Michael Jung gains commanding lead heading into the final phase at Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN
Germany’s Michael Jung showed just why he’s such a dominant force in international eventing by putting in a perfect performance to maintain his lead in the CCI5*-L at the conclusion of the cross country phase at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN.
Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH turned in one of only three double-clear cross country runs, to keep their score of 20.1 headed into the final phase, show jumping.
I’m just very proud of my horse,”
Jung said of the bay Hanoverian gelding.
I’m absolutely happy — he is a great horse, he has a lot of talent, super quality … today in cross county he was so powerful, fast running on the flat, great jumping and his brain was always with me. It was a great feeling just to enjoy the 11 minutes.”
One of the other two clear rounds belonged to American Boyd Martin and his long-time partner, the black Trakehner gelding Tsetserleg TSF, who stands in second, moving up from 6th after dressage.
My guy was great,”
We’ve got a great partnership and it was smooth sailing for ‘Thomas’ today, and I couldn’t have been happier with him. He’s in a place in his career where he really knows his job, so it’s a just matter of guiding him … I’m very pleased with how he went today.”
The final pair to come home double clear was Phillip Dutton on Sea of Clouds, the Thoroughbred gelding showing off his gallop to rocket up the standings from 31st to 7th.
Great Britain’s Yasmin Ingham is barely out of the Young Rider ranks, but she showed that she’s ready for this level by galloping home on first-time 5* horse Banzai Du Loir, adding just 2.8 time penalties to slide up one place from 4th after dressage to 3rd after cross country.
I’m delighted with my horse’s first time at this level, he was brilliant at all the combinations,”
she said of the chestnut Selle Francais gelding owned by Janette Chinn and Sue Davies.
The coffin came up early and he was a bit green, but once it was behind him he powered on. He’s an incredible horse to ride, he has all of what it takes … it’s a dream come true to come here and pull that out of the bag.”
Derek di Grazia’s cross country course guaranteed that the event would not be a dressage show, with only 24 of the 45 starting pairs coming home without jumping penalties. While faults were spread around the course, the coffin combination at number 7, the Park Question was the most influential combination of the day, with even some veteran pairs struggling there.
In addition, the time proved tough to get, even with the near-perfect conditions. Still, the top three found their trip around the Kentucky Horse Park enjoyable.
The track didn’t walk as tough as last year, so I was surprised the early horses struggled a bit with the time and track,”
There were tough questions, big jumps everywhere and lots of galloping — it’s quite a hilly place,”
I think it was a tough course, but nice to ride in the end for me.”
Today riders face the final horse inspection before entering the final phase of show jumping. A near-record crowd of 35,794 were on hand to cheer on the horses and riders today in both division.
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