Germany’s Michael Jung has become London 2012 Olympic eventing champion and the first rider ever to hold individual world, European and Olympic titles simultaneously with his top horse Sam.
Michael completed on his dressage score of 40.6 with a faultless performance in all jumping phases, moving up from 11th place after the dressage.
“It was a big dream for me to ride in my first Olympic Games,” said Michael. “I had hoped that if it all went perfectly we would have a medal coming to these Olympic Games, but never in my dreams did I think I would take home two golds!”
With the jumps raised to 1.30m, the final showjumping round for the individual medals kept the crowd on the very edge of their seats until quite literally the final fence.
Having jumped an excellent double clear in the team jumping round, Wega didn’t look like touching a fence for Sweden’s Sara Algotsson Ostholt. But the individual gold slipped from her grasp when they got a deep stride to the last oxer and Wega tapped out the front rail preventing Sara from becoming the first female Olympic eventing champion.
Germany also collected the bronze as 25-year-old Sandra Auffarth, riding the 10-year-old Selle Fran §ais gelding Opgun Louvo, added just 4.8 cross-country time penalties to their dressage score of 40.
Sandra said: “My horse and I were both very concentrated. I did not worry because we have such a good relationship.”
Andrew Nicholson missed out on another individual Olympic medal at his seventh Olympic Games finishing fourth with Nereo after an agonizing fence down in the final round.
Mary King and Tina Cook had two fences a piece to finish in fifth and sixth places respectively, while Zara Phillips improved on her four faults in the team round to go clear with High Kingdom and finish in eighth.
One of the performances of the competition must go to Ireland’s Aoife Clark, who leapt up from 32nd after dressage to finished seventh on Master Crusoe, an 11-year-old gelding by Master Imp. The partnership jumped two great double clears today after a stylish cross-country round with just 3.6 time penalties.
Top 10 results
1. Sam (Michael Jung) GER 40.60;
2. Wega (Sara Algotsson Ostholt) SWE 43.30;
3. Opgun Louvo (Sandra Auffarth) GER 44.80;
4. Nereo (Andrew Nicholson) NZL 49.00;
5. Imperial Cavalier (Mary King) GBR 50.10;
6. Miners Frolic (Tina Cook) GBR 51.00;
7. Master Crusoe (Aoife Clark) IRL 52.50;
8. High Kingdom (Zara Phillips) GBR 53.10;
9. Mr Medicott (Karen O’Connor) USA 53.80;
10. Clifton Promise (Jock Paget) NZL 53.90.
Don’t miss H&H’s full report of the Olympic eventing, in the issue on sale FRIDAY 3 August – 23-page special report, with comments from Ruth Edge, Pippa Funnell and Mark Phillips, pictures of every cross-country fence, stunning photos and full analysis.