Jung in Poll Position on Day One of The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials
Day One of The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials
Michael Jung set himself up in the best possible position today at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, to not only take the lead after the dressage phase, but also to give himself a fighting chance of claiming the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing that he is chasing this week.
Posting the first sub-40 dressage score of the day directly after lunch, Jung of Germany gave his usual masterclass in how to ride for every point on board La Biosthetique-Sam FBW. Despite a less than usual preparation having been in Kentucky until this Tuesday, the pair produced a faultless and accurate test, “I have to say thank you to the people that worked my horse whilst I was on holiday in Kentucky!” he smiled, “Sam gave me a really great feeling and it was a good test.”
Thanks to unseasonal weather back at home in Germany, Jung was also unable to give Sam the gallop training that he usually has prior to a four star event, but Michael said, “we had enough work the last few days and in the end he felt very happy this morning and in the warm up.”
Trailing Jung by just under four penalty points at close of play on day one of the dressage is compatriot and fellow German team rider Andreas Ostholt, riding his WEG 2014 partner So Is Et. The pair posted the only other test in the thirties today, “I mostly enjoy the dressage with this horse, but for sure my expectations were not that good – my wishes yes!” he laughed. The combination have hit their stride again coming up to Badminton, having not managed to achieve a sub-40 score all season last year, ” I’m lucky that we’ve got back into the feel of this just at the right time,” Andreas said.
British team rider Francis Whittington currently sits in third spot overnight, with seasoned campaigner Hasty Imp. The usually tense gelding looked more settled in the arena to produce their best four star score inside the white boards to date. Francis is adopting a different approach this year to previous competitions, “I had no expectations, I have been in this position many times before and it’s all gone wrong,” he said philosophically. “I decided to go in there and enjoy it and do the best that we could so he was very relaxed and my brain was in a better place. We went in there and rode for the paces that he has with the attitude of “this is us and this is what we can do, we are enjoying it in here and we hope you are enjoying it too!””.
These three, along with their fellow competitors from today all have a long wait now to tackle Giuseppe della Chiesa’s 6.5km long imposing cross country track on Saturday. Whilst the remaining 39 entrants will make their attempt at beating Michael Jung’s score tomorrow on day two of dressage The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.