July 22, 2016 / 8:12 PM / in a year

Olympic champion Jung forced to switch horses for Rio

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Olympic eventing team and individual champion Michael Jung has had to change horses for the Rio Games a week before the animals are due to fly to Brazil.

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

The double gold medalist said he will now ride Sam, the 16-year-old he won with in London in 2012, after his first choice Takinou suffered an infection.

However, Germany’s eventing team trainer Chris Bartle, a Briton, told the Horse and Hound website that the replacement had yet to be decided with Rocana another option.

“Today I have to write the worst news of the year,” said Jung on his Facebook page. “Takinou has suffered a febrile infection after his victory in Aachen (last week) and cannot fly to Rio.”

Only two horse and rider pairings have ever won back-to-back individual Olympic gold medals in eventing, the most recent being New Zealander Mark Todd on Charisma in 1984 and 1988.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Tony Jimenez

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