German eventing team trainer Chris Bartle has clarified that Michael Jung’s Rio horse is still being decided, following the news that FischerTakinou has been ruled out.

Michael put on facebook last night that Takinou has suffered an infection so will not be able to go to the Games and that he will be riding La Biosthetique-Sam FBW, instead.

However, Chris has told H&H today that Michael could ride either Sam or FischerRocana FST and the decision will be made on Monday.

A strong hand

Either way Michael will have a strong hand for the Olympics.

La Biosthetique-Sam FBW, by Stan The Man xx, is 16 years old now, but won Badminton this year and and Burghley last autumn. He took individual gold at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, 2011 European Championships and at the London 2012 Olympics, as well as team gold at the latter two events.

FischerRocana FST, by Ituango xx, is 11 and made her championship debut at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, where she claimed individual silver behind Opgun Louvo, ridden by Michael’s compatriot, Sandra Auffarth.

Rocana also won the US CCI4* at Kentucky twice, in both 2015 and 2016.

Both horses had a pivotal role in helping Michael secure the Rolex Grand Slam of eventing, the big money prize given to any rider who can consecutively win the world’s three premier four-stars. Sam won Burghley 2015 and Badminton 2016, while Rocana secured the middle leg at Kentucky 2016, just a week before Badminton.

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Michael will ride in the German team alongside reigning world champion Sandra Auffarth on Opgun Louvo, Ingrid Klimke on Hale Bob OLD and Andreas Ostholt, who makes his Olympic debut on So Is Et. The travelling reserve is Julia Krajewski with Samourai Du Thot.

The full definite entries for the equestrian events in Rio were released by the FEI on Wednesday, but of course substitutions can still be made in the case of injury.

Don’t miss H&H’s full Olympic preview in 28 July issue, plus pull-out form guide and exclusive interview with Michael Jung in 4 August issue.