Germany’s Olympic eventing champion Michael Jung has revealed his plans for the 2017 season — and once again has shown his incredible (but well-founded) confidence in his unique training and preparation system.
While most riders would be aiming their top horse — or at least one with some experience at the level — for the European Championships, Michael’s intended ride is Lennox 364, a nine-year-old who has not yet stepped up to three-star.
Lennox is a nine-year-old dark bay Hannoverian, owned by the Jung family and Erich Single. He is by Sunlight xx, while his damsire is another thoroughbred — Heraldik xx. This is a bloodline Michael has favoured before as his legendary star La Biosthetique-Sam FBW is also out of a mare by Heraldik xx and by a thoroughbred (Stan The Man xx).
Lennox has been competing internationally with Michael since 2014 and his good results include eighth in the seven-year-old World Championships at Le Lion d’Angers in 2015 and wins at Radolfzell CIC* (2015) and Hambach CIC2* (2015). Michael plans to target Marbach CIC3* in May and Saumur CCI3* in June before the European Championships.
The route Michael has laid out for Lennox is not dissimilar to the one he took with FischerTakinou in 2015. The horse — who then was a year younger than Lennox, at eight — had two runs at three-star before taking the individual gold at the European Championships at Blair Castle in Scotland.
Takinou, a son of Jaguar Mail, was Michael’s intended ride for the Olympics last year but ended up missing out with an infection. He bounced back with second at Pau CCI4* in the autumn. This season he will be aimed at Rolex Kentucky CCI4* in April and Luhmühlen CIC3* in June.
The chestnut will be joined on the flight to the USA by FischerRocana FST, who has already shown her liking for the American four-star by winning the past two runnings of the event.
Meanwhile British fans will be treated to a chance to watch Michael in action at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials when he defends his title with his double Olympic individual gold medallist La Biosthetique-Sam FBW. The pair won in Gloucestershire last year, clinching the big-money Rolex Grand Slam in the process.