Michael Jung reigned supreme at the Kentucky Horse Park in front of a packed crowd to scoop the $100,000 prize pot on his second ride Fischerrocana FST. The German rider also took home third placee on La Biosthetique – SAM FBW after the gelding lowered an uncharacteristic two rails. The overnight leader going into the final day’s show jumping, Tim Price, took second place after Wesko lowered a rail meaning Fischerrocana FST’s faultless round was enough to take the trophy. Last year’s winners William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero also put in a polished clear round to take home fourth while Phillip Dutton finished best of the home nation in fifth on Fernhill Cubalawn.
Michael said, “You always have pressure on yourself going into the competition. This is what we train for at home and prepare for – but you are always thinking what you can do better so that is always the reason why you have pressure on yourself. Of course after my clear round on Fischerrocana FST I was a little bit more relaxed, but also I stayed focused and was concentrating on my second horse. But then I was a little bit too fast into the combination and this was the reason because my first horse needs more gallop and a little bit more speed – I then did a little bit the same with Sam and this was my mistake.”
Michael had the advantage of going into the stadium early with 13 to go on Fischerrocana FST instead of third as he was lying in both second and third place overnight going into the final day. Excitement was in the air for the 23,500-plus spectators that filled the Rolex Stadium under the brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies. Last to jump the crowd fell silent as Tim cantered into the arena on Wesko in a bid to take home his second CCI**** trophy but it was not to be for the Luhmulhen 2014 champions when, with just four to go, the gelding merely brushed a pole on fence 10 which handed the title to Michael.
Course designer Richard Jeffery from the UK, set a formidable course over 13 fences with a total time allowed of 91 seconds, meaning riders had to maintain a healthy speed of 375 metres per minute. All the jumps were previously used at the 2010 Kentucky World Equestrian Games and were staged to thrill the crowd and global TV audiences. The final day of the competition saw 41 starters with riders representing six nations, with just eight double clears and also featured five riders riding two horses in the final show jumping phase.
TOP 5 PLACINGS AFTER THE FINAL DAY, SHOW JUMPING
1st Michael Jung/FisherRocana FST (GER) 39.3 + 0 + 0 = 39.3
2nd Tim Price/Wesko (NZL) 36.3 + 0 + 4 = 40.3
3rd Michael Jung/La Biosthetique Sam FBW (GER) 36.3 + 0.4 + 8 = 44.7
4th William Fox-Pitt/Bay My Hero (GBR) 38.5 + 8.4 + 0 = 46.9
5th Phillip Dutton/Fernhill Cubalawn (USA) 50.9 + 3.2 + 4 = 54.1
6th Will Coleman/Obos O’Reilly (USA) 52.6 + 0 + 4 = 56.6
7th Boyd Martin/Master Frisky (USA) 47.0 + 1.6 + 8 = 56.6
8th Nicola Wilson/Annie Clover (GBR) 45.6 + 11.2 + 0 = 56.8
9th Phillip Dutton/Fernhill Fugitive (USA) 47.3 + 12 + 0 = 59.3
10th Bill Levett/Improvise (AUS) 48.6 + 0 + 12 = 60.6
For full results, please visit: www.rk3de.org/results
Thank you to Natalie Clark for her fab reports, Alec Thayer and Leah Perkins for all the Kentucky Photographs and for keeping us all up to date with live commentary from the event,