Michael Jung leads Luhm ¼hlen CCI****; Oliver Townend third

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The home side’s Michael Jung has moved up from second after dressage to take the lead in the CCI**** at Luhm ¼hlen, Germany.

European and world champion Michael (pictured) finished the difficult cross-country course 16sec inside the optimum time. He had just one hairy moment when Leopin FST, owned by Anke Hoyer, dropped his back legs on the boat in the first water – the HSBC Water Complex, fences 4 and 5abc – but apart from that he stormed round Mark Phillips’ track.

“I had a little problem at the first water, but apart from that he was really good – we are more together now than we used to be,” said Michael.

Dressage leader Lucinda Fredericks dropped to fourth with 9.2 time-penalties, but was delighted with Donald Reid’s four-star debutant Flying Finish. The Australian rider did well to hang on and get over the second element when the horse left a leg at the first log decorated with fish in the final water, the Jeep Big Four Station at 21 and 22.

“I nearly had fish for supper, but he’s a big horse with a lot of power, who tries so hard,” she said. “I can’t be disappointed with those time-faults – he only did his first CCI* exactly two years ago, at Houghton.”

Andrew Hoy recorded another of the five clears inside the time to rise from fourth overnight to second on Rutherglen.

“He’s really starting to come into himself,” said Andrew. “He was jumping well and listening to me.”

Having been sixth after dressage, Oliver Townend now lies third for Britain after a classy, fault-free round on the former Andrew Nicholson ride Armada, owned by Paul Ridgeon. And young Brit Charlotte Agnew had just 2.4 time-faults to move up from eighth to sixth on home-bred Out Of Africa Two.

The final pair to go, New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson on Mr Cruise Control, completed their round in silence due to a power cut across the venue and the surrounding area – commentary and television coverage as well as the internet went down. But 60 jumping penalties at the influential skinny at fence 19b, the HSBC FEI Classics Combination, put them out of the reckoning. However, Andrew does lie fifth on the Twenty Twelve In Mind syndicate’s Calico Joe.

Michael Jung also maintained his lead in the CIC*** when he finished bang on the 6min 30sec optimum time with Weidezaunprofi’s River Of Joy. The top three in this class are unchanged, with Germany’s Frank Ostholt second on last year’s individual bronze medallist Little Paint (two time-faults) and his Swedish wife Sara Algotsson-Ostholt third with Wega (1.6 time-faults).

CCI**** RESULTS AFTER CROSS-COUNTRY

1st Michael Jung on Leopin FST (GER) 32.8
2nd Andrew Hoy on Rutherglen (AUS) 34.8
3rd Oliver Townend on Armada (GBR) 39.5
4th Lucinda Fredericks on Flying Finish (AUS) 41
5th Andrew Nicholson on Calico Joe (NZL) 41.7
6th Charlotte Agnew on Out Of Africa Two (GBR) 43.2

Picture by Peter Nixon/FEI

Luhm ¼hlen website

Log back on tomorrow for a final update from Luhm ¼hlen. Full report in H&H next week (out 21 June).