Jung celebrates Kentucky 4* double with FischerRocana

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Michael Jung and FischerRocana FST won the 2016 RK3DE at the weekend.
Michael Jung and FischerRocana FST won the 2016 RK3DE at the weekend. © Rolex

Only four combinations were clear inside the time of the final jumping phase of the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* Three Day Event, as Germany’s Michael Jung and FischerRocana FST cruised to victory.

Rain again played its part on the final day of event, with only seven of the 54 finishers making it around Richard Jeffery’s show jumping course clear.

Jung and last year’s winner had three in hand going into the final phase, but by the time he jumped the leaderboard had changed dramatically behind him. FischerRocana dropped a rail and finished on 39.2, with the second-placed combination, Lauren Kieffer and Veronica, more than 13 penalties adrift with 52.5, and Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair third with 53.9.

Second placegetters Lauren Kieffer and Veronica.
Second placegetters Lauren Kieffer and Veronica. © Rolex

Phillip Dutton, who was second and third after cross-country, had two rails on Mighty Nice (57.8)  to drop from third to fourth, but came up the rankings with Fernhill Cubalawn, ninth after the cross-country to finish fifth on 59.4. Dutton’s Fernhill Fugitive, who had been second, had five rails and a time fault to drop to 13th place with 68.5.

Mark Todd and NZB Campino were the best of the Kiwis, finishing in seventh place on 60.4, with Jonathan Paget and Clifton Signature dropping three rails to finish on 69.1 in 14th place.

Having won Burghley, Jung is now aiming for the $US350,000 Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, with Badminton the next leg.

Since its inception in 2001, only one rider has won the Grand Slam, when Britain’s Pippa Funnell won in 2003. In April 2003 she rode Primmore’s Pride to victory at Kentucky. A week later, this time riding double European champion Supreme Rock, Funnell was crowned Badminton winner. A few months later, Funnell reigned supreme at Burghley, riding Primmore’s Pride again.

“I am very proud of my horse, she has tried all weekend for me in the dressage, cross-country and now today in the show jumping,” Jung said.

Michael Jung is one win away from the prestigious Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing.
Michael Jung is one win away from the prestigious Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. © Rolex

“I now travel to Badminton tomorrow and will meet my other horse there La Biothesque Sam. He is in really good form. Badminton is a tough competition, it is a hard competition, but I will go there to try to win it!”

Lauren Kieffer was delighted with her second place. “Veronica jumped so beautifully, I couldn’t be happier as she really tried her heart out. It feels fantastic to come second, it has been a really good weekend for sure, I am thrilled.”

Third place went to Maya Black and Doesn't Playfair.
Third place went to Maya Black and Doesn’t Playfair. © Rolex

In only her second time at the RK3DE, this placed Maya Black said she “never dreamed that I would be sitting next to these two great riders [Jung and Kieffer]. My horse can be a bit difficult but he was fabulous all weekend!” she said.

Running in reverse order, the lower half of the field struggled to go clear and inside time over the course – that was until New Zealand’s Blyth Tait and Xanthus III entered the arena.

A former winner of the prestigious event who has won gold medals at both World Champs and Olympic Games, among many other accolades, Tait brought all his experience to the arena and was the first to go clear and inside the time allowed.

Tait ended up in 44th, with fellow Kiwi rider Joe Meyer and Clip Clop 51st.

Top 5:
1. Michael Jung (GER), Fischerrocana FST, 39.2
2. Lauren Kieffer (USA), Veronica, 52.5
3. Maya Black (USA), Doesn’t Playfair, 53.9
4. Philip Dutton (USA), Mighty Nice, 57.8
5. Phillip Dutton (USA), Fernhill Cubalawn, 59.4

Full result

Michael Jung and FischerRocana take home their second successive Rolex Kentucky Trophy.
Michael Jung and FischerRocana take home their second successive Rolex Kentucky Trophy. © Rolex

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