World Cup final to Germany's Michael Jung

August 24, 2009

Michael Jung confirmed his status as a rising star in eventing when he rode superbly on La Biosthetique Sam to become the first German winner of the HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing Final, held for the first time in Eastern Europe at Strzegom in Poland.


World Cup winners Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam. © Kit Houghton/FEI
Jung jumped an immaculate, quiet clear round in the final phase, leaving the overnight cross-country leader Frank Ostholt (Germany) on Air Jordan no room for error.

Suspense was maintained to the end, though, as Ostholt looked as if he would go clear, but then Air Jordan hit the troublesome middle part of the treble and dropped to second place ahead of defending champion Clayton Fredericks (Australia) on Ben Along Time, third, who clipped the 6th fence for 4 faults.

"I came here having won at Luhmuhlen and Wiesbaden," said Jung, "so obviously I knew I had a good chance, but so much can go wrong and I was quite nervous today because I wanted to do the horse justice. I'm very happy that it all turned out so well."

German riders Andreas Dibowski (Euroridings Butts Leon) and Marina Kohncke, back in the big time on the promising mare Calma Schelly, finished 4th and 6th, split by Ruth Edge (GB) on PC Wilson, a German-bred horse that, in fact, was originally bought from the Verden sales to be a police horse.

Frank Ostholt said he now wondere what could have been, "whether I could have gone faster across country, or approached the treble differently, but I have to be happy with second place. Although I'm not really!"

And, to the huge excitement of the crowd, Pawel Spisak (Poland) retained his seventh place on Weriusz with a well-ridden clear round, thus completing fantastic weekend's sport which many first-time visitors to this beautiful corner of Poland will remember with affection for a long while.

Event Director Marcin Konarski said it took all year to persuade Pawel Spisak to ride in the competition. "The result was the best we could hope for."

World Cup winner Michael Jung, 27, is set to make his debut on the senior German team at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championship at Fontainebleau with La Biosthetique Sam, a nine-year-old by Stan The Man (same sire as the 2004 Olympic champion Shear L'Eau), owned by Sabine Kreuter. The pair have triumphed at all levels, winning Compiegne CCI 2* in April, and in June won Luhmuhlen CCI 4*, Jung's first attempt at 4-star level. He was Young Rider European Champion in 2003.

Runner-up Frank Ostholt, 33, is head of the German national equitation centre at Warendorf. He first rode on the senior German team with Air Jordan, a 14-year-old chestnut gelding by Amerigo Vespucci XX owned with Robert Vietor, in 2003 at Punchestown (Ireland). He was 26th at the 2004 Olympic Games in 2004, and won team bronze at the 2005 European Championships at Blenheim (GBR). In 2006, he won Luhmuhlen CCI 4* (GER) and was a member of the gold medal team at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, finishing 4th individually. In 2008, Frank won Olympic team gold in Hong Kong with the young horse Mr Medicott. He is on the German squad for the European Championships next month with Air Jordan. Frank recently married Swedish event rider Sara Algotsson.

Two-time winner and now third-placegetter Clayton Fredericks, 41, came to England from Perth, Western Australia, in the 1990s. His best results have come with Ben Along Time, a 14-year-old Irish sport horse by Cavalier Royale owned by Edwin and Peta McAuley. They won the World Cup final in 2005 in Malmo (Sweden) and in 2008 at Deauville (France). They also won the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event in 2006 plus the World silver medal and, last year, team silver at the Olympics. Clayton is married to this year's Kentucky winner, Lucinda, and they have a young daughter, Ellie.

The stats

20 horses started the jumping
1 withdrew (Robert Sirch and Ballymakenny, GER, 21st)
8 Clear rounds
Crowd attendance was 4000