Eventing fans were amazed to hear that top German rider Michael Jung won the Longines FEI European Championship title last week (10-13 September) with a broken ankle.
Michael was using a segway at the competition at Blair Castle in Scotland to walk the course, while his groom Julia Harsch (pictured, below) trotted up FischerTakinou at both the first and last horse inspection.
But he played down the injury, telling H&H on Wednesday (9 September) after his dressage test: “It was very bad, but it’s better every day. It’s ok when I’m riding.”
However, it transpires that it was worse than he let on, as last night he revealed that he had a bone chip.
Michael said he broke a “little piece off his shin” above his right ankle during a fall with his first horse FischerRocana FST at Burghley (5 September). He now has two screws in his ankle.
Despite the fall he went on to win the competition with his second horse, the 15-year-old La Biosthetique-Sam FBW.
This was his first win in a British four-star.
And then a week later the world number one went on to compete at Blair, where he was part of the gold medal-winning German team.
He also won individual gold on the youngest horse in the competition, eight-year-old FischerTakinou.
Michael has now won the past three European Championships — in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
The rider overtook British eventer William Fox-Pitt to secure the number one spot in the FEI world eventing rankings in May for the first time. The two have tussled between the position since then, but it is currently held by Michael.
Don’t miss the full report from the European Eventing Championships in this week’s issue of H&H (17 September).