Olympic champion Jung wins Badminton Horse Trials for Grand Slam

Sun May 8, 2016 1:22pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

BADMINTON, England (Reuters) - Double Olympic gold medalist Michael Jung became the first German to win the Badminton Horse Trials on Sunday and only the second rider to complete the 240,000 pound ($346,272.00) Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing.

The 33-year-old, riding his 2012 London Olympic winner La Biosthetique-Sam, completed a consecutive triple of Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton that had been achieved previously only by Britain's Pippa Funnell in 2003.

Badminton, held in the grounds of the English stately home that gave its name to the racquet sport played there in the mid-1800s, is the most celebrated equestrian three-day eventing classic, featuring dressage, cross-country and showjumping.

Though Badminton is now in its 67th edition, the Grand Slam was not introduced until 1999.

Jung, a favorite to defend individual and team titles at the Rio Olympics in August, led all three days and clinched victory with a flawless round of showjumping on Sunday for a record low of 34.4 penalty points.

"I know him from many years, from many tough competitions. He's a very experienced horse now," Jung had said after Saturday's cross-country.

"He always trusts me, listens to me and it was very nice to ride him... he gives me a very good feeling, very proud of him.

"We have an amazing partnership, so for me he is the best horse in the world."   Continued...

Germany's Michael Jung riding fischer Takinou jumps a fence during the show jumping at the FEI European Eventing Championship at Blair Castle, Scotland, Britain, September 13, 2015.  REUTERS/Russell Cheyne