Grand Prix dressage stallion Uthopia, who helped Great Britain to team gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games with Carl Hester aboard, sold at public auction May 27 for $241,056, or 165,000 British Pounds. The buyer is currently unknown.
HITS Inc. announced today, May 27, the purchase of Balmoral Park, a former harness racing track in Crete, Ill. In partnership with Pat Boyle of Showplace Productions, the facility will host up to 14 hunter/jumper shows yearly beginning in May 2017.
The last race was held at Balmoral Park in December of 2015, and then the facility, which was built in 1925 and originally called Lincoln Fields, was auctioned in a bankruptcy sale earlier this spring.
After Michael Jung galloped through the finish timers with his clear round at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI****, he pumped his fist in the air and smiled widely. Then, as he galloped by one set of stands, he lowered his gaze for a second to the neck of La Biosthetique Sam FBW and slowly shook his head. It was a very “I can’t believe this just happened” kind of moment.
If you missed any of the action from yesterday's cross-country course at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI****, the show's posted a short clip of highlights. There are a few fences of Michael Jung's ride with La Biosthetique Sam and then an amazing save by Mark Todd on Leonidas II.
It’s almost like Michael Jung rode a different course than the rest of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI**** competitors.
While others were running into problems—or at the very least having a rough moment or two—Jung and La Biosthetique Sam FBW skipped around the influential track without jumping or time penalties, making it look like a novice horse trials.
As cross-country begins tomorrow at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI****, Michael Jung will leave the start box on La Biosthetique Sam FBW in a position familiar to him—in first. No one could top him on the second day of dressage here today, but one rider came close, and that’s Great Britain’s Emily King. King’s here with Brookleigh riding at her first Badminton, and she scored 36.8 penalties to Jung’s 34.4.
He might be called The Terminator, and he clearly is a serious competitor with ice in his veins, nerves of steel and all the other top sports metaphors, but Michael Jung’s no humorless robot.
He’s also not visibly worrying himself too badly over the prospect of winning a Rolex Grand Slam this weekend, as he cracked a mischievous grin when asked about his preparation with La Biosthetique Sam FBW.
Buck Davidson is one of three U.S. riders here in Great Britain riding at this week’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI****, and he’s riding The Apprentice. This is only Davidson’s second time riding at Badminton; his first was with Ballynoe Castle RM in 2011, when he placed 11th.
We now know that Michael Jung can win a four-star nearly any time he wants—nearly any time he enters. So if there’s any suspense left in the eventing world it’s this: Can Jung ride his winning streak—extended with today’s massive victory at the Rolex Kentucky CCI****—into a Rolex Grand Slam victory at next week’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI****?