In a thrilling final afternoon of dressage at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships the top three places have been completely rewritten. Proving he remains the man to beat even without his World and Olympic title partner La Biostethique-Sam FBW, Michael Jung (above) left onlookers in awe with a majestic test from his nine-year-old Halunke FBW for which he earned successive 8s and 9s. He also scored the only 10 of the event for his riding, to score a stunning 28.6pen.
“He does not have a lot of experience, but he’s been relaxed all week and it was nice and quiet in there,” said a beaming Michael.
The leader board was shaken up several times over after lunch, with Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal also delivering a superb test on his 2012 horse, the elastic Shamwari 4, for 37.6pen, putting him temporarily behind Michael.
Sweden have performed excellent tests at their home championships and have been right on Germany’s heels thus far. The question for the British camp was whether William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning, a horse who has posted some cracking dressage marks in the past, could put Britain between them. He would need to score around 32pen.
The stallion (right) concentrated beautifully but in his eagerness to complete a flying change, fluffed it, scoring some expensive fours in an otherwise elegant test. The pair lie second after the first phase with 36.6pen. “This test has about 40 marks allocated for halting, walking and going backwards – those were the bits I was worried about, and he was great,” he said.
There is everything to play for on the cross-country, which William reckons will be exciting, if “very unlike what we are used to at home”.
Asked at today’s press conference if anyone can beat Michael Jung, William replied: “Well we’re all trying. Ask again on Sunday.”
Individual placings after dressage
- Michael Jung (GER), Halunke FBW, 28.6pen
- William Fox-Pitt (GBR), Chilli Morning, 36.6pen
- Ludwig Svennerstal (SWE), Shamwari 4, 37,6pen
- Ingrid Klimke (GER), FRH Escada JS, 39.4pen
- Peter Thomsen (GER), Horseware’s Cayenne, 40.6pen
- Sara Algotsson-Ostholt (SWE). Reality 39, 40.6pen
- Nicholas Touzaint (FRA), Lesbos, 40.8pen
- Tim Lips (NE), Keyflow, 41pen
- Izzy Taylor (GBR), KBIS Briarlands Matilda, 42pen
- Niklas Lindback (SWE), Mister Pooh, 42pen
- 12. Tina Cook (GBR), Miners Frolic, 43.4pen
- 17. Lucy Wiegersma (GBR), Simon Porloe, 45.2pen
- 25. Pippa Funnell (GBR), Mireage D’Elle, 47.6pen
Top three team placings after dressage
- Germany, 112.2pen
- Sweden, 120.2pen
- Great Britain, 125.2pen
Log back on tomorrow for more from the European Eventing Championships and don’t forget to buy H&H next Thursday (5 September) for our 10-page magazine report, with full analysis and comments from ground jury member Christian Landolt, former European champion Ian Stark and British team member Tina Cook.