Last week, German rider Michael Jung confirmed that his star La Biosthetique-Sam FBW has been retired from competition. He is undoubtedly the greatest event horse of his generation and in our survey, 52% of horseandhound.co.uk readers voted him the best event horse of all-time.
Let’s take a look back at the champion’s most incredible competition moments…
Michael and Sam began their four-star career with a win — at home in Germany, at Luhmühlen in 2009 — and later that year made a strong championship debut with individual bronze at the European Championships in Fontainebleau, France.
A year later, the gold rush began. The pair headed to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA, where they claimed the individual gold on their dressage score.
Back at Luhmühlen in 2011, Michael and Sam kept a clean sheet again to claim European Championship double gold, leading an all-German top three.
In 2012, the duo headed to the London Olympics, where once again a dressage score finish earned them individual gold and they helped the Germans to team gold.
The next year, 2013, marked Michael and Sam’s first visit to Badminton. Victory looked within their grasp until the very last showjump fell and they finished an honourable second, a result they repeated here in 2017.
At Burghley 2015, Michael recorded his first British four-star victory when he piloted Sam to the top of the leaderboard — and set up his Rolex Grand Slam bid…
In the spring of 2016, Michael returned to Badminton as the grand slam challenger, having added Kentucky victory on FischerRocana FST to his Burghley win. Sam and his rider claimed a Badminton victory — and Michael become the second ever eventer to take home the $350,000 (around £255,000) prize for winning these three four-stars consecutively.
When Rio 2016 rolled around, Michael’s first choice of horse was FischerTakinou, the 2015 European champion. But the horse suffered an infection in the build-up and Michael fell back on his faithful friend, Sam. It’s hardly bad when your second choice horse is a Badminton winner and triple individual championship gold medallist — and the pair went on to successfully defend their individual title and help the Germans to team silver.
Sam retired from championships after Rio 2016, but continued to compete internationally for two more seasons. As well as second at Badminton 2017, he was second at Aachen that year, an event he won in 2011 and where he finished in the top six on all six occasions he competed there.
Sam’s final international competition was at Badminton this spring, where he finished 10th.
We wish the champ a long and happy retirement.
Pictures by trevor-meeks-photography.co.uk, Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images, Getty Images, Peter Nixon and Hamish Mitchell.