Michael Jung will defend his Olympic eventing title in Rio next month on La Biosthetique-Sam FBW, the horse with whom he won gold in London four years ago.
The German eventer was set to ride the rising star FischerTakinou, who recently won the CIC3* at Aachen, but announced on facebook last Thursday that the horse is suffering from an infection.
Michael said that he would now be riding Sam — as he will be known at the Games when commercial prefixes and suffixes are stripped from horses’ names. But team trainer Chris Bartle told H&H on Friday that the decision was still to be confirmed between Sam and FischerRocana FST. Rocana won individual world silver in 2014 and has twice won Kentucky CCI4*.
Chris Bartle and other team officials met today and Chris told H&H that it was confirmed that Michael will ride Sam.
Sam is now 16 years old, but continues to show brilliant form — he won Burghley last year and Badminton this spring, allowing Michael to clinch the Rolex Grand Slam of eventing. He recently had a run in the Nations Cup at Aachen where he finished sixth.
The fact Sam is heading to Brazil raises the possibility of him winning individual back-to-back gold medals, something which only two horses have ever done before in eventing — Marcroix, in 1928 and 1932 with the Netherlands’ Charles Pahud de Mortanges, and Charisma, with New Zealand’s Mark Todd in 1984 and 1988.
Michael will ride in the German team alongside reigning world champion Sandra Auffarth on Opgun Louvo, Ingrid Klimke on Hale Bob OLD and Andreas Ostholt, who makes his Olympic debut on So Is Et. The travelling reserve is Julia Krajewski with Samourai Du Thot.
Don’t miss H&H’s full Olympic preview in 28 July issue, plus pull-out form guide and exclusive interview with Michael Jung in 4 August issue.