Germany’s Michael Jung produced a masterful win to take the fourth leg of the Event Rider Master series at Haras de Jardy.
The current European, Olympic champion and FEI world number one piloted the exciting nine-year old Star Connection to victory on his first appearance in the series.
Bettina Hoy led after the dressage, producing a lovely test with Seigneur Medicott, scoring 31.4. It gave the German rider a three-point advantage over Australia’s Andrew Hoy and Cheeky Calimbo (34.4) with Lt. Col Thibaut Vallette and Qing De Briot ENE HN (34.8) in third place for France.
“He is so reliable”, commented Hoy of Seigneur Medicott, who won the CIC*** German Championship last month. “He always gives 150% and although he was a bit tense outside of the arena today, but he delivered inside it.”
Competition at the top of the table was hot, as all of the top ten horse and rider combinations produced sub 40 dressage marks. Jung lay in fifth after the dressage with the top British combination coming in the form of Gemma Tattersall and Chico Bella P.
The show jumping proved influential leading to changes in the standings, with only three riders making the optimum time. Dressage leader Hoy dropped to seventh after knocking down a rail and adding five time penalties whilst second placed Andrew Hoy dropped to sixth with a pole down and one time fault.
However, Jung came out on top after jumping a clear round to stay on his dressage score of 35.7. France’s Thibaut Vallette Qing Du Briot ENE HN moved up to second despite adding two time faults to sit 1.1 penalties behind the German. Britain’s Tattersall also incurred two time penalties in the show jumping but moved up to third in the standings.
On the cross-country Jung produced a piece of precision timed riding, adding just 2.8 time penalties to his combined dressage and show jumping mark to finish on 38.5. This left him just 0.4 penalties ahead of French rider Karim Florent Laghouag and Entebbe de Hus.
Of his win Jung commented: “Star Connection is not the most experienced horse at this level. But he answered all the questions out there and was brilliant. ERM is a super series for our sport, as it’s expensive to compete at Eventing. In addition to the very good prize money the series also creates very good competition conditions and makes us as riders compete even harder. I am very grateful for the opportunity this weekend and hope to target other legs in the future.”
Britain’s Oliver Townend kicked off his 2017 ERM campaign with a third place finish on Cooley Master Class (39.1).
Following the fourth leg of the series, French rider Thomas Carlile leads the standings (56 points) following his win at Barbury and third place at Chatsworth. Britain’s Sarah Cohen lies second in the standings with Treason (51 points) just ahead of Andrew Nicholson in third (50 points).
The next leg of the Event Rider Masters takes place at The Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park (August 4-6).