Germany’s Michael Jung won his first British four-star title this afternoon at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
Riding his established star, the 15-year-old La Biosthetique-Sam FBW, Michael could not afford a fence down in the showjumping.
But the 15-year-old, who belongs to the Jung Family, Michael’s father Joachim, Erich Single and the German Olympic equestrian federation (DOKR), did not need a fence in hand. He touched fence 12, the viaduct wall, but otherwise jumped superbly.
“Sam is like a good friend and we make a good partnership,” said Michael. I know him so well and have learnt a lot from him and with him. Maybe he’s also learnt a bit from me. He gives me 100%. Today he felt very powerful and concentrated in the warm-up and that helps a lot.”
New Zealand’s Tim Price rode the ride of his life on Ringwood Sky Boy to hold second place with a clear. The 12-year-old, owned by Varenna Allen, Robert Taylor,and the rider, has never had less than two down at a three-day, but he pulled it out of the bag today, aided by Tim’s tactful riding and soft hands.
“He’s been improving and that showed on the flat, plus he’s a great cross-country horse,” said Tim. “We achieved what we wanted to achieve in the dressage and so I expected to be in the mix yesterday afternoon. But to still be here today is exceptional.
“This is testament to the hard work and faith of the team and I’m thrilled for the people who have believed in him. He’s not a natural in the showjumping, but he is a good jumper and he’s learning to try hard in the right times and in the right ways.”
Australia’s Christopher Burton took third and fourth with two clear rounds on the syndicate-owned TS Jamaimo and Alan Skinner’s Haruzac. He had never completed Burghley before.
“I first came here as a young rider in 2004 — I flew a horse from Australia and fell off at the third fence,” he said. “It was exciting just to see the finish flags, but to have the horses go that well is really exciting.”
Tim’s wife Jonelle had the first part of the treble at 6a down on Classic Moet to drop from third to fifth.
Another Kiwi, Mark Todd, went clear to move up from seventh to sixth on Leonidas II. France’s Cedric Lyard (Cadeau Du Roi) also rose one rank with a fault-free round and finished seventh.
Tina Cook jumped a brilliant clear with Star Witness to be best of the British in eighth. William Fox-Pitt wound up 10th after having just fence eight, the oxer over a water tray, down with Fernhill Pimms.
Sam Griffiths was sandwiched between Tina and William with a clear on Paulank Brockagh. The 2014 Badminton winner moved up six places today for ninth.
The most dramatic departure from the top 10 came from Australia’s Bill Levett, who had five down to fall from sixth to 15th on Improvise. They hit two parts of the treble (6a and 6b), the upright at 9, the spread at 10 and the final Land Rover oxer.
Full report from Burghley in next week’s H&H, out Thursday, 10 September — 17 pages of photos and analysis, including columns from Ruth Edge, Lucy Wiegersma and Mark Phillips.