at Badminton CCI****; this year they finished third at Kentucky and last weekend they added the Burghley CCI**** title to their collection.

Jung won a second European title, at Malmö (Sweden) in 2013 on the 9-year-old Halunke, and last year finished second at Luhmühlen and won world team gold and individual silver medals at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy (France) on fischerRocana FST, also the winner of Kentucky CCI**** in April this year.

He lives at Horb, Germany, where his parents, Joachim and Bridgette, own a riding establishment.  

Final Individual Results

1 Michael Jung/fischerTakinou (GER)* 33.5 + 0 + 0 = 33.5

2 Sandra Auffarth/Opgun Louvo (GER)* 31.4 + 11.2 + 0 = 42.6

3 Thibaut Vallette/Qing du Briot ENE HN (FRA)* 36.8 + 8.4 + 0 = 45.2

4 Kitty King/Persimmon (GBR)* 36.9 + 8.4 + 0 = 45.3

5 Ingrid Klimke/Horseware Hale Bob (GER)* 37.8 + 8.8 + 0 = 46.6

6 Izzy Taylor/KBIS Briarlands Matilda (GBR) 44.0 + 0 + 4 = 48.0

7 Dirk Schrade/Hop And Skip (GER)* 43.1 + 5.2 + 0 = 48.3

8 Pippa Funnell/Sandman 7 (GBR)* 41.0 + 9.6 + 0 = 50.6

9 Gemma Tattersall/Arctic Soul (GBR) 47.3 + 0 + 6 = 53.3

10 Peter Thomsen/Horseware Barney (GER) 47.3 + 10.4 + 0 = 57.7

*denotes team rider 

Final Team Results

1 Germany 122.7; 2 Great Britain 173.3; 3 France 183.7; 4 Netherlands 213.3; 5 Sweden 284.8

Full results on www.blair2015.com


Categories: Eventing, Horse Sports

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