The Olympic eventing champion reveals his tips for turnout, philosophy about giving his horses a break and a few other surprising preferences...
1. All Michael’s horses go in the field every day in the morning and the evening. “They maybe do a bit of work in the morning, then go out, come in for lunch, go out again and then do a bit of riding in the evening,” he says.
2. But he doesn’t believe in putting horses out to grass completely for a holiday after a big event. “They have a break, but still do some easy riding and lungeing,” he says. “I think that as athletes they have to be exercising a little bit for their muscles.” Michael also believes it is better for horses’ minds to keep them in some work as the contrast between intense attention and being put out can make them wonder what they’ve done wrong and why they are not important any more.
3. Michael’s favourite food is steak.
4. He believes competitions are the “mirror” of working at home. “When you train well and prepare your horse well, it works well in competition,” says Michael.
5. The Jungs always have about eight or 10 people in their team on the yard. They often have riders with them for training for anything from a week up to several years — New Zealand Rio rider Jock Paget and British young rider Sam Ecroyd are among those who have benefited from stints with the Jungs.
6. Michael’s favourite alcoholic drink is whisky and, although he didn’t sample any Scottish whisky at the Blair Europeans, he has visited a distillery in Kentucky while there competing.
7. His girlfriend Faye Füllgraebe is a horse physio and also events. Her sister Freya was young rider European champion in 2011 at Blair Castle riding Oje Oje.
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8. His brother Philip lives in Canada and works for the pharmaceutical company La Biosthetique, which is where La Biosthetique-Sam FBW gets his name.